10 Ways to Improve Your Work Relationships

 

                                       Improving work relationships is the need of the hour

According to Google, the average age of people is 79, and the average length of their career is 30 years. The data shows we spend 37% of our days with colleagues.

We spend most of our adulthood, the best time of our lives, with peers.

With some of them, we share an unbreakable bond. From day one, our thoughts resonate with such special coworkers. In fact, we talk a lot, hang out during lunch, tea, or bio break.

And we share with them such secrets that not even our childhood friends know. Because during this time, they are the only ones in close contact with us. They know our family inside out, our daily hustles, and our struggles at work.

Indeed, they know our child is too cranky; they know our partner cooks delicious food. In their absence, we feel lonely at work.


In contrast, there are colleagues to whom even giving a slight smile takes an effort. Our faces itch when we try to do so. While crossing them, we wave without looking and roll our eyes.

We avoid tables where they eat lunch, change our coffee break times, and question them in front of a group or manager.

A bitter relationship with colleagues will delay the outcome of your efforts because you will never see cheerful faces around you. A negative air will follow you at work.

In most cases, people cannot get promotions not because of their failures, but because of sustained negative attitudes and unfriendly relationships with colleagues.

Just performing well is not enough to get ahead these days. Your comprehensive 360 personality and work feedback need to be good and competitive.

This is one key reason some people get promoted early because they are good at relationship management.

But if you want to attract a positive vibe at the office, destress your life and grow at work, then you must improve your relations with colleagues.

This is an arduous task, especially if the other person does not care at all. But it is worth the effort.

If you can improve, they may not admit it, but will say positive things behind your back. You won’t have a tough day because of uncooperative people.

And you will never see a face that doesn’t want to talk to you. It lifts your mood, makes you happy and helps you improve your performance.

Let’s look at the steps you can take to improve your relationship with colleagues.

1. Never Forget a Name

According to Dale Carnegie, a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound to that person in any language. Never forget a person’s name in the office. The other person may take it as humiliation if you forget it, or if you do, don’t ask him again. Try to find out with other ways. Ask other colleagues, search the database, but do not ask again.

2. Show Genuine Interest in Them and in Their Lives

Aside from work, people like to talk to someone who is interested in their life without ulterior motives. Talk to them like you talk to your friend. Either of you needs to break the cold air between, and that happens when you talk like a friend — do not just ask how they spent their weekends. Show interest in their lives and careers.

3. Don’t Hold Back Your Appreciation

Always acknowledge a colleague when you see a job well done. Whether it’s in a group or in person is up to you, but honest appreciation motivates people and fosters good relationships. I regret times where I could have appreciated colleagues but held back, just to show that their performance was not that significant.

You can choose to be diplomatic and it may benefit you in the short term, but in the long run you will regret it.

4. Smiling is the key.

This is the easiest tool to improve relationships. The main reason some people make friends easily is because they are happy in their lives and have a radiant face. We all want to connect with people who are happy and welcoming with us.

5. Ask Them for Help, or Help Them.

Asking people for help is also a way of showing them respect. It means you recognize their abilities and appreciate them. Never hesitate to ask for help. It’s a win-win situation: you get the job done and improve your relationship.

Last week, I asked my colleague for support, and he was so happy that I asked for his help. The tone of our conversations later changed from reserved to positive. Try it, it works.

6. Never Ignore Them on a Coffee Break.

Ok, we do this a lot, and others do it to us too. It feels one ignored. Imagine if you are sitting in a restaurant and you desperately need to talk to the waiter, you wave your hands; you call out to him, but he completely ignores you. That’s how one feels when you ignore him.

7. Talk About Their Children.

Whether a CEO or an executive, they all love to talk about their kids. They are so excited to tell what their kids are doing, what hobbies they have, how their last award was and so on and so forth. You can have a great conversation.

8. Offer Help When They Need it Most.

Help them when they need it most. When you hear about their problems, call them and offer to help. They may not ask for it, but they will certainly appreciate the wonderful gesture. Even if you have a disagreement at work, do not mix it with a relationship that two normal people can have outside of work.

9. Discuss Politics, Sports or Movies.

These are subjects in which people may be interested. Get involved in discussions about such topics to have a conversation that breaks the ice. Develop it and later move on to other topics that interest both, or just to get to know them better.

10. Never Judge Them

Judging your peers is a crime that cannot be corrected. Avoid it. It makes other people conscious, and they never show their true selves. They will never trust you if they do not feel comfortable showing the real them.


Your good relationship with your peers improves your brand equity and creates a human-to-human connection which is not common to find in today’s digital world. In the wake of rising Work-From-Home culture, improving peer relationship is the need of the hour. Do not lose your friends who are also your colleagues. Invest time in them.



This post has been written as part of  Blogchatter’s #MyFriendAlexa campaign.

This post has also been published on my medium profile.


Chetan Maheshwari

Hello, I am a Project Management Professional, and an author and a blogger by passion. I like good sarcasm and humor. Books, people around me, and nature inspire me, and my blogs and book reflect the same.

55 Comments

Let me know what you think

  1. I completely agree with the points mentioned here. Investing in your work relationships is a great way to make new friends and also help you to grow personally and professionally.

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    1. Thanks Abha, indeed, it helps us to grow personally and professionally

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  2. Indeed a great post, your pointer are really going to help and change people attitude towards their work partners.

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    1. Thanks Gurjeet, Glad that you find it useful and professionals can benefit from this post.

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  3. Maintaining cordial relations at office is very important. But luckily our promotion is not dependent on such factors. Because if it would be , introverts like me would be forever stuck at the bottom of the barrel.

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    1. It 's great that promotions at your workplace is only dependent on output of work...Thanks GB

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  4. All these points boil down to one thing; be human. It pays to be nice to others.

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  5. This clearly points that being excellent professionaly need to be supported by a good human being.

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  6. Noteworthy pointers to improve your relationship with colleagues

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  7. I am also project manager by profession and I can completely connect with your post. I guess the best way to connect with people is to appreciate whole heartedly. Appreciation really works.

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    1. That's great, Shipra, honest appreciation works anytime for sure

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  8. Much needed article. I vl share with my friends too. Office appreciation is what i believe in most.

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    1. Thanks Sweta for sharing it with your friends..Glad, you liked it

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  9. These pointers are really great to improve relationship in workspace!!

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  10. Awesome article, very very useful article.

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  11. This is really very informative. You covered all point so well. This is a perfectly penned article..lover reading it

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  12. It's important to have a good relationship with our colleagues. Working would be more pleasant that way.

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  13. I strongly agree with this. Having good interpersonal skills and EQ helps you not just to sustain in this corporate would but will help you being more successful. Great suggestions.

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  14. Really good points Chetan... Relationship management is very vital these days and cannot be ignored. You just summarised all he points together very well...

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  15. What a positive post! It is true that people spend so much of their time at work, and if the atmosphere is amicable and cordial, it makes life so much better! Some wonderful points brought out! Kudos!

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  16. I wish I could have read this when I'd first started working. I could have avoided a few people mistakes!

    All great points!

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    1. You know, that is how the idea came in to write this post, I have done many such mistakes...Thanks

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  17. Not judging someone is critical in today's time! The appreciation point is so relevant, especially in India work culture where any compliment feel fraught with politics.

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    1. It is very difficult to stop ourselves from judging people...and yes, politics is everywhere, living with it everyday...Thank you Suchita

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  18. Love this post Chetan. I've just started a new job and hoping to make some friends. Will definitely be keeping these points in mind.

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  19. All the pointers you mentioned are great and practical too. I loved your post.

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  20. Having nice colleagues to work with such a boon, it almost makes work seamless and fun.

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  21. These are great pointers to keep in mind to maintain work life balance. Its important to maintain good relations with your colleagues.

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  22. It' never easy to work with people you hate so it's advisable to maintain positive work atmosphere. Smiling and appreciating are the best ways to start.

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  23. These are very valid points. As working professionals while it is important to be nice and friendly, personally I also feel that it is important to draw boundaries so that no one can take advantage of you. #MyepicaReads

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  24. Not holding back appreciation and asking for help are very important points. Not many are comfortable doing both. Following your well thought of points is sure to help.

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  25. If only people follow these tips, but the reality is different. Of course there are nice people at work, but they are rare.

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  26. thanks for sharing it will help me.

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  27. Hahaha never judge them is something that all of us should try hard to do even in non-work life. good pointers.

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  28. Totally agree with your pointers. The first one about not forgetting names is so apt.

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  29. Wonderful tips. Not sure about discussing religion and politics though with work colleagues. #MyFriendAlexa #TinasPicks

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