By Debra W. Gould, MS
Building positive workplace relationships is vital for career success. Relationships can positively or negatively affect your satisfaction with the job, your ability to advance and to gain recognition for your achievements. When you build positive relationships, you feel more comfortable with your interactions and less intimidated by others. You feel a closer bond to the people with whom you spend the majority of your time working. We are sharing these tips that will help you lay the foundation for positive work relationships. The good news is they are easy to implement--so start today.
1. Share more of yourself at meetings. One of the best ways to build relationships is to let others know who you are. This can come by sharing your expertise, knowledge and personality at meetings. Other people will either get to know you, like you or want to hear more from you. They will find you more approachable and thus the chance of building relationships begins to occur. If you are fearful to share at meetings, think ahead of time what you want to say so that you are more prepared.
2. Speak positively about the people you work with, especially to your boss. Get in the habit of speaking positively to others and providing quality feedback about the people you work with; don't fall into the trap of bonding over misery. Many times the information that gets shared (whether positive or negative) comes back to the person who is being discussed. People will enjoy hearing that you have said supportive things about them and will know that you are on their side. That will build trust.
3. Be supportive of other people's work. Ask how you can get involved. This will form a closer connection because you are working directly with them to help them meet their goals. They will appreciate your support and get to know you better, which is vital to creating a more connected working relationship.
4. Ask others to become involved in your projects or activities. Don't be afraid to ask others for help and bring them onto your projects. The more they can participate in the activities you are working on, the better you get to know each other. You'll enjoy working with others in getting more things done.
5. Write thank-you notes. Write notes of appreciation to the people who are doing exemplary work, making positive contributions and going above the call of duty. These notes can be handwritten, sent via email or left on voicemail. Send them to people above you, below you or at the peer level. Colleagues like to be appreciated and will feel closer to you by having been noticed and thanked for their contributions.
Debra W. Gould, MS is the president of Debra Gould & Associates, Inc. based in New Orleans and provides management consulting and training services to commercial and government clients. Debra is one of the founders of The Ebony Speakers and co-author of the book, Real Women, Real Issues - Positive Collaborations For Business Success. Debra can be reached at: (504) 244-6576,
email: firstname.lastname@example.org and
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