Work is where you spend the majority of your time therefore time and effort should be spent on creating a positive environment. This can be achieved by building relationships with your colleagues as this will not only improve your working environment but also contribute to the success of the business. Teamwork is much more likely to run smoothly and produce effective results if everyone is trying their best to get along. But how do you go about forming relationships at work? Here are our top tips.
1. Start small
If you haven’t made an attempt to build relationships at work already, then marching up to a colleague and asking them out to dinner out of the blue may not be the best approach. The best way to judge how to approach your colleagues is to consider your company’s culture. If you work in a number of small teams, then why not suggest that your team goes out for lunch? This gives you the opportunity to get to know those you work closest with better, not just in terms of their work style and preferences, but what they enjoy doing outside the confines of the office.
2. Make conversation
We’re not suggesting that you down tools to sit and gossip all day with your co-workers, but making the effort to communicate with them throughout the day can make a big difference. Granted this can be difficult when you’re in a bad mood or particularly busy, but your efforts to be friendly and helpful whilst at work will be recognised and appreciated. In return, your colleagues will be much more willing to build a friendship and help you whenever you’re in need.
3. Discover mutual interests
Whilst you are out enjoying your lunches and communicating with your colleagues, try to find some common ground. Whether you have children, pets, hobbies or music in common, it can be a great talking point and potentially lead to organising activities or social events outside of work.
4. Consider a mentor relationship
Although it’s potentially easier to build relationships with those in your immediate team or department, there’s no harm in reaching out to those both above or below your position. Whether you are the mentor or mentee, you will benefit from the bond you form as it supports both of you through your career development.
5. Be respectful
It’s important to respect those around you: treat others as you’d wish to be treated, as they say. If you work in an open office then consider your noise level and any distracting habits that could potentially irritate your colleagues. You should also fulfil your promises such as completing any tasks or projects that you’ve committed to. If you have to let somebody down or you make a mistake, then it’s always best to admit to this and help provide a solution to the issue you have caused. By taking responsibility for your actions you will gain far more respect from your co-workers, therefore building relationships will be much easier. Furthermore, if you participate in office gossip then you’ll soon gain an unfavourable reputation, so stay well clear.
Your working environment can be considerably improved if you make the effort to get to know your colleagues. By building relationships at work you can create a positive atmosphere and make some good friends whose company you can also enjoy outside of the office.
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