4 Key Ingredients to a Solid Working Relationship
Relationships have never been a cakewalk, but they're worth the time and effort you put into them--when you do it right. Relationships with your coworkers have a huge impact on your organizational influence, and they can help you make business better. It might seem like we don't have to invest in good relationships at work anymore, especially for teams who work remotely thanks to the flexibility that technology provides many employees, but that simply isn't the case.
There isn't really a magic formula to make a relationship perfect (and there is no such thing as a perfect relationship), but there are some critical pieces that require you to put in a little work.
Think of someone new you've encountered recently in your day-to-day interactions--maybe it's a new team member or vendor rep--or think of someone you used to have a close relationship with, but maybe that relationship isn't as solid today as it has been in the past. How could you apply these key ingredients to those relationships to build a foundation for success, or renew a rusty relationship?
How we spend our time impacts others more than we think...how much time have you spent with that person lately? And how much of your time have you spent on things that will benefit both of you in some way? Are they working on a project you know a lot about? Find some face-to-face time with this person at some point--even if it's just stopping by their office for a quick hello or check in.
2. Unconditional Positive Regard (UPR)
The gist of UPR is that you "accept and respect others as they are, without judgement or evaluation." A natural inclination for most of us, right? There are some people (or pets) in our lives who have our unconditional positive regard (unconditional love) with very little effort...and for others, we really have to work at it. And that's ok. If you have trouble buying into the mentality that everyone is a valuable human being, then think about unconditional positive regard as a selfish act--have unconditional positive regard for others for your own sake. Sounds weird, right? The bottom line is, you'll be happier once you let go of the judgment and stop scheming up ulterior motives for why that person behaves the way they do. There are better uses for your time and energy, and you're only going to get more frustrated with that individual.
The most important part about communication is putting aside what you want, or what you think the other person should want, out of the conversation, and just hearing them out. Have you ever walked away from a conversation where you just didn't feel heard? Like the other person didn't get it? Nothing can tell this story quite like one of our favorite videos--you might have seen it before if you've attended one of our communication sessions, but we think it gets the point across pretty well.
This one goes without saying, but it's easy to go without doing, even with the best intentions. A couple minutes of gossip, or even a few swear words, can go a long way in destroying your credibility and relationships in the office--it might seem harmless, but if you'll engage in a conversation like that, how will the other person see you? How will what you say and do impact your integrity and credibility? Keep it on the up and up, and you won't have anything to worry about.
Now you have some key ingredients to make your relationships at work stronger. What have you used to make your work relationships stronger? We'd love to hear on social media!