Strengthening Work Relationships

Just like any relationship, you need to put in effort in order to maximize your relationship at work.  The most cliche thing that can be said about relationships: it is not a one-way street.  And this is true.  But, you can only control one way of that street.  So here are some simple ways to take control of your half of the relationship in order to strengthen those connections with colleagues:

  • Schedule a recurring touchbase.  Just throw it out on the calendar for 30 minutes every month.  This is a low commitment meeting that will allow you to stay current with one another and build a deeper connection
  • Ask questions.  When you see someone, ask them about their life.  What is going on in work?  What is going on at home?  People love to talk about themselves, so get them talking.  This will draw that person closer to you and vice versa, as you showed interest in their life
  • Be available to assist.  If one of your work relationships needs help our guidance, be there.  There is no better way to show your support of someone else than to help them out when they need you.  If you can’t help them on a problem, introduce them to someone who may be able to help.  Don’t just leave your contact hanging!
  • Share information.  When you see an interesting article that reminds you of someone, send it to them.  If you are working on a project you think has impact on their team, share what you can about the project.  Not only will this benefit your relationship, but it will also make the final product better due to having a well rounded perspective
  • Ask for their opinion.  By asking for someone’s opinion, you are telling them that you value their thoughts.  This will not be lost on that person in the future - they will remember that you wanted to hear their thoughts and respect what they do

As you can see from these ways to strengthen work relationships, they are all selfless.  They all involve giving something - time, assistance, or information. 

The more selfless you are in facilitating work relationships, the better off you, and your colleague, will be.

Thoughts Starters

  • How many work relationships are you able to successfully balance at a time?  Make sure not to stretch yourself too thin - be honest with yourself!
  • How can you make it easier to share information between colleagues in order to strengthen your work relationships?