How to Maintain a Healthy Working Relationship With Colleagues
James, August 22, 2013
As employees, we spend a significant part of our time in the workplace. Our associates, team members, supervisors, and managers play a substantial role in the quality of our daily working experience, and influence our outlook considerably. The truth is that the state of our relationships with coworkers affects us greatly, in our ability to succeed professionally and in our emotional well-being.
Naturally then, it is in our best interests, to form healthy, effective relationships with colleagues. This is not always going to be a straightforward task. The workplace brings together a mixed bag of people, not of our choosing, with different values, cultures, expectations, age ranges, and personalities - all sources of potential conflict. It is not surprising that disagreements and tensions arise when people have little idea of suitable strategies for dealing with others effectively.
Employers today are seeking individuals with strong skills in building relationships, communicating and working effectively in a team. They know the importance of these abilities and how they play an essential role in the performance of the entire workplace. By practicing and building these skills, we can make our working lives a great deal more pleasant and efficient.
Consequently, what are the ways we can we build a healthy relationship with colleagues?
The number one word to remember is 'respect', the most basic, yet effective, means of establishing good relationships. Treat everyone, from the newest staff member to the most senior, with the same courtesy as you would expect to receive from them.
Communicate with others honestly and professionally. Convey your opinions and concerns while listening to other points of view. Nobody appreciates a ‘know-it- all’ attitude. Try not to interrupt people in conversation or meetings, and never put them down in an arrogant fashion. Showing initiative is a great thing, but it needs to be used by including others and receiving their support. Remember the art of good communication means listening as much as speaking.
Be a ‘Giver’
Always be ready to help your colleagues. This is most appreciated, and you are likely to be helped in return. Thinking about the needs of others, instead of our worrying about your own, will always assist in building more successful relationships.
Hanging out solely with one group, workmates in the immediate vicinity, those on your classification level, your own age group, or any other special interest group will be perceived as excluding others. Branching out and including all groups is good practice. This way you won’t be alienating anyone and will be welcome in a range of situations.
This can be achieved readily by always fulfilling your responsibilities and delivering on time. Your timely output affects others in the workplace. If unforeseen circumstances prevent you completing a project on time, then communicate this immediately and provide supporting reasons.
Always praise coworkers who do well. Paying tribute where it is due will always create a healthy respect with colleagues. Just make sure not to use praise as a means of manipulating people to do what you want. Also, when you constantly speak positively about others, then people will notice this and recognize you as a better and happier person. Also remember a simple thank you goes a long way! Words and actions go a long way in building strong, happy relationships.
There are so many reasons why investing time into building a healthy relationship with colleagues is extremely worthwhile. Good relationships help develop a confident workplace where the environment empowers you to deal comfortably with any potential stressful situations.
If you are happier at work, you will be happier outside of work, so the benefits are endless.