Having good work relationships with your colleagues can make your job more enjoyable and help you to be more productive.
Building rapport and connecting with colleagues is an essential part of working in a team. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and widen your social circle. But it’s not always easy – especially if you’ve just started a new job. Here are six ways to building good work relationships.
1. Use small talk as an icebreaker
Whether you’re new to the company or struggling to build relationships with colleagues, small talk is a great way to find out more about your co-workers. For example, asking someone about their weekend or upcoming holiday plans can reveal more about who they are and what they like. It’s also a good way to demonstrate that you’re interested in them and what makes them tick. All relationships have a starting point and small talk is an entry point for building valuable relationships.
2. Show you’re trustworthy and dependable
We all want co-workers who are trustworthy and dependable. Make sure you do what you say you will if you want to build good work relationships. Your colleagues are more likely to invest in you and include you in events outside of work if they respect you. Take care to follow through on your commitments, to deliver your work on time, and be willing to reach out to help others.
3. Create opportunities to connect
Creating opportunities to connect with your colleagues can be as simple as organising coffee at a nearby café or a group lunch. Orchestrating these opportunities will provide you with a chance to connect with colleagues. Often, we discover that we have more in common with our colleagues than we first thought, if we take the time to find out more about them. Doing it outside the workplace also provides a less formal setting to chat.
4. Step outside of your comfort zone
At work, we often end up bonding with a small group of colleagues or focusing on those we work directly with. That’s why it’s important to step outside of your comfort zone and commit to building relationships with colleagues that you don’t know so well. Challenge yourself by sitting somewhere different in the office – or introduce yourself to colleagues you don’t know. Whilst it may feel awkward, most people appreciate when others take the time to connect.
5. Remember you are part of a team
Unless you’re working completely autonomously, remind yourself that you are part of a team. Sometimes we get so caught up in the daily grind that we forget there’s a bigger picture. Remember that you are part of a bigger operation that only works if you’re collaborating by working alongside each other and not in isolation. You can work on this by making sure to back up team members with support when they need it, offer to help if they’re struggling and ask for feedback on your own work.
6. Show your gratitude
Showing that you appreciate your colleagues is an integral part of fostering good work relationships. It might be a follow up note after you’ve met for a coffee with a colleague – or perhaps it’s a thank you card to someone who’s helped you out. Expressing gratitude ensures your colleagues know you value them.
Getting along with our co-workers and building good working relationships are an essential part of contributing to a workplace that thrives. We all need a reminder from time to time, to step outside of our comfort zone, and get to know those co-workers with whom we haven’t quite connected. By familiarising yourself with the five key steps outlined above, you’ll be able to supercharge your work relationships and create opportunities to connect.