4 Ways to Develop Effective Work Relationships

By Alexander Hunkin

Updated Over a Week Ago

Minute Read

Effective work relationships are formed between individuals. However, these relationships are also impacted by the work environment itself. A corporate culture that embraces positive interpersonal relationships makes this easier for everyone.

Thoughtfulness, active listening, and communication skills play a significant part in this process. They’re individual traits, but they can help you to become a role model and to set an example for others to follow.

There’s so much that you can do to encourage this approach, and here are some ideas:

1. Encourage Healthy Conflict

Keeping a problem a secret will make you passive-aggressive toward the other

party. This may also be a cause of some office gossip. It also means that they’ll soon notice that you have a problem with them and since they won’t know why they’ll make their own presumptions and fabrications.

To avoid this, all you have to do is encourage transparency in the workplace and try working out any problem you may encounter. If people are forced to keep everything in, they aren’t going to resolve anything.

However, some conflicts may be too volatile to be left unsupervised. You need to have a skilled mediator involved in the process, usually an HR representative who can oversee a meeting between these two parties and help them to have a constructive conversation.

Remember that the only way to know that the compromise was fair is to see that both sides are equally satisfied. Otherwise, one side gave in more than the other did, which is unlikely to resolve the situation.

2. Show Interest in People

In his book How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie stated that people are more inclined to have a positive reaction to people who seem genuinely happy to see them.

As an example, he used the way in which dogs evoke affection without a single word. For this, they use facial expressions as well as different forms of nonverbal communication.

As Robert Brault once said, charisma is not just saying hello, but dropping what you’re doing to say hello. In this way, you’re conditioning people to rejoice upon seeing you.

Another thing that you can do to demonstrate a genuine interest is to remember people’s names upon first meeting them and then call them by their full name later on.

No matter how formal this may sound, it shows that you cared enough to remember.

While this may seem like a matter of common courtesy, you would find it to be pretty rare both in the business world and outside of it. One more great idea is to try and memorize topics from your last conversation and then bring them up upon next seeing the person.

This will show them that your encounter wasn’t generic and that you already consider them more than acquaintances.

3. Appreciate Others and Respect their Boundaries

One of the things that often get in the way of collaboration is the ego of a person involved in the project.

Sure, not everyone might share the same responsibilities that you do or even have the same workload, but you should always assume that everyone’s doing their job to the best of their capabilities.

As an employer, you can show your appreciation by investing in office safety and consulting workers’ compensation experts to ensure that everyone gets their fair share.

Furthermore, while you may feel inclined to get involved further in their work processes, you should never overstep certain boundaries.

Each and every one of your employees needs to have a certain level of autonomy in the workplace.

Looking over their shoulder all the time is the last thing you want to do, and it is something that can make productivity plummet.

4. Try Being Positive

A person who doesn’t love their job will grow more and more dissatisfied with it with each passing moment. Needless to say, this is the first step towards becoming an emotional vampire.

This is why it’s paramount that you try and stay positive. As an owner, a manager, or a person in a position of power, you’ll be someone who people look up to.

So, if fresh recruits and people in entry-level positions see that you’re absolutely miserable, what are they to expect in the future?

Building Relationships

Building relationships is not an area where you lack experience; this is something you’ve been doing your entire life.

On the other hand, personal and professional relationships are not the same thing, even though some of your coworkers may become your friends.

Keep in mind that even though these aren’t the people you’ve chosen to surround yourself with, they are still people that you share so much with.

This alone should give you a head start and provide you with some excellent ice-breakers. You owe it to both yourself and your business to give it your best.

How Can You Develop Effective Work Relationships?

If you have ideas you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!

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Alexander Hunkin
Alexander Hunkin
Alexander Hunkin is an Australian based startup advisor with in-depth experience in growing business. His meaningful and strategic advice have helped in setting and growing many startup companies in Brisbane and Perth. At the moment he is working as an external consultant with a group of Sydney compensation lawyers.
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