Many people who work full-time spend more hours together with their colleagues than their families. So, it would be better to get along with your coworkers, especially if you see yourself working there for a big part of your life.
However, building healthy workplace relationships is not something that comes naturally. It takes time and requires some strategies, especially if there are people with whom you already don’t get along.
Our tips should guide you to do it right.
Reasons Why You Should Build Good Workplace Relationships
People are wired to crave social connections, and since we spend a lot of our time at work, colleagues are the people to build these connections with.
So here’s why it is beneficial to build these healthy relationships at work:
- It’s a great chance to make close friends
- It promotes healthy social environment and corporate culture
- You’re more confident in sharing your ideas
- Higher level of job satisfaction
- It promotes a higher level of innovation and creativity
- Saves time and energy that would be spent overcoming challenges from poor work relationships
- A solid work circle encourages professional progress
Establishing a positive workplace relationship with others makes working easier. Furthermore, good work friends can help you when you are not at your best.
Despite the above positives, some people always find it hard to build healthy work relationships. It is prevalent among those with social anxiety, and in such a case, therapy might be a good place to start.
9 Tips for Building Healthy Relationships at Work
Now that we understand the importance of relationships in the workplace, let’s discuss how to build healthy ones. A large part of establishing healthy relationships at work is altering your interactions with the various people in the office, such as:
- The boss
- Project managers
- Senior management
- Team members
Here are some steps you can take:
Work on Your Soft Skills
A lot of interactions take place at work. Hence developing soft skills is vital in establishing healthy relationships.
Soft skills include various interpersonal abilities such as communication, empathy, active listening, problem-solving, conflict resolution, and collaboration. Working on these skills builds a good foundation for any relationship in life.
Work on Building Relationships Daily
Building healthy relationships in the workplace requires you to work on them daily. For example, you can make small talk or invite colleagues to lunch. However, you should be consistent with your actions to make progress. Inconsistency can leave people not knowing where they stand with you.
Set Clear Boundaries and Maintain Them
Boundaries are crucial when building relationships in the workplace. You need to define your boundaries early and stick to them.
Work relationships are important, but not when they start to affect your job, your needs, or occupy most of your personal time.
Develop Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to be aware of your emotions and those of the people around you. It also involves being able to express your feelings better.
Emotional intelligence helps you know when someone is sad or upset and whether they might need your support or some space. It also helps you understand the way your conversations move.
Don’t Engage in Gossip
Gossiping can quickly destroy relationships in the workplace. Often, the gossip gets back to the subject, and if they realize you were part of it, they are less likely to trust you in the future.
Respect Your and Your Colleagues’ Time
Time is precious in the workplace, and you should learn to respect your and other people’s work and personal time.
Also, learn to honor the time and deadlines that you establish with your workmates. For instance, if you call a meeting, they should not have to wait for you.
Being appreciated is vital. Thus, it’s good to acknowledge when other people do a good job. Start complimenting someone you work closely with when you genuinely appreciate their work. It should improve your working relationship.
But remember that some people can detect fake praise or compliments, so it’s better to be genuine or not do it at all.
Take Responsibility for Your Actions
People will respect you for taking responsibility for a mistake you made. Hiding away from these issues and assigning blame to others creates more challenges.
Admitting when you are wrong does not signal weakness. It does the opposite by showing you are responsible, honest, and reliable.
Participate in Off Work Activities with Colleagues
Try to get to know your colleagues outside of work. The best way to do it is to engage in some team building activities with them. Get lunch during the workday and maybe even do something with them on the weekend.
When you get to know each other, you might find some interests you share.
The above tips should help you build healthy relationships in the workplace or improve the ones already in place. However, we also understand that making connections is not easy for some people due to different reasons.
If you find it difficult to connect with others because of social anxiety or other mental health issues, consider seeking professional help. Calmerry and other online counseling platforms should be helpful in connecting you with a mental health professional from the comfort of your home.
A therapist can help identify the root of your anxiety or any mental health issue and help cope with it.