Meaningful work relationships can make or break the culture of a professional organization.
On the one hand, if you are surrounded by people with whom you do not feel trusted, valued, or respected or that you do not trust, value, or respect, it makes for a highly contentious work environment. It limits your team’s productivity, your ability to take risks, and your overall job satisfaction which can have an impact on all aspects of your life.
Meaningful work relationships, however, do the exact opposite, and helps you be a highly effective leader.
Many companies work hard to build positive, meaningful relationships among team members. However, truly building meaningful relationships, starts with you.
You have control over your actions, words, and attitude. Therefore, you are a key component in building meaningful relationships with those whom you work and creating a more positive work experience for yourself.
- Take the time to get to know the people with whom you work. Ask about their families, hobbies, and interests outside of work. Talk to them about your own family, hobbies, and interests.
- Create opportunities to get to know people outside of work. Does someone you work with play in a band or play on a sports team outside of work? Take the time to watch a show or game—or even get involved yourself.
- Go out for lunch with people that you work with and partake in a non-working lunch. Take the time to get to know them. Find out about the journey that led them to where they are now. Figure out what makes them feel valued and respected.
- Take the time to figure out your own emotional intelligence. When you feel stressed, angry, or frustrated in the office, pause, manage your own emotions, and figure out why you feel that way. Utilize your understanding of yourself to recognize the emotional responses and triggers of those with whom you work and apply that knowledge to foster a more meaningful relationship.
- Figure out your own boundaries. When you learn why you feel frustrated by the actions of others or why something someone else has done has impacted the trust you feel towards them, you can improve your understanding of the boundaries of others.
Avoid Damaging Interactions
- Office gossip and rash behaviours are always damaging to relationships. Avoid those interactions that harbour distrust and disloyalty among people you work closely with.
- Instead, lead with professionalism, empathy, and understanding. Even the most uncomfortable conversations (dealing with a mistake someone made or possibly having to demote or fire someone from your team), can end with a relationship of trust and respect still intact if handled with care.