Nothing can hinder productivity in a company as much as damaged workplace relationships. Knowing how to improve workplace relationships can be one of the most important skills that employees and managers learn.
In our daily interactions with colleagues, our way of communicating, collaborating with others, and attitudes develop certain dynamics. Even when every employee acts in a professional manner, irritations, tension, and difficulties can develop. This could be on just one side or the breakdown in relations could be mutual.
There is much that you can do to improve workplace relationships. Most of the time, changing the way you deal with others can do much to develop healthier relationships.
Here are top tips to improve relationships in the workplace and boost mutual respect in the office.
First of all, you shouldn’t try to just avoid damaged relationships and disengage from the situation. Of course, if the colleague is in another department and you don’t have to deal with them, that can be the best solution. But, if the relationship with your boss or teammate has gone sour, you can’t avoid the issue.
Next, you need to realise that it is worth the effort to repair any damage to the relationship. Any kind of bad feeling in a team or office will affect everyone. However, it’s good to know that it will also negatively impact your productivity.
Any kind of relationship that has gone wrong will continue to nag at your mind. This could affect your focus and cause your work to suffer.
Every relationship is based on the dynamics of 2 or more individuals. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that some part of your action is causing a reaction in the other person. So, why don’t you take some time to analyse what circumstances, actions, or words cause tension in the relationship.
To do this, it’s important not to focus solely on the other person’s perceived faults. This can have the effect of making you act in a way that exacerbates the situation. For example, if the person doesn’t pay enough attention to details, you may start to micromanage them. This then creates the problem that they rely on you too much and may even stop trying.
If you have an idea of what is causing the tension in your relationship, you now are in a position to break the pattern to improve the relationship. The change in dynamics may evoke a better response from the other person.
For example, if you usually get irritated when the other person talks with you, try being more patient, listen longer, and ask questions. Or, if your boss reacts defensively when you approach their desk, you could let him or her know beforehand the context of what you want to talk about.
Of course, everyone is different, but try to look for ways in your own reactions to change the dynamics of the relationship.
It can be difficult to resolve conflicts in the workplace when things get personal. So, try to take a step back and try to hear what is really being said. The other person could be defensive, unreasonable, or irritating because of personal issues that they are having. Reacting to that will not help resolve a difficult relationship.
You also may need to give up on focusing on who is right and who is wrong. Usually, an interaction between 2 people is not black and white. While you are distracted by the issue of blame, you can never resolve a breakdown in relationship successfully.
A relationship can break down suddenly becaue of thoughtless words or actions but take a longer time to resolve. So, don’t expect immediate changes in the relationship. Continue to use these tips to improve workplace relationships and you should see a change in the dynamics.