Putting effort into building good relationships with your work colleagues is always worthwhile.

Putting effort into building good relationships with your work colleagues is always worthwhile.

Do you ever get the Monday morning blues? Ever have days where you can’t face your job? There are many reasons for this and one of the most common is tension with your colleagues.

Disharmony in the workplace can make the difference between a job you love and a job you hate. You often don’t choose the people you work with, but you end up spending most of your week with them, sharing the ups and downs, the successes and the failures.

It can be a lot more enjoyable for you if you have good working relationships with your colleagues.

Building positive work relationships takes effort, but in the long run you will find it is rewarding. Here are some guidelines for creating relationships that will have you looking forward to work:

  • Acknowledge your work colleagues. This is basic, but under the crush of heavy workloads, easy to forget. Greet the people you work with each morning and say goodbye each evening. Be cheerful, even if they fail to acknowledge you.
  • Make it your policy to be friendly and helpful. As well, make time for building relationships. See this as an investment. No one knows what the future may bring; some of your current work colleagues may become your boss, some your subordinates, some may introduce you to new networks. The more people you know in your organisation, the faster you will know how to get things done.
  • Make some disclosures. Nothing too personal or controversial, just the usual, interests, kids, suburb of abode, holiday destinations. Look for areas of common interest and explore those a little.
  • Share your ideas and information with colleagues. Occasionally someone may steal one of your ideas and take the credit. Don’t worry! Once you establish your reputation for sincerity and openness, you will get back much more than you give.
  • Keep confidences. Need I say it? If a work mate tells you something in confidence, don’t tell anyone!
  • Reject rejection! If you seem to be excluded from a social group at work, don’t take it personally. Realize it has more to do with their emotional insecurities than anything to do with you. Make a point of being friendly and saying hello regardless.
  • Make compliments a habit. If you notice your co-worker wearing an attractive outfit, let them know. When a work colleague does a good job, tell them. If the opportunity arises, mention their accomplishment in front of the boss.
  • Talk to your co-worker first if you have any problems with them. Whether it is their body odour, their attempt to massage your neck or their work performance, tell them first before you raise it with the boss or anyone else. If you have difficulty doing this you need assertive skills training. See a good psychologist or counselor. There are ways to tell people how you feel and minimise offense.
  • Find the balance between being helpful and covering up. You may cover for a co-worker who needs to make an important personal phone call or pay an urgent bill. Be careful, though, that you know where to draw the line. Never cover for action against company policy or for any illegal activity. Don’t risk your job by protecting the foolish actions of others.
  • Attend work social functions. You don’t have to socialise with your work colleagues out of hours; unless you want to, but you do need to attend at least some of the work organized social functions.
  • Be diligent at work. Most people respect co-workers who are consistent, reliable workers. If, in addition, you are friendly and helpful, you will find you become a popular person in your workplace.
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