Since most of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, it is fair to assume that work relationships are extremely important for various reasons. First, humans are relational, in general, by nature. Lone wolves rarely survive. We need each other physically and emotionally.
In the business world, this extends to our success on the job. Regardless of how well we think we can do alone, we can do better if we have good, healthy work relationships. Not only will this make being at work more enjoyable, but it can make us more productive as well.
Why this is True
How can relationships at work affect your success at work? Recognizing that most companies have a team culture these day, we need to be able to work in a team. When you are forced to work with others, rather than on your own, good relationships will reduce the amount of friction and help projects go more smoothly.
Also, we all work better when we are happier. A good relationship with those we are with on a daily basis enhances mood.
So What is a “Good” Relationship
The terms are the same whether the relationship in at work or outside of work. A good relationship consists of:
- Mutual respect
These things take time to build, but very little time to tear down. Work daily to build them stronger and avoid destruction.
How do you do that?
First realize it is an ongoing process. Relationship building never stops. You are building trust, communication, and mutual respect day to day, meeting to meeting, and project to project. It doesn’t end.
Next, look for your own weaknesses. Determine how you can work to strengthen them, and recognize where others hold strengths that counteract those weaknesses. That will help you see how you need others to be successful, and will give you a starting point for building on their strengths.
Then look for your strengths and how you can use them to help shore up the weak area of others. When working together, your strengths and weaknesses should fit together like a puzzle to build up the whole picture.
Acceptance of your weakness, being willing to let others build where you can’t, and humble willingness to use your strong points for the good of the team is a great basis for building work relationships.
Outside of the office, make networking a priority. Look for those outside of your company that you can help, and that can help you, in your career.
Last, keep in all in perspective. This is where communication and respect comes in. You have to be able to see all view points before any of this works. If you are follower by nature you may not struggle with this, but leaders often do. Step back and try to see the big picture so you know what you are working toward.