Cultivating positive relationships at work is crucial to ongoing work success. We are happier, more productive and have higher levels of job satisfaction when the relationships with our co-workers are positive.
The importance of communication:
Being able to communicate clearly is crucial in the workplace. Everyone works better and more effectively when there are good lines of communication open. Remember the role that being a good listener has in positive communication. Try listening without judgement, jumping to conclusions, interrupting, or thinking about what you might say next. People feel good when they have been heard and understood.
Watch how you communicate:
As with any relationship, communication in the workplace is not just about what you say, but also how you say it. Blaming others when things go wrong, speaking negatively, and constantly using sarcasm are all ways that can sour relationships with your colleagues, and won’t make you look good to the boss either.
Remember about your body language. We have evolved to pick up on non-verbal cues, and use attributes like the way someone stands, their expression, or the amount of eye contact made, to decide on things like someone’s trustworthiness, or how comfortable we feel in their company.
Make the effort:
In today’s work environment, it is easy to do much of your communicating with colleagues over email or by other electronic messaging services. These can be great tools when used properly. What many people forget is the difficulty in interpreting ‘tone’ through an email or electronic message. If you send a message you think is funny, others may not see it the same way. The quality of your work relationships can be improved by making a little extra effort and making a phone call, or better yet, go and see them in person (or via Zoom!)
Spending time getting to know a little about your workmates’ interests, family or previous work history can really improve your working relationship. Asking questions and telling a few stories about your own history can make people comfortable and more likely to share. Making the effort to turn up to a social event organised for outside work hours can also do wonders as your colleagues get to know the real you.
Being a Team player:
Some jobs require constant collaboration, and in most workplaces there are times when teamwork is needed to get the job done. If you let everyone else do the work while you just do your own work or spend time checking your social media, you will quickly get a name as someone who cannot be counted on. Bragging about your own achievements whilst down-playing the input of others who worked on the task will see no one wanting to work in a group with you again.
Get your share of the work done on time, and if you manage to get it done early, see if you can help other team members who may be struggling. Always ask for help if you need it, it is much better to do this that not be able to complete the task. Helping others, or having someone help you are both great ways to forge closer relationships with your colleagues.
Show that you are someone who can be counted on. Make the deadlines you have agreed to, as there are others depending on you. If you miss deadlines regularly, your workmates will start to think less of you, that you are not trustworthy or not up to the task.
Many workplaces thrive on gossip, however starting or spreading gossip can be damaging on workplace morale and on your relationships with your co-workers. You are breaking confidence, and gossip always has a way of getting back to the person you were talking about.
Showing respect to others goes a long way to forging great working relationships. Listening to other people’s contributions and taking them on board when in group meeting situations shows you respect them and their viewpoint.
Keeping in mind the diversity of people at your workplace means better decisions can be made to benefit the organisation, and how it responds to workers, clients and stakeholders. Being inclusive with contributors of different genders, ages, races, sexualities, and levels of ability when making decisions or policy shows that everyone is respected and valued.
Give credit where it is due:
Be sure to acknowledge and thank everyone who contributes to your work. People like to be appreciated for their efforts, and you will be seen as someone who makes sure that any credit goes where it is due.
On the flip side, if there is a problem or something goes wrong, don’t go to the boss and blame everyone else. Take ownership of the problem and come up with a solution. A workplace relationship can quickly turn sour if someone feels they are being blamed unfairly.
Maintaining positive working relationships makes for a more enjoyable work life. They mean your voice is more likely to be heard as you are respected, and you are more likely to achieve your work goals. The people you work with will be happy to put you forward for a promotion, or later in your career help out with a reference or suggesting you for a new position.
We spend about a third of our life at work, make it count by improving your work relationships.
How can ATI-Mirage help?
Transform how you communicate and influence with our great new Communication Skills course (with Extended DiSC®).
The extended DiSC report acts as a map to improve and enhance professional and personal communication. It is full of strategies to build understanding of ourselves and others while developing adaptive communication skills.
Other courses to help with creating positive relationships:
Book online or call us today to book your place or to arrange a group training for you and team.
Blog written by Wendy Wilson, ATI-Mirage’s Lead Consultant PD and Wellness