The people you work with on a daily basis can contribute to your job satisfaction just as much as the role itself. When you don’t get along with your co-workers, it can really put a damper on your outlook on your position. As a result, the entire company’s culture might also suffer.
That’s why we asked members of Forbes Coaches Council how professionals can build better relationships with their colleagues. Follow their recommendations to create a more positive work environment for yourself and your team.
1. Sharpen Your Active Listening Skills
Relationship-building is enhanced by paying attention to the speaker using facial expressions and eye contact. Secondly, practice unselfish understanding, which means staying with their message and not interjecting your own. Finally, respond with insight and empathy. Relationships thrive on mutual respect and trust. These three active listening steps build deep, effective relationships. – Thomas Larkin, Communico, Westport CT
2. Check Your Own Interpretations
We see situations through our own unique filters, then we create a story about what’s happening. For example, we might be telling ourselves that the co-worker who constantly interrupts us in meetings thinks we are incapable of presenting ideas. This is our interpretation. Reflecting on what else could be happening helps to see the situation through another lens and change the way we are thinking. – Cheryl Czach, Cheryl Czach Coaching and Consulting, LLC
3. Build A Bridge
A great way to build better relationships with your co-workers is to find things you have in common and build on them. These might be anything from hobbies to books you both enjoy to values you share, foods you like or habits you’re working to develop. When you can find the things you already share, it’s easy to build on them. Shared interests and experiences make it easier to build camaraderie. – Kate Dixon, Dixon Consulting
4. Don’t Overthink A Colleague’s Intentions
Having the most generous interpretation of another person’s words, actions or deeds frees up a lot of emotional energy and gives the other person the benefit of the doubt in all circumstances. Often we hear or see a person doing or saying something and we make up a story of their intentions. Many times we are totally off track. If you need clarity from your co-worker, ask. Be generous. – Frances McIntosh, Intentional Coaching LLC
5. Acknowledge Their Superpower
Authenticity and increased trust builds better relationships. All humans love to be acknowledged and respected. Start by having personal conversations with co-workers and thanking them for the great work they do. Be specific to highlight which strengths or unique skills that they bring to the organization. Who wouldn’t feel great after that? Definitely a way to accelerate goodwill and friendships. – Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership