Building good relationships at work

Posted: 1 Nov 2018 | Coaching, Work, Relationships

Friendships and partnerships are an essential part of life. One cannot survive without social interactions and friendships. And it’s the same in the workplace. In fact it’s proven by science.

According to the Gallup Organization, people who have a best friend at work are seven times more likely to be engaged in their jobs. And it doesn't even have to be a best friend: Gallup found that people who simply had a good friend in the workplace are more likely to be satisfied and productive than those who don’t. 

What happens when you don’t play well with others?

The popular attitude, including management steeped in early 20thcentury thinking is at work - “I am here to work and earn, not to make friends”.  Add to this constant fault-finding and competitiveness – we have created a toxic environment of suspicion, rivalry and enmity. This affects mindsets and mind states of staff. And whatever managers may think – it affects productivity.

A supervisor in a company with several hundred employees worked by collecting data; then he used the data primarily to find fault and place blame at specific employees. He said he enjoyed identifying problems and problem patterns, but like such people everywhere, he rarely suggested solutions.

He was at his supervisor to recognize these efforts but he was so unpopular the management did not find it politic to promote him. When he announced that he was job hunting, hoping for an immediate rise, not a single employee/ management suggested that he stay.

He had burned his bridges. Moreover, no one wanted to give references to any future hirer!

While this is an extreme case, there are numerous such people in organisations today – especially in Asia where hierarchies often work differently not democratically. 

But without good relationships at work -

·      Each one works in silo and teams are barely efficient

·      Mistrust of management and peers leads to lack of transparency, miscommunications

·      Elaborate procedures take the place of straightforward communication increasing time, delays and inefficient systems


So how do you build good relationships in your place of business?

·      Management and employees sometime spend an inordinate amount of time identifying problems and laying blames. That is wasteful. Looking for solutions is the real challenge, which can be done without the former; it earns respect and achieves quicker results. It also creates a more trusting work environment.

·       When you respect staff and colleagues, more ideas, solutions based on collective insight come forth. It’s normal to make mistakes. You can be stuck on that or go forward with resolving the issue. Except in rare cases the musical blame game is just that – it serves no purpose.

·       Tapping into varied talents, skills and experience and providing due appreciation is what builds teams. An organization is just a very big team. If you can’t pull together, you pull it apart!

·       Communication is one of the most important part of any relationship. Clear verbal communication without blindsiding builds trust in the organization. Trust gets jobs done – and faster.

·       In good relationships one appreciates the other. Show appreciation instead of appropriating the credit and passing on the blame. This will open the door to great work relationships.

Building and maintaining good working relationships will not only make you more engaged and committed to your organization; it can also open doors to key projects, career advancement, and raises. It creates a team that can succeed internally and externally.

And it creates an organization which has external and internal goodwill.

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