Positive relationships at work can be a huge advantage for your job satisfaction and future career prospects.

How to build positive relationships at work

Building positive relationships at work with your new colleagues is an important part of starting a new job. As well as calming those first day nerves and helping you to settle in quicker, positive work interactions will pay off in the long run too.

When people get along in the workplace, they’re more likely to be motivated and productive. That means you’re also more likely to do a good job, get noticed and achieve personal growth. Most importantly however, you’ll simply be happier and enjoy being at work.

So, what’s the key to fitting in and building positive work relationships right from day one? Truth be told, depending on your team and the opportunities that arise, it can take time, effort and patience. But here’s our top tips that will get you off to a great start:

1. Communicate regularly

Communication is about talking and listening. That means sharing information and being forthcoming, but also asking questions and being interested in the answers you get. The more you engage your co-workers in meaningful two-way conversations, the more you’ll get to know each other.

Try to find out about your colleagues’ personal circumstances (without being nosy of course!) so that you can establish common ground and talking points. Ask about their hobbies, plans for the weekend or what they’ve watched on TV. 

Try not pry and ask anything too personal or sensitive and take note of any non-verbal clues or body language that may show they feel uncomfortable with the topic of conversation.

2. Avoid gossip

Whether you’re new to the job or been there for some time, gossip in the workplace is best avoided. If you hear gossip about a co-worker, don’t contribute to the conversation and try to walk away or change the subject.

It’s very important that the colleagues you’re trying to build relationships with know that they can tryst you. By acting consistently and not betraying their confidence with others, they’ll recognise your loyalty and be more likely to share things with you in the future.

If you do have an issue with a fellow co-worker, discuss it with them first or keep it to yourself. If the situation gets serious, follow the correct channels and speak to your line manager. Workplace conflict can always be handled discretely and professionally, without drawing negative attention from the entire team.

3. Be a positive influence

Being enthusiastic at work can help those around you feel more motivated too. If you react well when faced with problems or stressful situations, you’ll encourage others to do the same. You may even find that they start to come to you for guidance and support as your relationship develops.

In the same way, offering positive feedback and supportive comments in the right moment can help forge strong relationships too. Focus on your colleagues’ strengths and achievements as a way to build goodwill and respect.

It’s also important to lead by example and simply make sure you’re doing a good job. People will like and admire you if you turn up on time, don’t complain and always deliver good work.  

4. Be professional

It’s also important to know the boundaries when trying to make friends and build relationships at work. Whilst you want to get along with your co-workers, remember that you are there to do a job and your boss won’t thank you for standing around and chatting all day!

Some people also prefer to keep their work and home lives separate. Whilst you might enjoy going for a spot of lunch or quick drink after work with your co-workers, be sure to keep it professional.

Whilst some companies may have a more casual workplace culture, there are always rules in place and formal codes of conduct that you’ll need to adhere to. Make sure you know the official company guidelines and keep your relationships friendly and productive without getting too personal.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be sure to make build strong positive relationships at work and keep them. 

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