How to Develop Effective Work Relationships

Contributor 6 Min Read

Effective work relationships are formed between individuals, however, they are also impacted by the work environment itself. A corporate culture that enforces and embraces positive interpersonal relationships may make this much easier for everyone. Needless to say, thoughtfulness, active listening and communication skills play a massive role in this, however, they’re individual traits. On the other hand, this can help you become a role model and set an example for others to follow. As you can see, there’s so much you can do to give this trend a slight boost and here are some ideas.

Encourage healthy conflict

Keep in mind that if people are forced to keep everything in, they aren’t going to resolve anything. However, some conflicts may be too volatile to be left unsupervised. Therefore, you need to have a skilled mediator, usually an HR representative who can oversee a meeting between these two parties and help them make a constructive conversation. Remember that the only way to know that the compromise was fair is to see that both sides are equally dissatisfied with it. Otherwise, one side gave in more than the other did.

Keeping a problem that you have a secret will make you (involuntarily) passive-aggressive towards the other party. This may also be a cause of some office gossip. It also means that they’ll soon notice that you have a problem with them and, since they won’t know what this is all about, they’ll make their own presumptions and fabrications. To avoid this, all you have to do is encourage transparency in the workplace and try working out any problem you may encounter.

Show interest in people

In his book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated that people are more inclined to have a positive reaction to people who seem genuinely happy to see them. As an example, he used the way in which dogs evoke affection, without a single word. For this, they use facial expressions as well as different forms of non-verbal communication. As Robert Brault once said, charisma is not just saying hello but dropping what you’re doing to say hello. In this way, you’re conditioning people to rejoice upon seeing you, as well.

Another thing you can do to demonstrate a genuine interest is to remember people’s names upon first meeting them and then calling them by their full name later on. No matter how formal this may sound, it shows that you cared enough to remember. While this may seem like a thing of common courtesy, you would find it to be a pretty rare thing both in the business world and outside of it. One more great idea is to try and memorize topics from your last conversation and then bring it up upon next seeing the person in question. This will show them that, for you, this encounter wasn’t generic and that you already consider them more than acquaintances.

Appreciate others and respect their boundaries

One of the things that often gets in the way is the ego of people involved in the project. Sure, not everyone might share the same responsibilities you do or even have the same workload on their schedule, nevertheless, you should assume that everyone’s doing their job to the best of their capabilities. As an employer, you can show your appreciation by investing in office safety and consulting workers compensation experts to ensure that everyone gets their fair share.

Furthermore, while you may feel inclined to get involved further in their work processes, you should never overstep some boundaries. This is why each and every one of your employees needs to have a certain level of autonomy in the workplace. Looking over their shoulder all the time is the last thing you want to do and it is something that can make productivity plummet.

Try being positive

A person who doesn’t love their job will grow more and more dissatisfied with it with each passing moment. Needless to say, this is the first step towards becoming an emotional vampire. This is why it’s paramount that you try and stay positive. As an owner, a manager, or a person in a position of power, you’ll be someone who people look up to. So, if fresh recruits and people in entry-level positions see that you’re absolutely miserable, what are they to expect in the future?

In conclusion

Building relationships are not something that you don’t have previous experience in, after all, this is something you’ve been doing your entire life. On the other hand, building personal and professional relationships is not the same thing, even though some of your coworkers may become your friends for life. Keep in mind that even though these aren’t the people you’ve chosen to surround yourself with, they are still people that you share so much with. This alone should give you a head start and provide you with some excellent ice-breakers. You owe it to both yourself and your business to give it your best.

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