5 Tips For Better Relationships With Co-workers

If you go to work every day, you want it to be enjoyable right! According to Gallup those with a work best friend are more likely to be fully engaged in their work (http://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/24883/what-workplace-buddies-worth.aspx). Anyone who already has a work best friend knows just how important it is. If you’re not that lucky, don’t worry because even a solid work friend is enough to improve your work satisfaction. If there isn’t anyone in work that you consider a friend, maybe you feel their energy just isnt the same as yours and you are not drawn to them. Maybe the conversations are not ‘your thing or style’ and it puts you off getting involved in a chat with them. By digging a little deeper though you may just find a hidden energy behind the ‘work face’ that really does resonate with you! Who wouldn’t want to have fun at work like Jim and Pam managed during The Office? We’re social creatures so it would make sense that we’d want to make friends and experience positive interactions with the people we spend the majority of our time with. But this is not always the case and often there is no one at the office we resonate with enough to be friends with, or so we think. Employers should actively encourage healthy interaction because it boosts productivity too. Of course, building friendships is also healthier than seeing competition everywhere around you which is likely to fuel stress and anxiety and is an unhealthy way to spend a greater part of your day! Here are 5 tips to help you forge better relationships with your co-workers:

  1. Honest Communicator

If you want to build real relationships with the people you work with then be open and honest. Work doesn’t have to just be somewhere you show up to get that paycheck, you spend a lot of time there and it’s a great opportunity to make social relationships. So, just like in any relationship you should be able to communicate honestly. You’ll get to know them better and have a greater understanding of how they operate.

  1. Likeability

If that open and honest communication isn’t enough to break the ice it sure does help if you’re likable. What you shouldn’t do is dismiss someone who doesn’t seem interested in building a social relationship – that doesn’t make them less valuable in the working environment. You may find that it fuels a negative interaction and that can hurt your performance and the company, too. So, if someone rejects your offer of friendship treat them just as you did before and make sure you always keep them in the loop.

  1. Observational

Understanding the company culture can help you decide how to approach the social aspect of the office. If you aren’t sure whether dinner or drinks after work is pushing too hard suggest you grab lunch together instead. See how it goes and extend it from there

  1. Common Interests

It might feel awkward when you’re trying to get to know someone, especially if they’re a complete stranger or you’re trying to break down the walls of someone you only know in a work environment. Well, everyone you know was a stranger at some stage so don’t let that put you off. Find common ground to break the ice – if you’re both pet owners then you have an in, perhaps you’re both obsessed with the same show, or attended the same schools. Commonalities are a great place to start building the foundations of friendship.

  1. Aim High or Aim Low

If you’re in a management position it may be difficult for you to try to build friendships with those you outrank, equally, it would be difficult for you to forge a relationship with someone who is in a position of power over you. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t and it certainly doesn’t mean you should aim to build relationships with co-workers of a similar status. It may depend on the company and the culture, but you’re all just people at the end of the day. You can do yourself a lot of favors in the workplace by valuing everyone in the office equally and showing that you’re interested in others and what they have to offer. There will be those you hit it off with more than others, just don’t give into the temptation of writing off the people you don’t spark with. Every person has their unique qualities and if you can be curious, then it can actually be a lot of fun. Asking questions about the other person is far more inviting than simply just talking about yourself. It will give the other people in the office the opportunity to let you know a little bit about them and let’s face it, we all like talking about ourselves! You just never know who will actually turn out to be a great friend!

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