If you want to succeed in your career, you need to have strong relationships with your colleagues. Good workplace relationships allow you to work more effectively and efficiently, while poor relationships can lead to tension, conflict, and decreased productivity. Here are 15 ways that you can build better relationships at work.
How to Build Better Relationships at Work
There are many ways to build relationships at work. If done correctly, it can improve your office environment and help you get more accomplished with less effort. Below is a breakdown of some tips that can help you create better working relationships.
1. Take Time to Get to Know Your Coworkers - Their Names, Their Roles, and What They Do
When it comes to building better relationships at work, taking the time to get to know your coworkers is a great place to start. Not only will this help you feel more connected to your workplace, but it can also make collaboration a lot easier. Doing simple things like remembering your coworkers' names and roles within the company, learning about their interests outside of work, or even just taking the time to chat briefly before settling into your workday can be a great way to build positive relationships at work.
It's also important to be aware of your own behavior. If you're always rushing around and never take the time to chat with your coworkers, they may not feel inclined to approach you either. Try to take some time out of your day to socialize with your colleagues - even if it's just for a few minutes. If you're worried about coming off too strong or annoying people with your attempts at getting to know them better, start out small and gradually increase the amount of contact you have with them over time.
It's also important not to leave out the people that may not seem like "natural" conversation partners - such as those who are introverted or incredibly busy supervisors. Did you know that the average employee only really gets to interact with their boss for about 5 minutes each day? Take the opportunity to get to know your manager better. Knowing what makes them tick and how they approach challenges can help you work more effectively together and improve your overall career satisfaction and success.
2. Be a Good Listener - Make Sure You're Not Just Waiting to Talk
Listening is one of the most important skills you can have to develop better relationships at work. When you're genuinely listening to someone, you're not just waiting for your turn to talk. You're focused on what they're saying, and you're making an effort to understand them.
When you're a good listener, people will feel appreciated and respected. They'll also be more likely to want to work with you and help you out. Here are a few tips for becoming a better listener:
Make sure you're giving the other person your undivided attention. Don't check your email or take phone calls while they're talking to you.
Be open-minded. Try your best to put your preconceptions, judgments, and opinions aside so that the other person can speak freely without being prejudiced or influence by them.
Keep any negative emotions in check. When you're listening to someone, let them know that they have your full attention by smiling occasionally and nodding to show that you're following what they're saying. Don't just sit there stone-faced if, for some reason, what they are saying makes you uncomfortable or unhappy. The only impression this will give off is disinterest or disapproval, making it difficult for the other person to continue talking. Practice staying positive throughout the conversation even if things get tricky because problems are more easily solved when both parties are calm and relaxed.
Don't just focus on the words that are leaving their lips. Listen for tone, inflection, and body language to give you a better idea of how they're feeling about what's being said. This will help you fully understand where they're coming from, even if the words leave something to be desired.
Offer feedback when needed. If you feel like you've misinterpreted whatever it is they were saying, ask them to clarify or reword things so that you can make sure there's no miscommunication. Once again, though, don't offer this feedback in a way that makes the other person feel bad about themselves or question their intelligence; any criticism should come across as constructive instead of condescending.
Don't just focus on the facts; try your best to understand why certain things are important or valuable to them. Knowing this information will give you a better understanding of what makes them tick and how best to approach any future problems. Sometimes all it takes is a little empathy and compassion for people to open up and feel comfortable with you.
When people feel heard and understood by those around them, it helps to build stronger relationships and greater levels of trust. In other words, if you're a good listener, it will be much easier to get the things done that you need to without offending or upsetting anyone in the process.
In the end, there's no denying that listening skills are not only practical for resolving issues but also make dealing with people a whole lot less stressful and frustrating for everyone involved. Take the time to think about what makes a good listener from now on and work on strengthening your relationship.
3. Respect for Each Member’s Role
Each team member has a specific role to play for the team to succeed. When people respect the roles of others on the team, it builds better relationships. This can be done by understanding each other’s roles, valuing each other’s contributions, and being supportive of one another.
Understanding Each Other’s Roles
It is important to understand what each team member is responsible for to respect their role. This includes understanding the expectations and responsibilities of each role. When everyone understands what is expected of them, it is easier to work together collaboratively.
Valuing Each Other’s Contribution
It is also important to value the contribution of each member of the team. This can be done by understanding what skills and contributions are needed for success. When people understand how their individual roles contribute to the team, they will feel more valued and respected.
Being Supportive of Each Other
A supportive attitude towards each other is also important. This means that people should try to help one another with any challenges or issues that may arise concerning their role within the team.
4. Offer and Ask for Assistance Whenever it is Needed
When building good workplace relationships, it is important that you offer assistance when needed. When someone needs help, be there for them with a helping hand without having expectations that you will be repaid for your assistance.
When you offer to help people in the office, it shows that you care about the workplace and the well-being of others around you. But most importantly, if you want to offer assistance, then make sure that it's something you're qualified to help with.
Again, it's important to remember that when you're building better relationships at work, you don't have to do everything yourself. It can be difficult to ask for help, especially if you've always been independent or if it's never occurred to you that you could rely on other people.
But it's okay not to know how to do everything, and it's okay to need help. If you are not familiar with the task, it's best to ask for help before trying to figure it out on your own because you could end up wasting valuable time that could have been spent elsewhere.
A healthy balance between knowing when to ask for help and when to help will create good grace between you and the rest of the team. This is one of the surest ways to maintain good working relationships.
5. Keep Your Commitments to the Team
When you make a commitment to the team, make sure that you follow through. Failing to do so can damage your relationships with your colleagues and make it difficult for them to trust you in the future. If you know that you won’t be able to meet a deadline, let your team know as soon as possible to adjust their plans accordingly.
The importance of keeping your commitments to the team cannot be overstated. Commitments are how people in organizations establish trust with each other, and when they begin to distrust you, it can lead to problems later on. If you do not follow through with what you say you’re going to do, your team members will think that you are unwilling or unable to take responsibility. They may also begin to wonder whether you can be counted on when the stakes are higher and the problem more difficult. If work relationships need anything, it is trust. When trust isn't there, people don't communicate well, and conflict arises because of different expectations and assumptions about others' motivations and actions.
6. Maintain a Positive Attitude in the Office
When someone is cranky or negative, their attitude can spread like a contagious disease throughout the office. Some people are naturally more positive than others, but everyone can feel pessimistic sometimes. When that happens, it's easy to let your mood affect how you act and communicate with other people. If this sounds like you, try making a conscious effort to be more supportive even when things seem like they're going downhill. And, make sure to remain positive when speaking with co-workers to help keep positivity at your workplace.
7. Put in the Time and Work
One of the best ways to build better relationships is scheduling time to develop these relationships. You can do this by joining a company or department activities, lunch outings, and casual days. Make sure that you use your lunch breaks to get out of your cubicle to get away from your computer screen and interact with others to improve your work relationships.
8. Open and Honest Communication
Open and honest communication is key to having successful relationships at work. When we communicate openly and honestly, we can build trust and respect with our colleagues. This type of communication also allows us to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings quickly and effectively.
There are a few things that you can do to improve your open and honest communication at work:
Accepting Others' Opinions
People will have different opinions at work, and it is essential not to try to change their minds. It is important to keep an open mind towards others, even if you think they're wrong. This can help foster greater understanding, which can, in turn, lead to better relationships.
Visible Change of Behavior
People within an organization need to be willing to change some aspects of their behavior to have better relationships.
9. Non-verbal Communication
Body language is an integral part of communicating, but it often goes ignored in favor of what people are actually saying with words. Eye contact can be especially telling, while body positioning can show if someone feels threatened or defensive. Being aware of these kinds of non-verbal cues helps to foster better relationships between members of an organization.
10. Learn Their Communication Style and be Mindful of Differences
Taking the time to learn each other's communication styles will help you avoid coming across as insensitive or rude when communicating with your co-workers. For example, someone who is quiet might not appreciate being asked a lot of questions if it makes them feel uncomfortable. A better approach would be to ask whether it is alright first and then wait for further instruction before proceeding. Considering these kinds of differences will make friction between co-workers less likely and hopefully minimize unnecessary conflicts in the workplace.
11. Maintain Professionalism
When you're trying to build better relationships at work, knowing what to do or where to start can be challenging. Overall, try to avoid office politics and gossip at work. These behaviors can ruin any kind of relationship you have built with your co-workers. Even if there is a problem with someone else in the office, it does not mean that you have to jump into the drama and cause more problems for everyone involved. Keep your head down and your nose clean regarding politics, which can affect relations with others.
12. Don’t Take Things Personally
Remember that everyone makes mistakes sometimes. It can be easy to take your interactions with other people very personally. For example, it's easy to feel hurt if someone criticizes you. Chances are that at some point in time, someone is going to get under your skin or rub you the wrong way. If they snap at you, you can feel angry and upset. But, when these kinds of things happen, it's important to remember that such behavior is a sign of something going on with the other person - not a direct reflection on you. So, just try and put it out of your mind.
13. Acknowledge Your Co-workers' Efforts and Accomplishments
When it comes to building better relationships with your co-workers, one of the most important things you can do is to take the time to acknowledge their efforts and accomplishments. This can be as simple as saying "thank you" for a job well done or giving them a compliment on a project they worked hard on. Not only will this make them feel appreciated, but it will also help to build a sense of trust and respect between you and your co-workers.
14. Be Respectful of Others' Time and Space
Don't monopolize conversations, invade personal space without permission (such as standing too close when someone is on the phone), or make other people uncomfortable by constantly asking them for help or advice. Make sure to read between the lines when it comes to body language since people may be communicating discomfort even if they're not speaking up about it. Offer help only when needed, not just because it's expected - but don't overstep your boundaries or become a nuisance.
15. Find Out What Each Person's Strengths and Weaknesses are, and Try to Work With Them Accordingly.
We all have strengths and weaknesses, and knowing what they are can help you work with your partner more effectively. But it's also important to be understanding and forgiving because we all make mistakes sometimes. Ultimately, the most successful relationships are those where both partners are willing to work together and support each other.
For example, if you know that someone is really good at organizing and planning things, you can ask them to take on some of the responsibilities for upcoming projects. On the other hand, if you know that someone is weaker in public speaking, you can ask them to take on tasks that don't require them to speak in front of a group.
To find out each person's strengths and weaknesses, you can do a few things. First, you can ask them directly. This will give you a good idea of what they're good at and what they need help with. You can also observe them as they work. This will help you see how they handle different tasks and situations. Finally, you can ask other people who work with them. This will give you a broader perspective on their strengths and weaknesses.
Remember that truly getting to know your co-workers will be a long process and that it might take time for them to warm up to you. Avoid pushing yourself on people who seem hesitant at first and instead show them how you want to be treated by example. Building better relationships with your co-workers is not something that can happen overnight, but if you put in the effort then eventually it will pay off.
Overall, building better relationships with your co-workers just mean putting yourself out there and being kind and considerate in all interactions with them. When they feel like their efforts and accomplishments are appreciated, when they get a chance to reveal themselves through questioning and sharing when they feel respected even when differences exist between you, when misunderstandings are avoided – that's when you build better relationships at work.
Stay tuned for more posts on healthy work relationships.