Positive work relationships can open up a lot of doors. And vice versa, negative relationships at work can close many.
But there are plenty of things you can do to build positive relationships in the workplace. And soon, career success and career opportunities will come flooding in.
So, how can you get to building positive relationships at work? Keep reading to find out.
See Related: How To Create A Healthy Workplace Environment
#1. Create open and honest communication
Honest and open communication is a must in the workplace. In fact, having any communication skills already gives a company a leg up.
It seems like common sense. But you’d be surprised at how many work relationships and personal relationships are lacking in the communication department. So, how can you build relationships on the back of communication?
Open communication also means taking responsibility
Taking responsibility for your actions requires a lot of strength. Maybe you messed up some of the mobile technology at work.
Or maybe you spent video calls playing Candy Crush. Either way, owning up to your mistakes is key to building positive relationships.
Because nobody’s perfect. And when you embrace that in yourself, people are far more forgiving and willing to work with you once more.
Get to know your colleagues on a personal level
You may only have working relationships with your coworkers. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have a personal life of their own.
So ask them about it! Inquire about their weekend plans. Or recommend a new restaurant in town you tried and liked.
Small moments like these are paramount to developing good relationships. Because you’re acknowledging their life outside of the office.
#2. Employ active listening in your work relationships
It’s our job as corporate entertainers to listen to clients. You might not think so because we’re up there talking on stage.
But it’s all in the pre-planning process of the event where active listening comes into play. And that’s the exact kind of skill you can employ with your positive work relationships too.
Actively listen to a co-worker and they will reciprocate
We’ve seen firsthand the power of listening. When you listen to someone, you give them your attention and therefore your respect.
Well, as social creatures, all workers at your company want the same respect that their peers are offered. So make sure you focus on what they’re saying, not just nodding your head along.
Body language, of course, counts as communication as well. But positive workplace relationships start with a clear understanding of where each individual is coming from.
Be present in the current moment and give them your time
Working relationships go through a lot. Because, after all, things happen at work. Both the good and the bad.
So start by building positive work relationships with a level head and a ready ear. Odds are, if you give a co-worker a certain level of respect, they’ll reciprocate in times you need it most.
Of course, building relationships is a two-way street. So pay close attention to that one coworker who listens to every word you say and puts their full support behind you too.
#3. Genuinely compliment other colleagues on their accomplishments
It’s easy to compare yourself to others. In fact, we do it all the time!
But in the workplace, it’s especially important to celebrate others’ successes. Some might say it’s the most important single ingredient in healthy relationships.
We never said relationship building was easy. In fact, this might be one of the more difficult things to do. But it will yield you both personal and professional results.
Don’t let your own negative emotions impact positive workplace relationships
Maybe you didn’t get that one job promotion. And sure, that stings. You can take time to lick your wounds.
But when in the company of the colleague who received the position, cheer them on. Good working relationships are built on a foundation of support.
So being there for them may garner you their support in the future. After all, positive relationships are all about a healthy give and take.
#4. Develop empathy towards another person’s feelings
Building positive work relationships can be tricky. After all, it means taking everyone’s feelings into account.
But when you put effort into developing that healthy relationship everyday, you’ll see results. Not only in your positive working relationships. But in your own personal development too.
Acknowledge and respect the mental health of your colleagues
Some days, the focus simply isn’t there. You may have your mind on other things. Whether it’s family related, news related, or otherwise.
As you look around the office, consider that this is something everyone experiences. But they just don’t say it out loud.
So as you go through your day, consider the mental health of your coworkers. And be gentle in approaching them should they display signs of despair or struggle.
Your people skills will do more for your professional reputation than anything else
There’s an old adage that goes a little something like this: People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.
Use this adage in your everyday life, both at the office and beyond. You may never know if you ended up making your coworker a happier person if only through a simple exchange.
But these small moments are oftentimes the ones with the biggest impact. And all great relationships start there.
#5. Accept diverse people in your work environment
Good working relationships don’t necessarily blossom from the same flower. Instead, they bloom from different pods, creating an inclusive garden, full of color and rich in its diversity.
Okay, maybe that garden metaphor was a little too cliche for your liking. But you get the point.
Challenge yourself to take in new ideas
Besides, any good relationship will challenge you to think beyond your own perspective. This isn’t to say that you don’t have anything to offer.
In fact, you have great things to offer! But so does everyone else.
Bringing all of those ideas together in the decision making process can make for a more collaborative workplace. And give you more of a competitive edge too.
After all, no company is built by one person alone. It takes a village. And the more diverse the village, the better.
#6. Develop mutual respect and mutual trust amongst your co-workers
It’d be naive of us to tell you that you can build positive relationships in a day. Because good relationships are built on the cornerstones of trust and respect.
And these things take time. But starting somewhere is better than not starting at all.
Treat your colleagues as human beings first
All work and no play makes, well, everyone a dull person. So try instituting some social events at the office to develop those good relationships.
And maybe even boost employee engagement too. In fact, a corporate comedy magician could be the best way to bring folks together in your office.
With a shared magical experience, folks will have something to talk about come the following Monday. And it will set a great foundation for all to partake in a positive relationship too.
Besides, laughter and friendship are directly related. We’re sure of it.
So bring some laughter into your office with Clean Comedians. We’ll help you form those positive relationships you’ve been looking for.
#7. Welcome different opinions in your workplace relationships
If you were friends with only people who agreed with you, who would you be? No really, sit with that for a second.
The same goes for any company or organization. Sure, you can have like-minded people working together.
But difference of opinions isn’t something to be feared. It’s something to be celebrated.
After all, it’s opposing thoughts that challenge you to defend your own. And maybe even give you a broader perspective to consider that you wouldn’t have before.
Instead, think of different opinions in the workplace as a constructive jumping off point. Sure, there may be certain moments of disagreement.
But just think of Scalia and Ginsburg. Close friends with drastically different points of view.
Broaden your collective insight by hearing everyone out
There’s plenty to be learned from those who don’t agree with you. In fact, some may say you can learn more from those who disagree with you than those who agree with you.
When it comes to your company, the same message rings true. You want to develop a company with a global consciousness, right?
Well that can’t happen with people who are a carbon copy of the other. Use these differences to your company’s advantage.
And make sure that these differences are treated with dignity and respect. It’s amazing the things you can accomplish when unity is chosen over divisiveness.
And we would know. That’s literally our company’s mission!
The bottom line
Positive relationships in the workplace take time to build. But it’s something that you can chip away at day after day.
So on your commute, set yourself a goal. Maybe it’s to make Brenda from Marketing laugh. Or maybe buy Brandon from HR a coffee to get to know him better.
Either way, these little gestures can build something vast over time. Never underestimate the power of kindness.
Keep Reading: How To Promote A Fundraiser
Adam Christing is a professional comedy magician, virtual MC, and the founder of CleanComedians.com. He is a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and a popular corporate entertainer, magician, and virtual speaker.