Considering the amount of time we spend at work, getting to know our colleagues is a must! Building healthy relationships increases communication, productivity and motivation.
Did you know being vulnerable helps develop strong relationships?
Some team members 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 a healthy work environment and productivity, nurturing relationships and developing a rapport with colleagues is paramount.
In my experience working with teams, I've found those with high motivation generally have relationships. Colleagues who use authentic communication, are non-judgmental, and are interested in others have the necessary traits to build strong relationships.
Communication with colleagues improves productivity.
Sharing information about yourself openly with your colleagues provides them with the opportunity to get to know and understand you better. This communication requires you to be somewhat vulnerable, but the benefits are well worth it.
When your team is aware of your strengths and triggers, it offers excellent insight into your work style and improves work relationships. For example, it's helpful for colleagues to know if you prefer to work independently, cooperatively, or somewhere in between. 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 your communication is appropriate and relevant to your work environment.
Curiosity helps strengthen relationships!
Being curious and asking colleagues questions will help manage and maintain those relationships. When sharing openly with the people you work with, it's just as important to be interested and curious about them. Your interest will increase your knowledge and reduce the possibility of misinterpreting 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 essential to choose an appropriate setting, time and voice tone. If the voice tone is inappropriate, it may appear 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, you might say, "What a great car," and follow up with open-ended questions like "What do you like most about it, and why did you choose it?" The answers to these questions will provide you with insight into how they make decisions and their interests. All of which help you build more productive relationships.
When building relationships with colleagues, authenticity is crucial. When communication is open and curious, your work atmosphere will be healthier, motivation and work productivity will increase. Once your team members understand your traits, it's easier for them to respect your work style and work with you. Marshall Connects offers Emotional Intelligence Assessments and Coaching to enhance skill development in all areas, including self-awareness strategies enhancing your focus to improve overall productivity.
This article was originally published on April 8, 2017, and has been updated (April 2021).
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