Most of our days are spent at work, where stress between meeting deadlines and weight of workload on your desk is in sight. In short, it is quite a stressful environment. But with good company around, this wouldn’t be that big a problem.
Your workplace is your second home; your colleagues are like your second family. With this, it’s only necessary to have great working relationship with these people. Imagine doing something you love but working with people you don’t go alo
ng with. It’s pretty difficult. On the other hand, working with people you jive with makes your boring/demanding job more tolerable.
Whether you’re just starting a job or already working, here are a few tips to help you improve your relationships at work to make your job as light and dynamic as possible.
Figure out your common interest. Relationships are built on common interests. Find out what you and your colleagues have in common: favorite TV shows and movies, music, sports, maybe you went to the same school or your mutual friend/s, some furry friends, etc. These are good conversation starters that allow you to build a positive relationship.
Open your communication. No, you don’t have to share anything and everything with your workmates. You just have to be open to them and be honest with them. Demolish whatever invisible shield you have that keeps people from approaching you. Let people know who you are and let them understand your perception on things. This will establish respect, trust, and loyalty between the two of you. Smile more and let the simple act build social relationships.
Speak up. During meetings and brainstorming sessions, raise our voice and speak your thoughts. This way people in the room will get a glimpse of your personality and know-how with regards to your job responsibility. In doing so, people will want to hear more from you, hence, the start of a social/work relationship. Don’t be intimidated when speaking up. To manage your shaky nerves, gather your thoughts beforehand and practice it before you say it aloud.
Observe the environment. This is especially helpful if you’re the new girl/guy in the office. Before you comment on a subject, observe how they interact and react to the subject first. You may have differing views and they may not get your humor. You’ll see who among your colleague falls under the categories: ‘sarcastic’, ‘sensitive’, ‘apologetic’, ‘prideful’, ‘know-it-all’, and the works. Eventually, you’ll know how to react around these people, avoiding to offend anyone.
Strike up a conversation by asking questions. Remember your first day in school where you don’t know anyone yet? It can be intimidating being in a room with strangers, isn’t it?
But go back to those days, how did you befriend your friends now? It could either be you or them that initiated the conversation but regardless, chances are some of those beautiful friendships started with a question. Moreover, relationships grow thru giving and receiving. In this context that is, asking questions for you to listen to what they have to share. It’s a great way to show your interest in the person and get to know them more.
Engage it outside work activities. Your relationship with your colleague is better honed outside of work where your association gradually go towards friendship. It’s not uncommon and it’s fairly normal for workmates to be friends. Going on lunches, Friday night parties, movie catch up after work hours, gym buddies, and the works are usual activities among colleagues. Just know your where the line goes between work and friends, and you’re good to go.
Be an active listener. When someone is speaking, don’t cut them off even if you have something related to say, let them finish. You’ll get your turn then. Learn how to actively listen. This means understanding what the speaker is saying and only responding once they’re done and only when appropriate.
Any other ways you’ve done to improve your relationship with colleagues? Share us your thoughts, leave a comment below!
About the author: Aside from providing tips and hacks in personal and career development, Chie Suarez is also a resident writer for The Fordham Company—one of Australia’s top celebrity management companies and a major celebrity speakers bureau.