5 Steps to Developing Positive Relationships at Work

Most of us spend at least 8 hours a day at work. That works out at 40 hours per week or 160 hours per month. That’s a lot of hours! So since most of our lives are spent at work, it’s pretty important to make the time worthwhile otherwise what’s the point, right? A great starting point is developing positive workplace relationships.

Studies have shown that developing positive relationships in the workplace is essential to our health and wellbeing in addition to manifesting a positive mindset. It gives us a sense of fulfilment whilst difficult relationships can manifest into a source of stress and angst. If you’re unhappy in the workplace and you think it might be due to your relationships with colleagues then it could be worth shifting gear and investing time in these relationships. By doing so, you will be able to turn over a new mindset and look forward to a fresh new week at work rather than dreading Mondays every week.

Building work relationships need to be intentional – you have to want to do it. For some of us it comes easy but for others, it can be challenging. So as a starting point, here are some tips that can help you to develop positive, meaningful relationships in your workplace.

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Surround yourself with positive people

We can’t control the people we encounter in life but we can limit the interaction that we have with the people that carry the negative energies. Bad company corrupts good character so it is important that we intentionally be with people that lift us up rather than tear us down.

Intentionally be with colleagues that are positive and supportive. This would help you increase your resiliency to stress. Together, you can be like a light that would bring the positive vibes to your team making the work environment better.

Be generous with compliments

There is this old proverb, which says: kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. Nothing beats a kind word or compliment in making someone feel valued. Therefore, always make it a culture at work to commend good job and give recognition to people where it is due.

Writing short thank you notes of appreciation can help in making someone feel valued and appreciated. A kind word always goes a long way so be generous with them, as long as they are authentic. Get creative in complimenting as well so as not to make it sound that you are just spewing out mere flattery. Make your compliments sincere and genuinely from the heart.

Provide quality feedback

If you want to give honest, quality feedback, the most important thing you can do is listen. 65% of employees want more feedback than they’re currently getting so use this as a time to really add some value to their work. If there are areas that you think can be improved or developed, don’t be shy in suggesting them. Employees appreciate honesty rather than a false sense of peace.

Feedback must be given right away preferably using the SBI (Situation-Behaviour-Impact) model. Using this feedback tool encourages effective feedback to be delivered. The receiver will also be able to understand exactly what needs to be changed in order to become better.

Stay away from gossip

Office gossip is a sure way of eliciting negativity in work relationships. When you feel that the conversation you are participating in is steering towards gossip already, be the one to initiate changing the subject or politely excuse yourself from the conversation. Gossip may seem fun and innocent at first but almost always, it tends to be destructive and can destroy relationships.

However, encouraging positive gossip can be great for companies and employees. Positive gossip can be about an individuals’ actions or ideas that are worth praising or commending and it can really encourage employees to feel proud of where they work, improving overall team morale. For example, Search Party uses a ‘Success Jar’ where employees can write down and nominate weekly successes to share on Friday afternoons with everyone and it always results in a full house of happy smiling faces.

Be excellent in the work you do

Work is a blessing. Sometimes what actually stresses us is not the work that we do, rather, it is the absence of purpose as to why we do it. If we understand the why, then we can definitely overcome the how. Excellence follows if we understand the reasons and if you work hard, regardless of how trivial a task is, recognition always comes in due time.

Developing positive and healthy relationships at work helps to make the environment at work more enjoyable. It helps enhance our physical and mental wellbeing and contributes to career progression. Be mindful of these tips when you next go into work, and you’ll notice a positive change in yourself, your colleagues and your office culture.

About our guest author: Kathy Amato is the Director of Marketing at Coggno, a website that aggregates online training courses and offers a free learning management system.

Emma Hart

Emma coordinates and creates content for Search Party and JobAdvisor's marketing activities. Originally from the UK, Emma studied Marketing Management in Newcastle and has a real passion for researching new trends and discovering exciting developments to share with the world. She is now an adopted Aussie, working in Search Party's Sydney office.

2 thoughts on “5 Steps to Developing Positive Relationships at Work

  1. pelvis kamukwamba says: October 11, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    great article

  2. Emma Hart says: October 13, 2016 at 2:50 pm

    Thanks. Glad you enjoyed.

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