Play Well with Others: 5 Ways to Cultivate Good Work Relationships
In this age of networking, team building and shared workspaces, good working relationships are more important than ever. We looked at recommendations from workplace management experts and compiled five tips that will make your job more enjoyable and productive–and lead to contacts that can help you build a successful career.
Pitch In Before You Are Asked
According to Inc. magazine, you can build extraordinary relationships at work and in life by volunteering to help before you are asked. Moreover, offer to help in specific ways, not just ask a general question like, “Is there anything I can do?” The lesson: When you make concrete suggestions, such as helping with a database or taking on a writing assignment, you can make a real difference in your co-workers lives, which will be appreciated and remembered.
Know When Enough Is Enough
Inc. also reminds us that charismatic people are a lot of fun… until they aren’t. Know when it’s time to stop expressing your individuality and sense of humor, especially when there is a challenge or stressful situation at work. As Inc. notes: “People who build great relationships know when to have fun and when to be serious, when to be over the top and when to be invisible, and when to take charge and when to follow.”
Solutions Not Criticisms
The career management experts at The Balance Careers, recommend bringing solutions not problems to meetings. We all know co-workers who spend time identifying problems but don’t put thought into helpful solutions. It’s easy to be critical but finding ways to improve projects will earn you real respect from your co-workers–and your boss.
Skip the Blame Game
The Balance Careers also reminds us that blaming others for failures–and throwing them under the bus–will earn you enemies. These enemies will unite and help you fail–and that’s not the path to success. Also remember that nonverbal communications matter. Yelling or talking down to co-workers or employees is never OK but we sometimes forget that visual cues like eye rolling send a message that you don’t respect the people who work with you.
And if you make a mistake or hurt someone’s feelings, apologize before you are asked.
Keep Your Commitments and Share Accomplishments
Small Business Chron also points out that that “trust, teamwork, communication and respect are keys to effective working relationships.” That includes keeping your commitments and sharing successes. We know we look bad when we miss a deadline or don’t complete a project. However, when we miss deadlines and commitments, we also negatively impact our co-workers–and that is a certain path to poor working relationships. If you know you will miss a deadline, be sure to tell your teammates and boss in advance. And if you have too much on your plate, speak up.
In addition, whenever you complete a project, share credit and say thank you. Recognizing the people who helped you to the finish line is a great way to build great work relationships.