7 tips for building effective relationships at work
One of the key employability skills employers look for is your ability to communicate effectively and build relationships with those you work with.
Positive working relationships aren't just a productivity booster, they can also increase your job satisfaction. Poor working relationships, on the other hand, can be detrimental to motivation levels and performance across the team.
Building good relationships in the workplace is, in many ways, similar to building them outside of work: you need to be sensitive to the environment you're in, the other person and how you're coming across to them.
There are, however, some additional things you should keep in mind as you join your new team:
1. Be open and honest
Being open, approachable and honest will help build trust with your co-workers, while it also creates an environment in which issues can be discussed and dealt with faster and more efficiently.
2. Be respectful and understanding
Always be respectful to those you work with, value their ideas and propositions and make a conscious effort to see things from their perspective to help foster an inclusive and creative working environment.
While talking less and listening more can be a challenge at times, it's important to suspend your own needs and reactions in order to really hear what another person is saying. Not only will this help you build rapport with the person you are speaking with, it'll also help you increase your performance as you ensure you're not missing out on valuable information being passed on to you.
4. Keep your commitments
An inability to meet deadlines or deliver on promises will not put you in a favourable light with your co-workers, manager or boss and may even put a lasting strain on your relationships with them. Be realistic when agreeing to deadlines and plan effectively to ward off any disappointments. If you do run into unforeseen trouble, make sure you inform everyone involved as soon as possible.
5. Work on your charisma
Charisma is a powerful tool: charismatic people are more likely to attract people, to influence them and to make them feel comfortable. While not all of us are innately charismatic, it is something you can pick up. Always be positive in your interactions at work, complement others and make sure you are fully engaged when talking to someone.
6. Be careful of how you come across on email/ text
Even though you might not be looking the person in the eye when you're typing an email or a text message, it's still important to stick to the basic rules of effective communication: be polite; keep it short and to the point; but also ensure that what you're saying is sufficiently informative.
7. Share credit
It's important that you recognise the contributions made by those around you. So, whether you've just finished a solo assignment that a colleague helped you out with or a team project that you took the lead on, make sure to thank those involved and acknowledge their efforts when talking about that specific piece of work to the rest of the office. This will help build trust and respect.
When it comes to building relationships at work it's important to get it right from the get-go. So, take the time to get to know people, be open, ask questions and show that you're invested in your new role and the contribution you make to the team. Chances are, you'll start feeling less like the newbie and more like a fully-fledged team member in no time.