Considering the amount of time we spend at work, creating a comfortable and interactive work atmosphere is vital and imperative to productivity. Sharing openly, being curious, and asking your colleagues questions will assist in managing and maintaining those relationships.
Some see colleagues as part of the daily grind and not necessarily people they want to interact with or build relationships with. However, for the sake of productivity and your work environment, it’s essential you nurture the relationship you have with your colleagues.
Sharing with colleagues improves productivity.
When you openly share information about yourself with your colleagues, it provides them with the opportunity to get to know and understand you better. Sometimes knowing information about your life provides great insight into why and how you work. For example, it’s beneficial for them to know if you prefer being dictated tasks and writing them down, or if you are a methodical thinker rather than haphazard, or that you’re a people person who requires alone time as well. Having this knowledge will enable your colleagues to interact with you effectively, therefore, increasing overall productivity.
That being said, it’s important to remember to self-manage when it comes to what you share at work, always ensuring it’s appropriate and relevant to your work environment.
Curiosity helps strengthen relationships!
While it’s vital that you share openly with the people you work with, it's just as important to be interested and curious about them. When you’re curious to learn more about your colleagues, you will understand them better and have less opportunity to misinterpret them. For example, if you notice your colleague makes frequent jokes about his/her caffeine addiction, remember to inquire what caffeine beverage is their preference. If it’s coffee, the next time you two are working on a project, offer to grab a coffee first. It’s the little things that make a big difference in enhancing your relationships.
Be aware of how you ask questions.When asking colleagues questions, it’s important to choose an appropriate setting and time and be aware of our tone. If we use an inappropriate tone of voice and it may appear like we're judging rather than trying to get to know them.
For example, if we say, “Wow, did your car cost a lot of money?” It could appear judgmental, rather than the intention of simply gathering information. Instead, say “Great car! What do you like most about it and why did you choose it?” The answers to these questions will actually provide you with insight into how that person makes decisions, and or what their interests are. All of which help you build more productive relationships.