Improve Workplace Relationships for Long Term Success

Posted February 07, 2014

Knowing how to cultivate workplace relationships is one of the keys to having a great career.  If you find yourself frequently avoiding the break room or getting annoyed when coworkers try to make small talk, don’t be surprised when you don’t get invited out for happy hour after work.  While you may think of yourself as being dedicated to getting your work done, your coworkers may be interpreting your concentration as being snobby or antisocial.  Here are a few tips to help improve your office relationships to ensure long-term success.

Mind your moods.
Everyone has bad days.  There are times when you’re going to be frustrated or upset at work.  However, part of being an adult in the professional world is learning how to manage you moodiness.  Don’t walk around mumbling and grumbling under your breath.  It’ll put everyone else around you on edge and nobody will want to be around you.  Instead, take a deep breath, swallow the anger, and weather the storm with a smile.  Children throw temper-tantrums and act out on impulses.  You want your coworkers to respect you as an adult, not see you as a child. 

Be aware of timing.
It’s important to not be insensitive of how your behavior affects coworkers.  When meeting with a coworker or asking them a question, be aware of their time.  If they seem busy or distracted, ask if there’s another time to talk that is more convenient for them.  If you force someone to listen on your terms, you’re less likely to get the message across. 

Resolve problems first-hand.
If you’re experiencing a conflict with a coworker, try to deal with the problem directly before escalating to a supervisor.  Approach the coworker respectfully when others are not around.  Express your feelings, address concerns, and let them know you’d like to reach an agreement.  Bring the issues to the table without accusing or laying blame on them.  If you listen to what they say and calmly work through the issues together, it’ll help build a better relationship with that person.

Accept constructive criticism.
When someone at work offers a suggestion about how you might improve a process or do something differently, don’t get defensive or snap at him or her.  Really listen to what they say and use it as an opportunity to grow.  You’ll never advance in your career if you disregard the advice of others.

Be mindful of your nonverbal communication.
Many behavioral psychologists have reported that between 70 to 93 percent of all communication is nonverbal.  This means that even when you’re not aware of it, you’re sending lots of messages to others through your volume, expression, body language, and tone of voice.  If coworkers often make comments like “You seem stressed” or “Are you okay?” this is most likely because of you nonverbal communication ques.  You need to be more aware of how you’re nonverbally communicating, especially if you’re getting negative feedback from others.  If you find that people at work aren’t including you in social activities or seem to avoid you, ask yourself these questions:

• How do you interact with others on a daily basis?

• Are you difficult to work with?

• How do you respond when you don’t agree with what someone says?

• Are you set in your ways?

After assessing these answers, make a few changes in your communication style and watch how quickly your relationships change.

Taking the initiative to improve your office relationships will help get you back on the right foot with coworkers and set yourself up for continued career success. If you’re on hunt for a new job, make sure to take these tips into consideration in your next office environment.  One way to do this is by letting the experience recruiters at All Team Staffing help you become part of a trusted and employee-oriented team.  From food service and concierge to painters, health services, and data entry, All Team Staffing is a recognized leader in the specialized staffing industry.  Contact us today, and you could be moving on to your next exciting opportunity by tomorrow.