Depending on the environment you work in, you could spend a lot of time with coworkers or hardly any at all, but no matter the level of teamwork that your job involves, it is important to have healthy relationships with coworkers. Relationships with coworkers can help shape the work environment, company culture and company morale within an organization.
Workplaces are filled with a wide variety of personalities, so some relationships may be formed more easily than others. Try not to be dissuaded if a relationship doesn’t form right away with all coworkers. Every friend you have started as a stranger at some point, so do not be discouraged if it takes time to build relationships at work. Here are four ways to improve relationships with your coworkers:
Be honest and communicate
Do not be afraid to let your coworkers know that you want to get to know them so that you can work better together as a team. It is important that you communicate this honestly so that your friendly encounters are not interpreted as something else. It will also help you know how invested you can be with coworkers that may have differing styles of workplace behavior or are not used to working on a team.
Find a common interest
Most friendships and personal relationships you have outside of work all start with a common interest, so try finding common interests with your coworkers. The common interest can be a number of different things such as you both like the same sports team or you enjoy the same type of music as another coworker. These common interests can spark conversations and lead to more conversations about other things outside of the office, strengthening your personal friendship with your coworker.
Get to know coworkers on a personal level
Now that you have established a common interest with your coworker, you can start to take it a step further so that you get to know them on a more personal level. You can do this by communicating more frequently and being an active listener. You can also begin to develop a friendship outside of the office as well, but this can take time, so make sure you do not jump into this too fast. Try inviting a coworker to have lunch with you one day or take a coffee break together. It is a good way to get out of the office, while still maintaining boundaries.
Be respectful of yourself and others
We have discussed ways to strengthen relationships with coworkers that lead to knowing them on a personal level, yet you may have coworkers that want to keep office relationships less personal. Be respectful of coworkers that want to keep office relationships strictly work-related. You can have healthy relationships with coworkers without making it personal.
Maintaining healthy relationships with coworkers can contribute to workplace success, yet also be mindful that there should be boundaries with these relationships. Having friendly and honest intentions is important so that relationships are not taken too far or become unprofessional. Keep in mind that you are building these relationships to help the success of your company.
For additional tips for improving relationships with your coworkers, please call a member of CAI’s Advice and Resolution Team at 919-878-9222 or 336-668-7746.