NETWORKING / NOV. 10, 2014
version 4, draft 4

How to Build Healthy Work Relationships

Good relationships with colleagues, customers and suppliers are essential for success in the workplace. The better our relationships, the higher our productivity is likely to be. Having good relationships at the workplace offers several advantages. First, when we get along well with those around us, it makes our work more enjoyable. People are more likely to be receptive to our ideas and opinions. In addition, healthy relationships help us avoid spending energy and time dealing with conflict. Instead, we can focus on seizing opportunities. Finally, good relationships provide an opportunity for career growth. Your boss and colleagues are more likely to recommend you for a new position when you are in good terms.    

Here are some characteristics of good, working relationships:

  • Mutual respect – This means valuing each other’s ideas and inputs. This way, you are able to apply your collective creativity, wisdom and insight in solving problems
  • Trust – When it comes to healthy relationships, trust is a core ingredient. When you trust the people you work with, you can be open in your actions and thoughts towards each other.
  • Embracing diversity – Having good relationships means embracing diverse opinions and people.
  • Mindfulness – This entails being responsible for your actions and words. People who are mindful consider how their words and actions impact others around them
  • Open communication – Good relationships are characterized by honest and open relationships. This applies to communication via telephone, emails, teleconferencing or face-to-face meetings

Here are some tips for building better relationships at work:

1. Schedule time

Building good relationships requires a deliberate investment of time and effort. Set aside time every day for connecting with people at the workplace. Instead of eating lunch at your desk, go out with some friends. Pop into someone’s office after working hours and have a small chat. Interact with your customers, suppliers and colleagues on social media. Remember to send them a message on their birthdays. All these small interactions can go a long way in building good relationships.

2. Appreciate others

Showing appreciation is another great way of building healthy relationships. Everyone would love to be complimented for a job well done. Therefore, always be on the lookout for opportunities to recognize the work of the people around you.

3. Be positive

Being positive is a very contagious and attractive quality. Therefore, to attract people, develop an attitude of positivity. However, if you are someone who is always complaining about situations, no one will want to be around you

4. Avoid gossip

Gossip is a major cause of animosity and mistrust in the workplace. Therefore, be sure to avoid it at all costs. When you are having problems with a colleague, don’t gossip with others about it. Instead, meet the person and address the issue directly with them.

5. Listen actively

People appreciate it when others take time to hear them out. Therefore, when communicating with co-workers, suppliers or clients, you need to practice active listening. This way, they will see you as someone that can be trusted.

While building good relationships at the workplace, you need to also create some boundaries. If you don’t have limits, people can start monopolizing your time. Therefore, be assertive and make it clear what time you are available for social interaction.

 

Image: iStock

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