Wednesday, 27 June 2018

How to build productive work relationships with colleagues

In our previous blog post we talked about how to reach out to our male colleagues to offer additional support when they need it. Today, we wanted to look more generally at how to build productive working relationships with all people within our team or work group.

We spend most of our waking lives at work, so while we’re there it’s best to make the most of the time we spend with our colleagues. This means making the effort to build more productive connections with them. As with all relationships, you get out what you put in and – however different our personalities may be within work teams – taking the time to get to know your colleagues better will always pay dividends, be it through better work performance or a more enjoyable work environment.

These top tips should help you connect with your colleagues:

Start the day as you mean to go on

We know how tempting it is just to get to your desk, plug in and get started – especially if you’re not a morning person! However, just five minutes every morning greeting your work colleagues is all it takes to start the day off on a positive footing. Time well spent, we say!

Be inquisitive, be interested

The strongest relationships are built on shared interests. By going that extra mile to find out what makes your co-workers tick, inside and outside of work, you can identify connections – such as a shared joy of cooking or an interest in a sports club – that will then strengthen, your working relationships. Don’t be afraid to show your personal side and ask questions of your colleagues – you’ll be surprised what you will find out and the positive impact this can have on your working relationships.

All work, some play!

Used to eating lunch alone? Stop. That will do nothing to benefit your work relationships! Make the effort to connect with your colleagues in a more social setting instead. Go to the canteen, take a lunchtime stroll or, if lunchtimes are difficult, agree to grab a drink after work. It doesn’t have to be every day, but spending a little down-time with colleagues regularly will really help with team bonding, which is especially valuable if you have new team members to welcome or are about to kick off a new project.

Show some support

We all have a role to play in the wellbeing of our colleagues. As well as managing our own workload, it pays to keep an eye on colleagues and offer support if they need it. We don’t mean taking their work off them – but simple gestures of goodwill, like grabbing the lunch order or keeping their coffee cups full can strengthen team bonds. It also means that you’re more likely to get the support you need when you need it, as a result.

Effective teams take work at relationships. They don’t grow over night, so be patient. Some of the strongest, life-long relationships started off at work, so get to know your team mates both as colleagues and as individuals, and you’ll soon see positive results.

For more tips on how to develop better working relationships, why not read this blog post from Psychology Today. 

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