Showing you mean business when developing positive relationships with colleagues.
Family and friends may mean the world to you, but what about your colleagues? The likelihood is you spend a significant number of waking hours in their company, so nine-to-five relationships are also important. Nurture them and everyone will reap the rewards.
Easy ways to work together
One little gesture can have a big impact – a friendly smile. Colleagues are going to notice the cheery soul who says hello and this warmth can be infectious. Smiles will be returned, quick chats will follow and before long you’ll be deep in conversation during a coffee or lunch break. It can be wise to steer clear of religion, politics and office gossip.
Not everyone gels at work, or has the same viewpoint, but differences can be overcome. And a team made up of individuals, each with different skills and experiences, is often the most effective. Although you may not see eye to eye, respect other people’s opinions, learn from their knowledge and they, in return, will respect you.
Honesty and integrity are key factors when it comes to building trust. Colleagues need to feel assured that confidential information is not shared with the entire office. Always encourage open communication, be sincere and make sure your actions mark your words. Let others know they can rely on you. Don’t let them down.
When deadlines have to be met, budgets achieved and there never seems to be a spare minute in the day, basic values and courtesy can be pushed to one side. However, when the going gets tough, that’s when everyone needs to rally round. Always remember to thank people for their help, praise a job that’s been well done, and do your bit to keep morale high.
Collaborate and listen
When collaboration is needed, allow everyone the chance to have their say and share their ideas. Those with smaller voices have a right to speak and it’s respectful to listen. Speaking of which, if a colleague asks for your advice or help, always lend an ear. You never know when you’ll need a similar favour.
Deal with difficulties
Awkward situations are inevitable, but watch how you react. Keep calm, even if others are having a rant. Agree to disagree but aim to resolve the issue. Don’t let discontent fester. Get all relevant parties involved, ask for senior support if necessary, and resolve the situation. Only then can you move on.
Give constructive feedback
While you may complain about a sibling not keeping in touch, whinging about workmates, especially to other colleagues, is not on. If you have a criticism about someone, let them know and give this feedback constructively. Don’t just highlight problems, suggest suitable solutions too, remembering that action points need to be realistic and manageable.
Before you jump to any conclusions about why a colleague declines to join you on a night out, be aware that other things may be going on in their life to which you are not privy. Not everyone wishes to share personal details with workmates, so be mindful that you don’t dismiss them as being unsociable. Continue being friendly and see what happens.
This article was originally published in Issue 14 – Embrace the Positive