One of the most common complaints made to workplace HR departments is issues relating to interpersonal challenges.
Working with others may sound simple, but work relationships can be fraught with difficulties and differences so tough, you might fantasize about getting fired.
But you don’t have to suffer through bad relationships at work. In fact, there are several ways you can start building better bonds with your coworkers.
Use these tips to leave a positive impression in the workplace.
Offer Help Before It’s Needed
Regardless of your work environment or professional field, you play an important role. And doing the best you can in that role is key to building relationships at work.
One way to make the most of your role is to offer help to others before they ask for it. Being able to anticipate others’ needs builds trust and proves that you’re a team player.
Consider your skills and the unique function you have in your team, and look for ways to make yourself useful to others.
No one wants to work with a know-it-all. But someone who is eager to learn and listen is always welcome.
When building relationships in the workplace, stay open and curious. Ask questions, and resist the urge to talk more than you listen.
This skill will take you far with your coworkers, who will appreciate your open communication skills.
Mistakes are inevitable at work. And while messing up a report or losing an important client can be embarrassing, the best way to recover is by owning up to it.
Admit when you make mistakes, and show that you’re willing to receive feedback and make adjustments next time. Your team will admire your vulnerability and feel more comfortable sharing their mistakes with you too.
Don’t Shy Away From Small Talk
One of the best ways to build work relationships is to start with small talk.
While you may not associate water cooler conversations with meaningful relationship building, talking about topics not related to work helps to humanize you and the other person. You can see each other as more than just Becky from Marketing or John from IT.
It’s fine if you only start off talking about the weather, but try to eventually progress to other small talk, such as sharing a small detail about your family or your weekend plans.
Then, invite others to share too.
Stick to Your Commitments
Keeping your word at work will solidify your trustworthiness to your coworkers. And that’s why it’s essential to only agree to things that you can actually follow through with.
If a coworker asks for help on a project, be sure that you actually have the time and energy for it before saying yes.
Or if someone on your team invites you to a function outside of regular work hours, think over how it will affect your schedule and personal life before RSVPing.
Remember, it’s better to say no to things than say yes to things you can’t truly commit to.
Make Yourself Visible
If you want to connect more with others at your job, you must first make yourself visible and available for connection.
This may sound obvious, but being visible can be hard for introverts or those who tend to bury their faces in their work all day.
But overcoming the challenge of making yourself visible will be worth it when more coworkers come to you with questions or simply to chat.
To become more visible to others, don’t just hide in your cubicle. Speak up at meetings, greet people in the break room, and allow others the opportunity to get to know you.
This is one of many steps that are crucial when building employee relationships, but it requires some confidence. If you struggle to show up confidently at work, learn workplace skills to help you feel more comfortable and self-assured.
Appreciate Others’ Roles
You’ve learned about how important it is to speak up, make yourself visible, and offer help to others.
But there’s a fine line between demonstrating your value in the workplace and stepping on people’s toes.
It’s important to stay humble in the workplace and appreciate the roles others play. This shows that you understand that a team is made of multiple people who must cooperate with one another.
Appreciate the work others do and their unique contributions. And remember that they may not always do things exactly as you would, but their perspectives and ideas are just as valuable.
Avoid correcting others who have a different work style, and don’t place blame on them if goals aren’t met in your team.
Instead, work together to create new solutions, taking each person’s role into account.
83% of people suffer from work-related stress. That means that the majority of your coworkers are also struggling.
Being a positive influence at work will make you a breath of fresh air, helping you to build work relationships with those who want to de-stress.
And while you might be feeling frazzled and under pressure at work too, there are still ways to err on the side of positivity, not negativity.
Avoid complaining, especially when it isn’t productive to your work targets. Instead, when you see a problem, work to solve it, not dwell on it.
Similarly, avoid gossiping about other employees or managers. Bad-mouthing others may make you seem immature, petty, and untrustworthy.
Only stick to positive gossip, praising and speaking highly of others, even when they’re not around to hear.
Start Building Better Work Relationships
Poor relationships and interpersonal problems at work can add unnecessary stress to your professional life. And while you might not always get along with everyone, there are still ways to make the most of your work relationships.
Use these tips to start building positive relationships in the workplace so you and your team can thrive together.
For more ways to get ahead at work, check out our latest business articles!