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5 Ways to nurture work relationships

Vicki Clinebell majored in journalism at the University of Colorado, and headed an advertising agency before beginning a long career in broadcasting, spanning production and copywriting to sales and management for an ABC affiliate statio...

Make your work relationships successful

Office relationships take time and effort to develop, but those efforts can pay off for everyone involved. In fact, one of the best skills to develop for a successful professional life is the ability to nurture and grow mutually beneficial relationships with your coworkers.

work relationships

Listen

In the rush of business deadlines and the flood of projects, we often neglect to take the time to listen. A colleague may have an excellent idea that you'll never know about if you don't listen. Take the time to really hear your coworker's input into a task or office procedure. Allow her to talk while you concentrate on what she has to say. You don't have to agree, but by showing her the courtesy of your full attention, you will strengthen the relationship.

Trust

The path to more trusting work relationships is showing that you trust others. People tend to live up to the trust placed in them, and being treated professionally also boosts confidence. Always look for opportunities to display your trust and belief in others. You may be disappointed now and then, but trust takes office relationships further and faster than micromanagement of every task.

Resolve

Deal with issues and resolve difficulties with colleagues right away. If dealt with constructively, the issues won't cause disruptions in office morale or your relationship. Prevent hurt feelings and conflicts from festering by being open to discussion. Most problems can be resolved through open, honest communication. Tackle the issue before it tackles you!

Lead

Take the lead in forging work relationships. Great relationships don't just happen unless someone takes action. Make the first move, whether it's by offering an olive branch to a person with whom you've had a difficult time, or by complimenting someone who has consistently performed well but not received the recognition he deserves. It could be as simple as offering an apology or asking a question. Be the one to initiate the change toward a better relationship.

Respect

Whatever title a person holds within a company, she deserves respect for the work she does. Believing this and acting accordingly will help you nurture good relationships and strong workplace alliances. Be trustworthy to every employee, and make it your mission to fulfill your promises — whether it's meeting a deadline or keeping a lunch date. Showing respect for others' efforts and aspirations will increase job satisfaction all around; it will enhance the personal and professional support they have for you, as well.

Workplace relationships can provide both friendship and support. Your coworkers are your closest network, so take some simple and smart steps to make those relationships solid and rewarding.

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