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10 Things You Can Do To Build a Meaningful and Productive Relationship With Your Co-Workers

by Desi Lazzara

April 22, 2022
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Greet your co-workers daily.

When given the opportunity, say hello to your colleagues. Small gestures like this can go a long way and plant the seeds for a friendship and respectful working relationship. Sometimes a simple smile is enough to brighten someone’s day. Making this effort won’t go unrecognized.

Check-in with your team.

Make it a point to make conversation with your co-workers and ask how their day is going. This opens a channel for conversation that could potentially be mutually beneficial. By showing that you care, you will be regarded as a compassionate and thoughtful person amongst your colleagues—and will be a trusted source for conversation.

Listen and pay attention.

Being a good listener is an important trait. 

By lending an ear and encouraging others to talk about themselves, you are creating a space for your co-workers to get things off their chest if they need to. By actively listening, you can better understand your co-worker’s problem or issue and offer words of wisdom or advice. Sometimes people just need to vent vs. finding a solution. You will gain friendship by showing interest, and in turn, you will build trust and camaraderie.

Show respect.

Be respectful and aware of boundaries and be conscious of how you communicate. Accepting someone for who they are, even if they are different from you or have different viewpoints, will gain you respect back. A mutually respectful environment reduces workplace stress and conflicts and helps to promote a positive work atmosphere where everyone can feel happy and motivated while they work.

Value other people’s time.

Be aware of how you are managing your time as it affects others by showing up for meetings and obligations promptly and well prepared. Because everyone has limited time, be sure to be direct and to the point when using up a colleague’s time. When people feel their time is valued, they are more likely to engage with you and, in turn, will return the favor of respecting your time. This habit reinforces trust and respect—and will go a long way in building a connection.

Express humility and appreciation.

Showing gratitude will garner affection, demonstrate humility, and help improve a person’s well-being. Being honest about your limitations helps build strong bonds with co-workers because they see that you are self-aware of your shortcomings. Asking for help and expressing your appreciation demonstrates that you are open to their ideas and reinforces mutual respect.

Offer to help a co-worker when they are out of the office.

Everyone knows that while it’s sometimes nice to take time off of work for a vacation or necessary to recover from an illness or life event, it can also be stressful to take that time when the work still needs to get done. By offering to help out where you can, you will assist in reducing some of the pending workloads for when they return to work. This act will show that you are a thoughtful and caring person. And when it is your turn to be out of work for some time, you are likely to be met with the same offer of help in return—which you will surely appreciate. What goes around often comes around.

Give advice/constructive criticism.

If you are a more experienced employee, look for opportunities to offer advice when appropriate and welcomed. Use your experience in the company to advise your co-workers—but be sure to ask before just offering advice and make sure it is wanted. 

Give suggestions that are kind and helpful. If there is a problem, try to find a solution together. Provide encouraging feedback so that it helps them improve their work and increase their productivity.

Build a relationship.

When you put in the effort to build relationships with the people you work with, you create a rapport of support when the need arises. Taking time to learn about your coworkers’ interests and hobbies outside of work, you are more likely to be more collaborative at work. 

Having a friend at work and establishing meaningful relationships can translate into a more meaningful and productive work experience for everyone.

Perform an act of kindness.

Improve someone’s day by doing something unexpectedly kind. We all get caught up in the day-to-day monotony of our work, but a simple gesture like bringing donuts, taking a coworker to lunch, or leaving a kind note on someone’s desk makes a meaningful impact. Be the person everyone looks forward to seeing at work.

“Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.” –Dale Carnegie