How to Build Relationships at Work

31st July 2019 | 4 min read

How to Build Relationships at Work

Business is all about relationships. Good relationships lead to improved communication, productive teamwork and, ultimately, a better chance of success, whatever your business objectives are. The following tips are general enough to apply to most professional situations, whether you’re managing a team yourself or you’re a new face in the office hoping to make a good impression. Whatever situation you find yourself in it can only be enhanced by building positive, friendly relationships.

Be helpful

It sounds like simple advice and in many ways, it is, but simply being helpful is something we all forget to prioritise from time to time, especially when we’re caught up in the stress and panic of work. Try to be observant and pick up on what’s going on around you, if someone’s struggling to meet a deadline or looks like they could use a bit of help, try to make their life easier. It’s all too easy to immerse yourself in whatever it is you’re doing, and sometimes it’s necessary to focus on a task, but effective teamwork is only possible when we make an effort to help each other.

Be proactive

If there’s a positive contribution you can make at work, then offer your input rather than waiting to be asked. There’s nothing more impressive at work than someone going above and beyond what’s expected of them, it shows a bright can-do attitude and helps to foster a genuinely productive atmosphere. At the same time, try not to be too assertive and force yourself into situations for the sake of it.

Try to meet deadlines

Deadlines exist for a reason and it’s important to be aware that your colleagues are depending on you to meet yours. The worst thing about missing a deadline is that you’re invariably making life harder for someone else, which, apart from anything else, is a bit selfish. Of course, it’s not always possible to meet deadlines, life can interfere, complications can arise, a projected timeframe might prove to be unrealistic. The main thing is to keep your colleagues up to speed, so they’re prepared for a delay. As ever, communication is key.

Contribute to meetings

Constructive meetings are all about effective, open communication and the sharing of ideas, so it’s never a good sign when people treat them as something to be endured. Of course, we don’t always relish meetings and they can sometimes feel like a waste of time, but try to bring something to the table and participate rather than just sitting there and saying nothing. Meetings really benefit from a positive and engaged attitude and present an opportunity to foster good work relationships and a healthy team dynamic.

Share credit for accomplishments

Accomplishments are rarely achieved in a vacuum and it’s important to acknowledge the input of others when you achieve something at work. Say thanks and let others feel part of your success, it’s a great way to build positive and productive work relationships. A bit of healthy competition can be a good thing, but collective success is almost always healthier for team dynamics.

Don’t play the blame game

There’s no quicker way to alienate your colleagues than shifting blame and pointing the finger. Sure, it’s a good idea to analyse why something went wrong but blaming a workmate is rarely a constructive way to go about it. Being perceived as someone who’ll throw a colleague under the bus to save your own skin won’t win you friends and tends to create an unhelpful atmosphere. Try to make allies rather than enemies.

Don’t gossip

Workplaces can all too easily become breeding grounds for gossip, but it’s almost always bad news for relationships. If you have an issue with a colleague try to communicate directly with them, gossiping behind their back is likely to exacerbate the problem and can lead to a toxic atmosphere that seriously dents productivity. Working effectively as a team involves cooperation and it’s hard to cooperate with someone you resent. You don’t have to like everyone you work with, but you can try to ensure that bad feelings don’t fester by addressing them directly.

Whether you’re working from a fixed desk or within a serviced office, building relationships at work is a rewarding experience that you should enjoy to the full. Embrace the idea of getting to know your co-workers and discover a whole new world of workplace friendships with LABS.