When working for an organization, you will always have to deal with other people. There are those who are your senior, your team members and your juniors, but you must build a positive, effective and genuine relationship with each of them. Depending on the hierarchy of your organization, there may be differences in terms of how you can and can’t work with others.
For instance, many people find that they lose their friends once they are promoted. However, remember you are not at work to make friends, but rather to do a job. This means you have to find a way to work with people in a way that is based on mutual respect and understanding.
Constructive criticism is a great way to build honest relationships, but it can often only be given if you are in a more senior position. After all, coming up to your manager and telling him what he is doing wrong is often not appreciated, no matter how honest it is. If you are in a senior position, however, you can use constructive criticism not just to build those positive and honest relationships, but also to improve the life of the person receiving the criticism.
“Pointing out that your co-worker sounds a bit timid and unsure of himself while pitching a sale isn’t harsh or mean. If it’s a valid criticism, he needs to know.”
How to Build Effective Personal Relationships in the Workplace by Chris Miksen, Demand Media
At the same time, it is very important to focus on the positives as well. People like to hear it when they are doing something right, because it motivates them. All in all, you show that you care, which is about helping people achieve their own best potential.
Always Be Helpful
No matter at what part of the hierarchy of an organization you are, make a point out of being helpful. Try to think about yourself – can you do everything without any help? When you see somebody is struggling and you have the ability to help them make sure you always do so.
“When coworkers and business associates make a very public error, there is a natural human tendency to avoid contact with them. They are often treated as if they are made of Kryptonite and everyone around them may become collateral damage. The reality is, if they survive the incident (and in most cases they will), they will remember those who continued to associate with them while they were working through the problem. If you are one of those people, you will have gained a loyal supporter and an advocate for the life of your career. At worst, if they do not survive the incident, you are perceived as someone who helps people – a good reputation to foster.”
Building Positive Workplace Relationships by Margaret Morford
Some parts of being responsible are quite easy. For instance, if you promise to do something, make sure you actually do it. However, being responsible is also about honesty. If you can’t make a deadline, be truthful about that. And if you do something wrong, make sure you admit to your mistake.
“If you’re unable to complete a task for some reason, make sure information is communicated to all team members who would be impacted.”
How To Build Positive Workplace Relationships by Amanda Haddaway
At all times remember that you are human, and humans aren’t perfect. Being able to own up to your own shortcomings is something that will earn you a great deal of respect, even if it is hard.
Always Remain Professional
It is normal to develop closer relationships with certain colleagues than with others. In fact, many friendships and even romantic relationships develop between co-workers. This is not a problem, but you have to make sure that you leave your personal relationships at the door of the office. If you are unable to do this, your loyalty will no longer be towards your business, but rather to your friendship and this could, potentially, land you in a great deal of trouble. You must do all you can to remain professional in your working environment.
“Making friends at the office is great but it’s important to remember where you are while you’re at work. Sharing jokes and having a laugh is part of a comfortable and friendly working environment and is great for morale but make sure your productivity doesn’t suffer. It’s also a good idea to steer clear of office gossip.”
Building Positive Relationships In The Workplace
This is one of the most difficult challenges of maintaining good relationships, because most of us become exposed to some form of office gossip at some point. We also feel that if we do not respond to the gossip, people will no longer trust us or they may see us as a bore. Office gossip generally creates terrible working environments and if the price to pay is being seen as a bore, then perhaps this is a label you will have to wear. At the very least, you will be trusted, particularly if you do not repeat the gossip to concerned parties.
There is actually a scientific formula for positive working relationships.
“Rapport and relationship skills are an essential ingredient in the recipe for business success. Can you tell if your communication is being taken the wrong way? Do you now have tools to quickly get back on track?”
Making Workplaces Work Better
Picture it as a circle, with flexibility in the center, and focus leading to goals at the top. At the bottom of the circle, you will find agreements and on the left and right are placed rapport and resistance. Essentially, this means that you always have to be focused on your goals and that you regularly have to make agreements in order to reach those goals. Because you are dealing with people, you will have to build a rapport with them whenever necessary, but at the same time you have to resist the negative elements of human relationships (such as the previously discussed office gossip). Being flexible within those two will help you to build more and better agreements that allow you to once again focus on your goals. Basically, it is about remembering that you are human, but so are all your colleagues.