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3 Effective Ways to Develop Better Workplace Relationships

Updated: Apr 9

You spend most of your waking life at work, so you might as well make the most of that time! How can you do that? One way is to form better relationships with your workmates.


There are many benefits to having friends at work. It’s easier to progress in your career, you end up befriending people you’d never otherwise meet, and you enjoy going to work more.


So how do you become good friends with your workmates?


Colleagues happy talking to each other

 

Implement these tips to form better workplace relationships:


1. Learn to communicate.

Any therapist will tell you that communication determines whether a relationship lives or dies. So, how do you communicate effectively with your workmates?


Two female co-worker smiling while talking in front of a laptop


  • Talk about exciting subjects. Initiate conversations based on what you already know about them. If you use references they understand, and they’ll find it easier to chat with you. Avoid talking about work all the time. Instead, choose other more exciting topics.



  • Be an engaged listener. The more you listen, the more you learn about your colleague. Listening also reduces the risk of miscommunication.


2. Be a team player.

Most of us work for one reason – to get a paycheck. However, that doesn’t mean we must work in a dog-eat-dog environment. If you notice someone on your team struggling, offer to help. People will remember your willingness to help them out when it counts.


  • Give others a chance to shine. Know when to let other people step up and take the lead. You’ll have difficulty making friends if you’re always bossing people around – even if you do well in leadership positions.

3. Talk to them outside work.

The best relationships with colleagues aren’t shallow. You stay friends even when you clock out at the end of the day.


Co-workers looking happy talking to each other outside while holding a cup of coffee



  • Show an interest in their personal lives. Talk about their hobbies, current events, weekend plans, and so on. Genuinely listen when they tell you about their mother-in-law’s birthday party or their kids’ first step.






What if there are some colleagues you don’t see yourself being good friends with outside the office? That’s okay! You can still remain friendly and polite with them. That should lead to a better work relationship in the long term.


Take note of these common mistakes that destroy workplace relationships:


1. Failing to set boundaries.

Avoid getting too close to a colleague until you’re sure you can trust them. Even then, it’s best to be cautious. Set clear boundaries so no workmate can invade your privacy or take advantage of you.


2. Blaming others for your mistakes.


Asian female co-worker blaming her male colleague


Taking responsibility for your mistakes is crucial – even if it makes you look bad in front of your boss. Your workmates won’t want to befriend you if you’re dishonest.







3. Being overly guarded.

You don’t need to share your entire life story with a workmate, but it’s hard for people to open up to you if you don’t open up to them. To make friendships work, you must share a bit of your life with your friends.


So, how do you form better work relationships? Communicate effectively, be a team player, and have fun outside work. With these tips in hand, you should be well on your way to building better workplace relationships.






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