Would you like to improve your relationships with your coworkers? It is possible to do so, whether you’d like to strengthen already existent ties or if you’re new to the job and just finding your footing.
You spend a large percentage of your adult life at work (about 35 percent of your total waking hours, in fact.) So, it’s a good idea to try to enjoy your work life as much as possible.
Your relationships with your coworkers can make this a lot easier or a lot more difficult. Having friends at work comes with a lot of benefits. But, dealing with negative or otherwise difficult people, day after day, can really take a toll. If you’d like to improve your relationship with your coworkers, there are some things you can try.
1. Read body language
One of the keys to building strong relationships is to read the signals others send. Attempting to chat up a coworker when they’re frazzled and trying to meet a deadline isn’t going to be very effective. So, pay attention to what you’re coworker’s body language is telling you before you engage and during all interactions.
This will help you to know when they’d rather be left alone or when a topic of conversation isn’t the best fit. You can also learn what kinds of things your coworkers do enjoy talking about. Reading body language will help you to lean into those kinds of conversations as they arise.
2. Send the right signals
You should also be mindful of the cues you’re sending to others through your own body language. If you’re standing with your arms folded across your chest and with your face turned down toward the floor, for example, you’ll probably seem pretty unapproachable. Instead, try sending signals that show you are trustworthy and happy. Smile, use sincere eye contact, and stand with an open and relaxed posture. This will help draw others toward you, rather than signaling that you want them to stay away.
3. Ask questions
People like to know that you’re curious about them. Rather than simply sharing a lot of information about yourself with your coworkers, in an effort to get to know each other better, remember to ask them about themselves too.
Be mindful not to overstep. But, demonstrating that you are authentically curious about someone and would like to get to know them more can really go a long way. People love to talk about themselves. So, try being a really good listener and see what happens.
4. Do your job
Your relationships with people at work will only go so far if you aren’t a great team member. You have to do an excellent job with your work in order to build strong ties with coworkers. If others are constantly picking up your slack, or if you’re asking for help with the same kinds of tasks over and over again, your coworkers are going to feel frustrated with you and generally turned off. So, do an excellent job at work. Consider it a prerequisite for building strong relationships with your coworkers.
5. Be willing to help
Similarly, it will benefit your relationships with your coworkers if you demonstrate a sincere willingness to help them with their work from time to time. So, don’t grumble and moan if someone asks you a question.
We all need a little help once in a while. Be willing to give your time and energy patiently and in an encouraging way. If someone asks you for a little help, do so if you can. Workers who only focus on their own agenda without considering others don’t come across as team players. And that doesn’t help them to build strong relationships at work.
6. Don’t engage in gossip or drama
Sometimes it can be tempting to engage in office gossip in an effort to bond with coworkers. But these kinds of interactions can really backfire. If you want to build stronger relationships with the people you work with, take the high road when these kinds of circumstances arise.
Everyone knows that if you’re willing to badmouth someone else in a whispered tone you’d also do the same to them. Engaging in these kinds of conversations damages trust, and they could hurt your professional reputation. So, steer clear.
7. Be positive
Finally, keep in mind that people like to spend time with those who are positive and fun to be around. If you’re constantly complaining, it will push others away. You want to build people up, and raise the energy of those around you. This will encourage others to want to spend time with you because they’ll remember that they feel good when they do.
If you’re constantly complaining, or otherwise being negative, you’ll have an opposite effect on others. So, stay positive and try to enjoy yourself at work. That will help everyone else to follow suit. And, it will help you to strengthen your relationships with your coworkers.
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