It can sometimes be a challenge to fit in at work, especially if you’re new. While establishing good relationships with co-workers can take considerable time and effort, it’s well worth it, as it can create a healthier environment – time spent at work will be more enjoyable for everyone.
There are different ways of building positive relationships, such as gaining an understanding of your colleagues’ emotional and practical needs. In this guide, we’ll list some useful steps to establishing healthy relationships in the workplace that will benefit everyone.
Get to know yourself
This may seem an odd inclusion, as you’re probably thinking you already know yourself. However, getting to know yourself better in a workplace environment is an important step. Start to notice things about your conduct that you can work on improving.
For example, do you have any weaknesses that impact negatively on communicating with your team when times are tough? Work on the way you deal with certain situations. It shouldn’t be all negative, however! Evaluate your strengths and remind yourself of the positive things you take to the workplace. Working on the negatives and building on the positives is the first step to building a better relationship with others.
When starting a new job, being shy won’t get you anywhere. If you’re introverted, it doesn’t prevent you from being a great manager, but you will be an even better one if you overcome this and give your team the chance to get to know you.
Make sure you introduce yourself to your new colleagues individually during your first week in a new job. This is a sign of openness and will give the impression you are engaged and excited about your new position. It will also show that you’re prepared to make an effort to understand the culture of your new workplace and the employees as individuals.
Schedule time to develop relationships
Once you’ve introduced yourself to your colleagues, always make time to develop the relationships further, as this can only help you. Close-knit teams can be more productive, so in a busy office environment, taking time out to develop relationships with colleagues is useful. Even having a chat with someone for ten minutes is beneficial.
Let others know you care about them by showing a genuine interest in their work and life. Suggesting that you go out to lunch together once a week can be a valuable team-building exercise. This can be particularly effective if the company has multiple new employees that you need to get to know.
Offer your help
Sharing your knowledge with colleagues can help build trust. For example, taking the burden off a colleague if they are struggling with a challenging task is an effective way to build a healthy work relationship. When you notice a team member seems overworked or appears to be struggling, always ask how they are and let them know you are there to help.
If you’re not in a position to help practically with their specific duties, you can still offer a listening ear and devise new ways you may be able to help. The act of offering will give the impression you’re a proactive colleague who’s ready to assist others.
Ask for help and ask questions
Asking questions about your colleagues’ life and work can produce answers that can lead to a better understanding of what makes them tick. This is an important element of building positive relationships because it signals that you’re genuinely interested and builds their confidence in you as a manager. Always listen carefully to the answers, so it doesn’t appear you’re just paying them lip service.
A healthy relationship involves give and take, so if you need help because you’re struggling with a task, ask someone from your department if they can assist you. Ask their advice and spend some time with them discussing the matter in hand. Listen to what they have to say, as you will not only build a better relationship, but you will also have help with the challenging task you’re dealing with.
Meetings can open conversations more easily, as communicating with your colleagues openly, in the right environment, can help you to quickly address and resolve issues. Meetings are an essential element of a healthy workplace relationship because they help you to see the other person’s point of view. Providing an opportunity to nurture open communication, they give everyone a chance to ask questions and get to know each other better.
Public speaking can prove challenging, so if you notice a co-worker is struggling when addressing an important meeting, consider speaking to them in private afterwards to help them overcome their fears, such as through training or mentoring.
Good communication is the basis of positive relationships at work. If you can establish this early on in your career, it will increase your confidence, help you to progress and increase productivity, as a happy workforce is a productive one.
You will be left with an interesting job and career satisfaction- and you’ll likely build some fantastic connections with your colleagues!
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