Creating relationships at work is important. It helps develop your career, build trust, and work more effectively. And, it’s a heck of a lot more fun!
This is especially true for those in management. As a manager, you’re looking for both compliance and commitment. When people come to work because you pay them, you’ve only got one of the two. Commitment is where the real magic happens – people are passionate about working on your team and want to go above and beyond the call of duty.
Making the Connection
Building relationships in the workplace is often easier said than done — with the exception of maybe those born with a gift for gab. For them, it’s usually no problem. The rest can find it a bit of a struggle.
Whether you’re managing a department or preparing reports, there are a number of ways to build strong, worthwhile relationships with the people you work with, and here’s a good place to start:
1. Listen up
You’d be surprised at how much you can learn about your colleagues — not to mention how comfortable they’ll feel around you — when you actively listen and observe. Let’s say you notice a new picture on someone’s desk. A simple question about it can lead to a great conversation.
2. Tone it down
There’s a lot to be said for humility. Muster up the courage to own mistakes, admit when you’re wrong, and ask for help when necessary. In other words, be vulnerable. It makes you human. And if you’re leading a team, by all means please remember that the team’s success isn’t your moment to shine. It’s an opportunity to thank them for their contributions.
3. Show interest
Get to know what other people are into, and when you do find someone with a shared passion, take it as an opportunity to bond. From then on, you’ll always have something to talk about with someone in the workplace. Besides, showing an interest in others is just the right thing to do.
4. Make the time
If you’re the last one in and the first one out the door, you’re not just sending a message to your employer. You’re sending a message to the rest of the team, and that message is: You’ve got better things to do. You need to be present if you want to form any sort of relationship with your coworkers. If there’s a happy hour after work, swing by for a drink — or an app, at least. If a few people are heading out to lunch, ask if you can tag along. Take advantage of every opportunity to connect with the people at work.
5. Be inclusive
It’s one thing to develop relationships with your peers. It’s another when you develop relationships with everyone around you. Your manager deserves just as much of your attention as that summer intern or part-time employee. Make an effort to connect with everybody. It’ll create a richer work experience for you. Plus, your mutual respect for those in the office may inspire others to follow suit, and now everyone is on an even playing field.
6. Keep it authentic
Most people can tell when you’re blowing smoke up their you-know-where. With every interaction, make sure to treat others as you’d want to be treated. Better yet, challenge yourself to learn something new about someone in your workplace each day for a week, a month, a year. And be genuine about your interest. Everyone is human and deserving of respect. Give it to them, and they’ll return the favor in kind.
If you’d like to learn more about building meaningful relationships in the workplace, or would like more information about building a strong team, please let us know. We’re here to help with all your talent and employment needs.