Building strong workplace relationships is essential for a successful career. Having good relationships in the office means we can spend more time and energy focusing on work, rather than the drama of fixing a negative relationship or giving in to needless drama and gossip. When it comes to management, having a boss that trusts and likes you can give you a competitive advantage over other employees.
Humans are social creatures and we crave friendship and positive relationships. In fact, 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 receive praise for their hard work.
How to Build Strong Work Relationships
Develop People Skills
Good relationships begin with strong people skills. Learn what your soft skills are, such as how well you collaborate, communicate, or deal with conflict. Assessing your soft skills can give you the tools to deal with any weaknesses you may have.
Spend Time On Building Relationships
The work relationship can never grow if you don’t spend time cultivating it. Devote a few minutes every day toward relationship building. For example, you could get a cup of coffee with a co-worker, or you could ask someone to lunch once a week. Even short, five-minute interactions can help improve relationships.
Office politics and gossip can lead to trouble. If you have a conflict with someone you work with, it might quickly become an inappropriate workplace relationship. You should manage your boundaries properly, and you need to be assertive and speak directly with someone when a problem arises. You could cause mistrust and animosity to grow by gossiping with your co-workers, rather than confronting someone directly.
Try to be more positive toward your relationships at the office. Negativity is not what others want to be around. In your interactions with others, try to be positive and show your appreciation with every co-worker who helps you out. No matter who it is, they want to feel appreciated. This small gesture can help improve your outlook, resulting in more positive relationships.
Dating In the Workplace
What happens when the working relationship crosses professional lines and turns into something more? According to a Workplace Options survey, roughly 85 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds would consider having a romantic relationship with a co-worker, compared to just over 35 percent for 30 to 46-year-olds and about 30 percent of 47 to 66-year-olds.
Does the old adage about not dating co-workers, in the age of dating apps and proximity-driven matching services, still apply? As employees spend more of their time at the office, the temptation to start an office romance becomes stronger. It’s almost natural; these are the people you see every day, and you begin to get to know your co-workers on an intimate level. The shared experiences you have with others can cause you to pair up with someone you might not have considered your type outside of work. Because of the shared workspace, struggles, and successes, you might find a relationship at work beginning to bud.
Don’t Date Your Boss
Dating your boss or a supervisor can pose risks. Even if it is successful, you might ruin your other relationships with your co-workers, and they might accuse you of nepotism. It can quickly turn into an inappropriate work relationship if the proper rules and protocols are not put in place. To avoid an awkward situation and any conflicts, one of the partners might need to transfer to another part of the organization.