Working relationships aren’t easy to cultivate or maintain. But if you want to build effective working relationships and stay successful in your work environment, they are essential.
How you get along with the people in your workplace will determine the outcome of your work life. It can affect promotion prospects, job satisfaction, and overall performance.
Really, you want to stay happy and motivated in your workspace. Healthy and positive working relationships tie into this heavily.
When you are more comfortable with the people you work with, you will be happier and less stressed. A tense workplace can lower productivity and even lead to an early resignation. You want to prevent this at all costs.
In this article, we review 7 of the best tips to build effective working relationships. Keep reading below for more information.
1. Don’t Say Bad Things About Your Co-Workers
It seems like a no-brainer, but you don’t want to talk about your co-workers negatively. It’s easy to let off steam and vent about an annoying co-worker, but you want to avoid this if you can.
You never know who could be listening or what could get back to the person you are talking bad about. Aside from being rude, it isn’t helpful in a working environment.
Negativity has a way of permeating and spreading in the workplace. This can affect your ability, and others, to function and get work done in a timely manner.
So try and get in the habit of speaking positively and politely about the people in your workplace. You don’t have to be fake, but you can talk to others in a helpful manner.
Instead of talking about someone behind their back because you are annoyed, you can approach the situation with maturity and constructive criticism to get them to change their habits.
This isn’t always easy. However, it is better to confront a fellow worker directly than bad mouth them behind closed doors.
Again, the good and bad things you say about others will likely get back to them. If you only have good things to say about people, you can build a better reputation within your company, and you can avoid unnecessary conflict. You can also build up more trust between everyone in the office.
2. Be Open Your With Co-Workers To Help Build Effective Working Relationships
Along with having a kind and positive attitude towards your co-workers, you want to create an open environment. You don’t have to share your deepest secrets or become best friends with everyone. But you should try and share a little more about yourself when you can.
This allows you to build effective working relationships with those around you because they won’t feel like they are working with a stranger.
A good way to start with this is in meetings or team gatherings. You can let your co-workers get to know you through your ideas. Don’t be afraid to share creative concepts, or interject during a discussion.
Expressing your opinions and your own knowledge to others can help people in your office get to know you. They will also feel that you are trying to actively participate in your workspace, and this can go a long way.
Over time, your co-workers will get more comfortable with you and might start to approach you outside of a meeting. If this happens, don’t be afraid to have a conversation to further discuss works ideas or non-work related topics. You never know what kinds of bonds you can forge when you keep an open mind.
3. Show Support For Co-Workers To Help Build Strong Working Relationships
It’s natural to be competitive and want to get ahead in your office. However, this competitive spirit isn’t always conducive to strong working bonds. Really, being a team player and promoting a connective and helpful attitude will give you more advantages.
Co-workers will be more willing to work with you, offer advice, and help you. In addition, this kind of attitude can even get back to your boss and lead to promotions.
In truth, most modern work is a cooperative task. The better you are at supporting those around you, the easier it will be to work with others and be productive.
So don’t hesitate to support your colleagues. Help them when they are struggling. Encourage them when they do something well.
You can bring attention to your co-worker’s achievements by telling your superior what a great job you think they are doing. This will facilitate closer connections in the office.
Furthermore, your co-workers will appreciate your efforts. In time, you will all get closer to accomplishing your common goals and build more effective working relationships in the meantime.
4. Take An Interest In Your Co-Workers Lives And Hobbies Outside Of The Office
Not everyone will want to do this, but taking an active interest in your co-worker’s lives can enable you to build more effective working relationships.
Again, you don’t have to tell your co-worker every little detail of your life or become best friends. You don’t have to get deep and profound with them either. But if you ask about their family, or how their weekend went, you can start to build a more solid foundation with the people around you.
Life isn’t all about work, and it’s okay to talk about things unrelated to your job. In fact, it’s healthier to bring up things that are going on in your life.
This will help you get to know the people you work with and be able to relate to them in more ways than just work.
So if you are hanging around during a lunch break, or grabbing a cup of coffee to clear your head, don’t be afraid to chit chat with your colleagues. And while it isn’t a necessity, you might even build a relationship that goes beyond work.
5. Stay Connected Outside Of Work To Help Build Effective Working Relationships
This isn’t strictly necessary, but if you want to take your working relationships to the next level, try and hang out with your colleagues when you aren’t working.
Sometimes, you don’t have to facilitate these outings. Workplaces often offer group activities and events to help build effective working relationships amongst co-workers.
So try and participate in these when you can. You might not want to go to an office gathering or party, but this can help you create lasting connections with the people you work with.
Still, you don’t have to limit yourself to work events only. You might find that you genuinely get along with some of your colleagues. You might even share similar hobbies and interests.
If this is the case, you should definitely try and meet up outside of work. At first, you might be reluctant to do this, but you can strike up and begin a great friendship with someone.
Additionally, this could lead to lunch outings during the workday. Maybe even meetups at night or on the weekends. Having a strong friendship with a co-worker can actually make work more fun and less of a drag.
6. Initiate Conversations And Remain In Regular Contact To Help Foster Working Relationships
Connections in the workplace need time to develop and grow. You don’t open up once to a colleague and then magically stay connected with that person for life.
In fact, the best working relationships are built on routine and regular maintenance. It can seem like a hassle, but you need to actively and regularly interact with colleagues to build and maintain effective working relationships.
Most importantly, don’t make the mistake of creating relationships at the beginning of your working career, and then giving up on them later on. Connections degrade over time, and if you stop greeting co-workers, refuse to talk to others, and all of a sudden be more closed off, you can actually do more damage.
If you never established a bond with someone, to begin with, they have less of a reason to be hurt. They won’t have to wonder why you don’t talk or pay attention to them.
However, if you have tried to build workplace relationships and then stop trying to connect halfway through, this can lead to negative emotions and workplace drama.
You might not intend to cause these issues, but people don’t like to be ignored or overlooked. So try to keep friendly with other workmates. Greet them in the morning, engage in some small talk, and go out every once in a while if that is a part of your routine.
7. Improve Your Communication Skills With Your Co-Workers
Communication is the cornerstone of all relationships. If you can’t communicate well, you won’t be able to build effective working relationships.
To make sure you have the best possible connections at work, make sure you are communicating as efficiently as you can. Pay attention to what you are saying. Look out for body language and facial cues. You can read these signs and use them to better connect with your colleagues.
Your tone and word choice should also be monitored. Certain words can lead to better communication. So say thank you often, and try to use less harsh rhetoric and vocal tones when speaking to others.
These can seem like simple fixes, but they go a long way. People remember how you treat them and how you choose to communicate with them. So don’t slouch on this aspect of yourself at work. You will have a much more positive experience if you are able to build effective working relationships with those that you spend the majority of your day with.
The realization that there are 86,400 seconds each day. What are you doing today, so that tomorrow you are a step closer to where you want to be? If not now, then when?
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