7 Tips for Building Positive Work Relationships

Are your relationships at work a source of support or of stress? Are they both?

If you’ve been a subscriber to our Wellness tips for any length of time, you’ll be aware that building our wellbeing is not a purely individual pursuit. It’s strongly influenced by our relationships with other people. This is particularly true for work relationships. They not only affect our physical and mental wellbeing, but also our job satisfaction and even our career success!

So if you want to be happy and healthy at work, it’s crucial to try to have positive relationships at work. This doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends – or even friends at all – but it does mean it’s worth putting some effort into getting along well with the people you work with. Here are seven ways you can do just that…

7 Tips for Building Positive Work Relationships

We often like to see ourselves as independent individuals but time and time again research shows that we are incredibly interconnected. Positive relationships are crucial to our wellbeing.

As we all know, happy relationships are a central source of happiness and fulfilment. Equally, difficult relationships can become a major source of angst.

Given the huge proportion of time spent at work, work relationships play a significant role in your wellbeing. How well you get along with the people you work with can make all the difference between dreading your Monday morning commute and looking forward to starting a new week.

Here are 7 tips to help you build positive relationships with the people you work with…

1 – Cultivate relationships with positive, supportive people.  Try to connect with colleagues who are positive and supportive. This will help you both to be more resilient to stress. While you can’t always avoid negative or unsupportive individuals, you can limit the how much time you spend, and the depth of relationship you develop with them.

2 – Check your personal baggage at the door.  If you had a fight with your spouse last night or are worried about your finances, work is not a great place to talk extensively about it.  While you may have sympathetic coworkers, bringing your personal issues into the workplace can make people uncomfortable and affect your relationships.

3 – Don’t gossip.  It may seem entertaining and innocent in the moment, but it’s almost always destructive. If you want others to trust and respect you, don’t participate in gossip.  If someone starts gossiping, try to change the subject or politely excuse yourself from the conversation.

4 – Do your job well.  People who don’t do their job well, or who let others pick up the slack, are typically respected less by their colleagues. If you want others to value and respect you, try to go above and beyond what is expected and look for ways to assist others.

5 – Choose a positive attitude.  As cliché as it may sound, a positive attitude goes a long way in the workplace. Research shows that moods are contagious, whether positive or negative. To build good relationships, try to limit complaining. People will be more attracted to you if your style is positive and upbeat.

6 – Don’t let conflicts fester.  If there’s a conflict brewing with someone, nip it in the bud by taking the initiative to resolve it.  Be straightforward and courteous, and always address the issue in private.  Be open to hearing the other person’s perspective. Take responsibility for your part in the conflict, and apologise if appropriate.

7 – Be accepting of differences.  The more accepting you are of people being themselves, the more likely they will accept you as you are, and the healthier your relationships will be.

Positive, healthy work relationships can make your job more enjoyable and less stressful. They can enhance your wellbeing both physically and mentally. They can even also help you be more successful in your career. That would make them worth the effort, wouldn’t you agree?

What can you do today to build positive relationships at work?