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Workplace Relationships: How to Establish Meaningful Ones (Guest Blog)

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Building a successful career is heavily dependent on forming meaningful relationships with your coworkers. Getting to know the team that you spend time with on a daily basis will make you a better communicator, it will increase workplace satisfaction and productivity.

The people that you work with have a massive impact on your happiness and even on your health. Tel Aviv University researchers have found out that coworkers actually have the biggest impact on health out of all job conditions.

Now that the important of meaningful relationships at the office has been established, it’s time to take a look at the best ways to establish such relationships. You can accomplish the goal, even if you’re a more introverted individual. The trick is to follow several important rules when communicating with others.

Recognize Everyone in the Team

One of the easiest ways to build positive relationships with others is recognizing their input and acknowledging the work that they do.Peer-to-peer recognition is of paramount importance for working well in a team. It doesn’t take a lot to recognize the successes of others and congratulate them for the good work that they’ve done. Such a simple acknowledgement will make every single interaction more productive and much more pleasant for all parties involved.

Feeling undervalued is a serious problem. A TinyPulse survey suggests that out of 200,000 workers questioned, 79 percent are feeling undervalued at the office. Only eight percent of all people questioned reported that they feel extremely valued. A genuine effort to praise others doesn’t take a lot and it can lead to a massive shift in corporate interactions. Think of the way recognition makes you feel. The exact same holds true for your coworkers.

Work on Your People Skills

Being a highly talented professional is obviously imperative for a successful career. Soft skills are becoming more and more important all the time.To cultivate meaningful relationships at work, you have to enhance your communication and so-called “people skills.” Communication, collaboration and conflict resolution are three of the essentials you will have to master if you want to get along with colleagues.

Building communication skills doesn’t mean becoming best friends with everyone in the team. There’s a line that you shouldn’t cross if you want to improve corporate interactions. Still, taking interest in others and knowing what makes other people tick can be extremely beneficial.

Be Dependable

Being dependable is not an easy thing to do because it requires conscious effort on your behalf. In order to accomplish the goal, you’ll have to be open to others and their problems. Such willingness to communicate, however, will pay off in the long run. Sharing ideas, helping others solve their problems, being punctual and cooperative are all parts of dependability. If people know they can count on you, chances are that they’ll return the favor when the time is right.

Letting coworkers down means that you’ll soon be losing their trust. Needless to say, nobody’s expecting you to be available and ready to assist others 24/7. Still, dependability within rational limits can help you accomplish a lot in terms of becoming a valuable team members that others enjoy working with.

Expressing Interest in Others has to be Genuine

Top professionals out there will tell you one thing – the fake it till you make it approach doesn’t really deliver the desired results. When showing interest in others, you have to be genuine. Superficial communication has a fake vibe and most people are capable of sensing that. Your interest in others has to be genuine. In other words, when asking a question, you need to be at least somewhat interested in the answer that you’re going to get.

Small talk is certainly helpful when it comes to making the work day go by quickly. The best communicators, however, focus on meaningful interactions. The right questions will help you learn what makes your coworkers tick. In addition, you’ll be establishing a connection that’s based on something a bit deeper than surface-level chatter.

It’s also a good idea to ask coworkers questions that demonstrate the fact you’ve been listening. By focusing on their favorite activities or problems that they’re struggling with, you’re demonstrating a level of engagement that others will be attracted to.

Use Multiple Communication Channels

Being a good communicator and building meaningful relationships at the office isn’t just about face-to-face interactions.There are many ways in which you can express your interest in others. Email is one of them. Sending a coworkers a brief email to wish them good luck before a presentation will make them feel good. The same applies to a quick, humorous note in the middle of the busy office day.The trick is to obviously use such communication methods sparingly. If you email others all the time, the communication will probably be perceived as spam. Well-timed messages every now and then, however, can make people smile and show your concern.

If you have an office messaging system, you should be making use of that opportunity, as well. Many people who are introverted prefer such channels because they can express themselves better in writing. There’s nothing wrong with this approach and it can easily contribute to the establishment of meaningful, mutually-beneficial relationships.

Finally, remember that being a good communicator takes an individual approach. Listen to your coworkers and be observant. Knowing how to address every single individual will lead to productive interactions and even the birth of some stable workplace friendships.