Develop Valuable Workplace Relationships
Close, supportive workplace relationships are important to your career success. Many employees are unaware of this fact. They may think these relationships are wonderful for both professional and personal reasons, yet they still don’t understand the real value to their careers.
The acceptance, support, and recognition you receive from peers, subordinates, and supervisors have a huge effect on your current and future workplace experiences. The cynical people might maintain that this theory is based on office politics and therefore not real. If you haven’t had to face office politics, please be aware that it does exist in most companies. You will most likely be challenged by this issue in the future.
However, strong workplace relationships have little relation to the superficial nature of office politics. These are honest, sincere, and genuine relationships, just as you might have with your family, friends and loved ones. They are based on substance, not perception. They are based on sincerity, not a "how to get ahead” mentality. This is precisely why they are so important and valuable.
Consider this scenario. Two co-workers, one you like and respect and another about whom you have neutral or negative opinions, are being considered for promotions. If asked for your opinion, who would you recommend, and why? Your choice would be rather simple and based on much more than office politics. People support people they like, respect, admire, and display traits and behaviour that is deserving of this affection and admiration.
Five Ways to Develop Strong Relationships
1. Never blame anyone, including yourself. Be aware that playing the blame game will alienate everyone, including peers, subordinates, and management. Avoid this behaviour at all costs. Never has a win-win situation resulted from allocating blame, warranted or not. You will create enemies, not friends.
2. Offer solutions, don't just identify problems. Identifying problems is important. However, those who only point out problems while never offering thoughtful solutions also alienate those around them. Your newly created enemies will only hurt your chances for career advancement and valuable relationships.
3. Be aware of, and careful with, all your communications, including body language. This suggestion is more subtle than the prior recommendations, yet no less important. Using sarcasm, talking down to peers and subordinates, or giving nasty responses to questions, all serve to undermine the respect you should always offer. Offering consistent respect will help you become the recipient of consistent respect.
4. Always keep commitments and meet deadlines. If you are one of those rare workers who functions as a one-person department, you should already be aware of the importance of meeting commitments and deadlines. However, as part of a team, keeping commitments is an even more critical duty. Most work responsibilities are totally interrelated to numerous other functions. Hence should you miss a deadline, one or more other individuals or teams will also be unable to keep their commitments, as they wait for your output. Meeting your commitments and deadlines offers a strong display of your concern for co-workers as well as your dependability.
5. Willingly share credit for all accomplishments. This is the easiest—and sometimes the most important—behaviour that builds valuable relationships at work. This is not an empty or political exercise. How many times have you actually achieved a goal or objective without some help from co-workers? Sharing credit with your peers is almost guaranteed to strengthen workplace relationships in every setting. You don’t even need to spend practice time on major behavioural changes and habits. Just be sure to publicly share credit with those peers who helped you achieve.
Realizing the importance of workplace relationships, you should try to make the most positive impression possible. There are no negatives associated with building these relationships: it’s not difficult, it improves your job satisfaction, and enhances your performance. The benefits are wonderful and quite valuable.