How to Build Effective Work Relationships
Effortlessly working with our peers is one of the things that is so hard for many to attain, yet so easy to take for granted. In this post, I’ll discuss my top 5 characteristics for effective relationships at work.
My top 5 characteristics for effective relationships:
- Proactive and “connecting-the-dots” communication is commonplace. Do you let your peers know proactively about project developments that may impact them? Do you look our for ideas for your peers when reading the sunday paper or watching TV with your family? Do you “see” new ideas and things they might think are valuable? It’s amazing what you can find when you focus on helping your peers. And it’s even more amazing at what will come back to you when you help them out. Just showing that you’re looking our for the interests of those around you is a powerful technique to more effective relationships!
- Trust (at a personal level) in each other. Trust is way more than sitting in meetings/calls and talking in cubes. Trust is about having faith in those around you, and cultivating relationships with them at every opportunity, especially through breakfasts, lunches, dinners, etc. with them. The single best thing you can do to improve a relationship with someone is to take them out for a meal and ask “what can I do to help you?” and then do it!
- Collective responsibility. If you have trust in each other, you can share responsibility when times (inevitably) get tough. When a problem occurs, do you jump in together and solve it, and THEN figure out why it happened? That is the true test of the effectiveness of your work relationships.
- A focus on process. Everyone likes to be successful. But jointly coming up with repeatable ways to have your peers and project teams succeed is an even better goal. If you show others you care about them, especially through creating processes that support them, you will earn their trust. If you involved them in this process, you get new perspectives, new approaches, and even better ways to collaborate!
- Pride and caring in what you do. The most effective work relationships are also build on a foundation of shared pride in the work being completed. If you’re not proud of it, why do it? Put your “collective stamp” on everything you do together, and your relationships will grow!
In future posts, we’ll cover other aspects to having effective work relationships, which is key to enjoying what you do, and having fun doing it!