Why Have Good Work Relationships?

Human beings are naturally social creatures. And when you consider that we spend one-third of our lives at work, it’s clear that good relationships with colleagues will make our jobs more enjoyable.

 

The more comfortable co-workers are around one other, the more confident they’ll feel voicing opinions, brainstorming, and going along with new ideas, for example. This level of teamwork is essential to embrace change, create, and innovate. And when people see the successes of working together in this way, group morale and productivity soars.

Good work relationships also give you freedom. Instead of spending time and energy dealing with negative relationships, you can, instead, focus on opportunities – from winning new business to focusing on personal development.

And having a strong professional circle will also help you to develop your career, opening up opportunities that otherwise might pass you by.

How to Build Good Work Relationships

As you’ll know from your oldest friends, building close connections with people can take time. But there are also steps you can take today to get on better with your colleagues.

  1. Identify Your Relationship Needs
    Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you? Understanding these needs can be instrumental in building better relationships.
  2. Develop Your People Skills
    Good relationships start with good people skills. Take our quiz How Good Are Your People Skills? to test how well you collaborate, communicate, and deal with conflict. The quiz will also point you toward useful tools to improve any weak areas.
  3. Focus on Your EI
    Emotional intelligence  (EI) is your ability to recognize your own emotions, and better understand what they’re telling you. By developing your EI, you’ll become more adept at identifying and handling the emotions and needs of others.
  4. Practice Mindful Listening
    People respond better to those who truly listen to what they have to say. By practicing mindful listening, you’ll talk less and understand more. And you’ll quickly become known as trustworthy.
  5. Schedule Time to Build Relationships
    If possible, you could ask a colleague out for a quick cup of coffee. Or give a “one-minute kindness” by commenting on a co-worker’s LinkedIn post you enjoyed reading. These little interactions take time but lay the groundwork for strong relationships.
  6. Manage Your Boundaries
    Make time, but not too much! Sometimes, a work relationship can impair productivity, especially when a friend or colleague begins to monopolize your time. It’s important to set your boundaries manage how much time you devote to social interactions at work.
  7. Appreciate Others
    Everyone, from your boss to the intern, wants to feel that their work is appreciated. So, genuinely compliment the people around you when they do something well. Praise  and recognition will open the door to great work relationships.
  8. Be Positive
    Focus on being positive. Positivity is contagious and people gravitate to those that make them feel good.
  9. Avoid Gossiping
    Office politics and gossip can ruin workplace relationships. If you’re experiencing conflict with someone in your group, talk to them directly about the problem. Gossiping with other colleagues will only exacerbate the situation, accelerating mistrust and animosity.
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Key Points

Building and maintaining good working relationships will make you more engaged with your work, improve your career potential, and elevate the whole team.

Use the following strategies to build good work relationships with your co-workers, manager, customers, and other stakeholders:

  1. Identify Your Relationship Needs
  2. Develop Your People Skills
  3. Focus on Your EI
  4. Practice Mindful Listening
  5. Manage Your Boundaries
  6. Schedule Time to Build Relationships
  7. Appreciate Others
  8. Be Positive
  9. Avoid Gossiping

Some work relationships will be more difficult than others. But with thought, time and effort these can become mutually beneficial, too.

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