Building Relationships in the Workplace
The information revolution has changed the way we
communicate with one another. Tweets. Facebook Posts.
Pintrest, Instagram, Google+, Collaboration tools, text
messaging, SMS, BBM, SameTime, IM’s, emails…the list
goes on. Mobile technology has made social interacting
viral allowing people to access and update their information
at any place, any time, via their smart phones.
The irony of using social technology to interact is we move to a
transactional way of interaction rather than an interpersonal way of
interacting. As we continue to develop our virtual skills, we also need
to continue developing our interpersonal relationship skills.
Most of us spend 40 hours a week (if not more) at work. We typically
interact with the same group of people every day, all day. Having good working
relationships with your colleagues creates a fun, positive environment and makes your
time at work more enjoyable.
Relationship building is also important to achieving goals, career progression, learning
and developing. It’s a career investment. Here are a few tips on how you can cultivate
your work relationships:
Make time to meet people in person- Many of us work in
different locations and we’ve become accustomed to emailing
or calling in for meetings. Why not make an effort to have some
of your meetings in person? Walk over to another building if it
is close enough. Toronto/Waterloo, why not take the train and
make a day of it? Schedule a series of meetings in person at that location to meet
the people you work with. By meeting in person, you get to know each other. Once
people get to know each other they feel more comfortable and develop trust with
one another. When trust is established more genuine conversations take place.
Take a work meeting and add a social component- Having a
meal with someone is a truly social component to a relationship.
Have you ever met someone for the first time over a coffee or
lunch? Did you notice that your meeting didn’t seem as formal,
and may have been more relaxed? When we add a social
dimension to a meeting, we are really introducing a casual approach to listening and
sharing information. When people feel relaxed they are more open to
communicating and having a genuine conversation.
Introduce yourself to someone new: Do you work in an area
where you pass by someone that you see every day, but
don’t really know who they are? Take a moment to introduce
yourself. Meet for a coffee to learn more about them. It’s a
great way to develop your skills and expand your network.
Add an ice-breaker to your Meetings: Most people typically meet/call and get
right to the point. Try starting your conversation with an ice breaker to establish a
more comfortable mood. How was your summer? How was your weekend?
What’s new? How is your day going? A few simple questions to show interest in
the person you are meeting with can help set a more relaxed the mood for the
rest of the conversation.
We would love to hear from you. What types of things have you done to build
your work relationships?
By Ann Barrett- Director eRecruitment & Social Media Strategy