How good are the relationships that you have with your colleagues?
No matter who you are or where you work, there will be a time when you have to work with, or do business with, someone you don’t like. This person may be a client, a consultant, a colleague, or your boss.
Negative relationships like this can take their toll. It’s likely that you’ll find it stressful working with these people; they may reduce your productivity by wasting your time and energy, or upset you with unhelpful comments. Working with them could leave you feeling emotionally drained or frustrated; and, longer term, they could even cause you to want to leave your job.
If you can learn how to work effectively with them, you’ll reduce your own stress, and enjoy work far more. This ability can also open up projects and roles that you may not have considered before.
Why Have Good Relationships?
Human beings are naturally social creatures – we crave friendship and positive interactions, just as we do food and water. So it makes sense that the better our relationships are at work, the happier and more productive we’re going to be.
Good working relationships give us several other benefits: our work is more enjoyable when we have good relationships with those around us. People are more likely to go along with changes that we want to implement, and we’re more innovative and creative.
What’s more, good relationships give us freedom: instead of spending time and energy overcoming the problems associated with negative relationships, we can, instead, focus on opportunities.
Good relationships are also often necessary if we hope to develop our careers. After all, if your boss doesn’t trust you, it’s unlikely that he or she will consider you when a new position opens up. We also need good working relationships with others in our professional circle. Customers, suppliers, and key stakeholders are all essential to our success.
Defining a Good Relationship
There are several characteristics that make up good, healthy working relationships:
- Trust –If you trust the people you work with, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions, and you don’t have to waste time and energy “watching your back.”
- Mutual Respect – When you respect the people that you work with you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom and creativity.
- Mindfulness –Those who are mindful are careful and attend to what they say, and they don’t let their own negative emotions impact the people around them.
- Welcoming Diversity – When your friends and colleagues offer different opinions from yours, you take the time to consider what they have to say, and factor their insights into your decision-making.
- Open Communication – The better and more effectively you communicate with those around you, the richer your relationships will be. All good relationships depend on open, honest communication.
“People who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. People who simply had a good friend in the workplace are more likely to be satisfied. “ – Gallup
9 Steps that Build Good Work Relationships
- Develop Your People Skills
- Identify Your Relationship Needs
- Schedule Time to Build Relationships
- Focus on Your EI
- Appreciate Others
- Be Positive
- Manage Your Boundaries
- Avoid Gossiping
- Listen Actively
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