Once upon a time, on a meeting with a project manager, she asked:
‘Yes, but how about you? How have you been besides work?’
I was so surprised that it took me a minute to realize what she was actually asking and respond accordingly.
On our weekly meetings, I always talked about my work progress, my suggestions for the upcoming week, my goals and all sorts of business stuff. But it never occurred to me that this person on the other side of the world wanted to know how I have been- besides work.
My work spirits were lifted.
Good work relationships start with good people skills and good work ethics.
Which is great news because that’s an acquired flair that we can all master sooner or later.
It boosts employee morale hence making everyone more productive and happy at their workplace. When problems occur it’s easier to maintain a positive attitude and a can-do viewpoint. If you feel that you are surrounded by people who got your back anything is possible.
How to develop strong work relationships.
- Chose a team or company of like-minded people.
No matter the conditions, your position in a company or the field of your work, it’s always, always possible to choose who you work with. Jobs are not always a walk in the park but if you can prioritize one thing, make it be choosing the team that you work with.
If you are just starting out, apply to companies with values similar to yours. Realistically speaking you will not succeed in a job or corporation that is not on the same page with you so don’t invest your time and energy in something that doesn’t fulfill you.
If you have already established a career and climbed on the hierarchy ladder, hire people that share the same visions and you can trust with the future of your brand without having to micro-manage every little bit.
If you are a freelancer, take on projects with people that excite you. In the long run, this will be more beneficial to you than a big fat paycheck, as it has the potential to grow and turn into something substantial and long term.
Not in a selfless way. But in a way where you lead by example and help others grow by offering to step in and help if and when needed. It’s teamwork that I’m talking about and that always pays off. Strong work ethics build strong work relationships. Ask questions, speak up, and word your point of view. Sometimes the only way to find our blind spots in the business world is to bring on a second pair of eyes. Be that pair of eyes for your teammates and help them reach their goals. Most people will return the favor when needed. Then you’ve made work-friends for life. The rest is simply not a part of your dream team.
See the person behind the suit.
Every once in a while stop, take a step back and consider the fact that underneath our business suits we are all human beings. You don’t have to be best friends with your colleagues but mutual respect is a must to move forward. Be respectful of their individuality and allow room for diversity in the way things are handled. We all have different ways to deal with certain situations and as long as that doesn’t go against any major company policies, it’s perfectly ok to give people a chance to try doing things in their own unique way.
Show genuine interest.
…which takes me back to point one: chose to work with like-minded people. Because if you end up working with people you don’t really like, there’s no way to create genuine interest within your team.
Last but not least, make sure you have set your boundaries and stay true to your values, no matter what. Otherwise, you will feel bitter and unappreciated hence less productive and less likely to respond to any given work challenge.
Career advancement relies heavily on human relationships so it’s definitely worth a mindful effort to develop those skills and build healthy and strong work relationships as a tool that will better the quality of everyone’s lives.
This is how we change the world, one step at a time.
Until the next one,