Good relationships start with good people skills. Take our How Good Are Your People Skills? Add to My Personal Learning Plan quiz to find out how well you score with “soft skills” such as collaboration, communication and conflict resolution. This self-test will point you to tools that will help you deal with any weaknesses that you have.
Look at your own relationship needs. Do you know what you need from others? And do you know what they need from you? Understanding these needs can be instrumental in building better relationships.
Devote a portion of your day toward relationship building, even if it’s just 20 minutes, perhaps broken up into five-minute segments. For example, you could pop into someone’s office during lunch, reply to people’s postings on Twitter Add to My Personal Learning Plan or LinkedIn Add to My Personal Learning Plan, or ask a colleague out for a quick cup of coffee. These little interactions help build the foundation of a good relationship, especially if they’re face-to-face.
Also, spend time developing your emotional intelligence Add to My Personal Learning Plan (EI). Among other things, this is your ability to recognize your own emotions, and clearly understand what they’re telling you. High EI also helps you to understand the emotions and needs of others.
Show your appreciation whenever someone helps you. Everyone, from your boss to the office cleaner, wants to feel that their work is appreciated. So, genuinely compliment the people around you when they do something well. This will open the door to great work relationships.
Focus on being positive Add to My Personal Learning Plan. Positivity is attractive and contagious, and it will help strengthen your relationships with your colleagues. No one wants to be around someone who’s negative all the time.
Make sure that you set and manage boundaries Add to My Personal Learning Plan properly – all of us want to have friends at work, but, occasionally, a friendship can start to impact our jobs, especially when a friend or colleague begins to monopolize our time.
Don’t gossip – office politics Add to My Personal Learning Plan and “gossip” are major relationship killers at work. If you’re experiencing conflict with someone in your group, talk to them directly about the problem. Gossiping about the situation with other colleagues will only exacerbate the situation, and will cause mistrust and animosity between you.
Practice active listening Add to My Personal Learning Plan when you talk to your customers and colleagues. People respond to those who truly listen to what they have to say. Focus on listening more than you talk, and you’ll quickly become known as someone who can be trusted.
Building and maintain 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. Start by identifying the key stakeholders in your organization. These people, as well as your clients and customers, deserve extra time and attention.
Then, devote a portion of your day to laying the foundation of good relationships. Even five minutes a day, if it’s genuine, can help to build a bond between you and a colleague. Be honest, avoid gossip, and try to compliment people on a job well done. After all, the more you give in your relationships, the more you’ll get back from those around you!