You spend a third of your life at work. What is your relationship with the people you spend so much time with? People who work well together achieve greater success together. When you enjoy working with your colleagues and look forward to interacting with them, everyone benefits.
Working with people with whom you have a great relationship, makes work more fun. Morale is high which leads to better productivity, which leads to better results. When people care about the people they work with, things get done faster.
Human beings are naturally social creatures. We crave friendship and positive interactions. So it makes sense that the better our relationships are at work, the happier and more productive we are going to be. Also, people are more likely to go along with changes that we want to implement and working together makes us more innovative and creative.
Good relationships give us freedom. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships, we can instead focus on opportunities.
So, how can we build these good relationships? Here are some ideas:
Develop people skills Soft skills such as being able to collaborate, communicate and resolve conflicts can be developed if they don’t come naturally. They are extremely valuable in work situations. Have you noticed how some people just ‘click’ with others, whether at a party or at the office? Observe them and try to form ‘clicking’ relationships. They can be mutually beneficial.
Identify relationship needs What do we need from others and, importantly, what do they need from us?
Schedule time to build relationships We can pop into someone’s office during lunch, ask colleagues out for a quick cup of coffee. Little interactions help lay the foundation for a good relationship. We should try not to be sequestered in a corner and if we have a private office, make it a point not to keep the door shut.
Appreciate others Showing our appreciation and genuinely complimenting people around us, works wonders in building a close relationship at work.
Be positive Positivity is attractive and contagious. Avoid sending out those negative vibes.
Avoid gossip Stay away from gossip and office politics. They are major relationship killers.
Develop mutual respect When you respect people, you value their inputs and ideas and they value yours. Working together you can develop solutions based on collective insight, wisdom and creativity.
Be a ‘social chameleon Try to adapt your personality, behavior and attitude to fit the people around you. This will enable you to pick up subtle clues. Think about what the situation wants you to be and how you can tailor your responses to the situation.
Listen actively Most people don’t really listen to what others are saying. They hear them but pay little or no heed to what is being communicated. By not listening actively, we are likely to miss some important information.
Make the first move When we encounter negativity or even some hostility, we should make the first move and try to get to know the person better. Under the tough exterior is often a person who would like to reach out, too.
Manage boundaries A friendship can impact the relationship unless we are careful to manage boundaries, specially between people who are in different layers of the organisation. We should never allow the friendship to affect the work ethic.
Building and maintaining good working relationships will not only make us more engaged and committed to the organisation, it will also open doors to key projects and career advancements.
Those hours spent at work will be fun. We will be happy to get to work the next day.