Most people don’t want to feel like they’re alone at work, even if they telecommute.
Relationships keep people engaged and connected. It increases job satisfaction and fulfillment. It can also make you more productive at work – collaboration and teamwork has a way of bringing that about.
There are many benefits to building relationships in the workplace. So, what are you doing to strengthen ties with your coworkers?
Here are four simple but fundamental steps you can take to create quality relationships over the long haul.
Become a Good Listener
We’ve all come across people that say they want to make more friends, but then proceed to go out and talk at people instead of to them. They go on and on about themselves, and never allow the other person to speak.
Sometimes, this is connected to fear – oftentimes, a fear of rejection. At other times, these people simply don’t know what it means to make friends. They’re out of practice and have forgotten what that looks like.
Building a relationship is remarkably simple, but it all starts with putting other people before yourself, and being willing to listen to what they have to say. Sharing your opinion is often unnecessary unless requested. Get good at asking questions, and then at listening to the responses you get. This will help you remain in the conversation and not get sidetracked unnecessarily.
People love compliments. You have to be careful in what you compliment others on, but generally it’s good practice to share what you like about them – their shirt or tie, their skills or experience, their integrity or quality of character, and so on.
If you aren’t genuine in your compliments, people will see right through it. And you shouldn’t praise and appreciate others all the time, but it should become second nature to compliment people regularly. People will love to be around you.
Some people are arrogant or proud, but many are starved for appreciation. So, again, don’t go overboard, but make appreciation a part of who you are.
Develop Your Enthusiasm
It’s a false notion that “naturally” enthusiastic people became that way by accident. It’s a lie – optimism takes work! Fortunately, you can develop it over time if you’re willing to work at it. You may need to invest some time into motivational videos, self-help books, or personal development seminars, but you too can learn to see the silver lining in every situation.
People are naturally drawn to those who are enthusiastic about work and life. You might have to resist the temptation to complain about the weather or traffic at first, but in time it will become natural. Positivity is a habit, just like anything else.
It might sound like a motivational poster, but in every difficulty and adversity, there is always something positive. You just have to find it. Become the kind of person that sees the upsides in everything.
Be Accountable to Yourself and to Others
Character takes time to build, but it’s worth the effort it requires. If you are accountable to yourself and do what you say you’re going to do, it makes it easier to be honest and true to others too. For instance, if you have a self-enforced deadline for a project, finishing it on time will build your confidence and help you maintain your personal integrity.
Be the kind of person who shows up on time, gets their work done, meets deadlines, and does what they say they’re going to do. This will help you build a positive reputation over the long haul. People will begin to see you as more reliable and dependable.
These fundamentals alone will go a long way towards building great relationships at work. People tend to focus on a lot of different areas and overthink things, but it’s best not to overcomplicate the process. Keep it simple, and become a more steady and consistent person. That way, people will know exactly what to expect when they see you. Just remember to create healthy boundaries so as not to lose focus on what’s important or miss important meetings.