Professional Development Work Relationships

6 Tips for Building Better Work Relationships

Written by Joanna Hughes

Better work relations can make going to work a pleasurable experience no matter where you are in your current career path. Even if you already love the job that you do, improving the relationships with others around you will increase both your personal and professional level of fulfillment. These six tips will help you in building better work relationships.

1. Positive Body Language

Smile, stand up straight, and look people in the eye. Show interest and be engaged when you are communicating with others instead of simultaneously checking your email when they are talking to you. According to psychologist Albert Mehrabian, 93% of our communication is non-verbal, so make sure that you display a friendly demeanor and have approachable body language.

2. Socialize

Socializing doesn’t have to mean going to happy hour every Friday with your coworkers, but you do need to participate in company events. Take your boss up on that lunch invitation, even if it means you will be working a little bit later that day. Being an active participant shows interest and investment in your company.

3. Be Helpful to Everyone

Pleasing your boss and clients are important, but extending yourself beyond your department is also an important part of building work relationships outside your current network. If you have a slow day, reach out to someone in another department that you don’t come in day to day contact with to see if they could use your help.

4. Avoid Gossip

Avoiding bad habits is just as important as having good ones. Do not partake in activities that revolve around negative comments and behaviors towards others. Spreading rumors is unkind and will also give you a reputation as untrustworthy, making it difficult to build relationships.

5. Be Honest

Honesty is the foundation of any good relationship including ones with your coworkers, supervisors, and clients. Inevitably you will be asked to perform a task you don’t know how to do. Just make sure you tell your client or supervisor that you will research it and get back to them, but don’t give them information that is not correct. If you cannot make a deadline, then always be upfront instead of making promises you know will be almost impossible for you to follow through on. You will gain a lot of respect from others if you are an honest person they can depend on.

6. Be Gracious

Carry out all of your tasks graciously. Asking someone for help on something can be a difficult thing for many people. When someone reaches out to you, and you agree to assist them, do so graciously. If you have a negative attitude towards helping someone, they will pick up on it. It will not only make them sorry that they reached out to you, but it will also steer others away from you.

Final Thoughts

Building better work relationships is a balance between verbal and non-verbal communication that requires you to invest your time in yourself and others. According to Anthony Robbins, “The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.” The investment you make will give you and others around you tons of personal fulfillment, besides creating a reputation for yourself that makes your coworkers, clients, and supervisors come to you for anything they need.

About the author

Joanna Hughes

Joanna Hughes is a freelance writer who specializes in business, human resources and the job market. She lives with her family in the beautiful White Mountains region of New Hampshire.