Leadership & Strategy | June 13, 2016

How to Build Strong Relationships at Work
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We spend a good deal of our time at work, often more than the time we spend at home. And while our knowledge, talent and work ethic are major factors in our success, they are not the only factors. In order to thrive and succeed at our jobs, we must have the skills to build strong relationships at work.

Five Ways to Build Strong Relationships at Work

If you’ve struggled with this in the past, take heart. Building relationships is a skill, and it’s one you can learn. Here are five tips that can help.

1. Learn to Really Listen

This is easier said than done. You may feel the urge to interrupt, plan what you’ll say next or try to persuade people to see your side. It’s important to listen first. Giving your full attention to someone when they are speaking is one of the single best ways to build strong relationships at work. It makes people feel valued and helps build trust.

2. Avoid Oversharing

Tied into the listening component, it’s important to avoid oversharing with people. It’s easy to do in the workplace environment. You may be seeking a connection and trying to gain trust and build rapport. Always be sure to keep the information you share appropriate to the current level of your relationship.

3. Show Interest in the Whole Person

The people you work with are more than their jobs, more than their place in the hierarchy and more than what they can do for you. Showing interest in a person for who they are, even outside of work is a good way to build a true rapport and win their trust and friendship.

4. Manage your Moods and Reactions

Things can get heated at work, it’s true. However, it’s important to maintain an even keel when it comes to your behavior. Being consistent, respectful and friendly is the key to being able to build strong relationships at work. You don’t want to get a reputation as a moody hothead.

5. Give More Than you Take

Nothing turns people off more than a person they barely know asking them for favors, or feeling that a person wants more from you than they are willing to give. Don’t try to start a relationship by asking for favors. Be generous in your dealings with others. This puts people at ease, and makes them feel like you are in it for more than just yourself.

By following these basic guidelines, you’ll not only build strong relationships at work, but you’ll also feel happier in your job, and enjoy being at work more.

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