Trust, teamwork, communication and respect are keys to effective working relationships. Develop positive relationships with the individuals you interact with at work to make your job more enjoyable and productive. These connections could also serve as future references or contacts in your career. People you have a working relationship with include coworkers, supervisors and people you manage, as well as clients, service providers and professional colleagues. Strong working relationships take time to mature, so focus on being consistent and dependable.
Develop trust by guarding confidences and not gossiping. Keep your appointments and do your work well. This demonstrates that others can count on you. Follow through on your promises. If you discover that you can’t fulfill a promise, apologize and offer to resolve the matter in another way. Take responsibility for your mistakes, rather than casting blame on someone or something else. Integrity is central to trust. Be fair and honest in all your dealings. Share resources and information with coworkers. Promptly return materials you borrow.
Collaborate with coworkers in a group project. Exchange ideas and be willing to change the way you usually do a task. Give credit to others for their contributions. Provide constructive criticism and request feedback on your work. Do your share of the work. Volunteer to take on challenging assignments. Incorporate fun activities and icebreakers into team projects so that members get to know each other better. Be an encourager by praising the successes of others and by inspiring them to achieve more.
Improve your communication skills by listening attentively to others and speaking clearly. If you aren’t sure you understand the other person, repeat the statement in your own words and ask whether you understand it correctly. Let others know that you value their opinions. Maintain eye contact during conversations. Keep your emotions in check, and don’t use berating words if something upsets you. Provide your calling card to clients, service providers and other professionals so they can contact you.
Show respect for others. Be interested in the perspectives of other workers, and be willing to examine viewpoints that are different from your own. Share your own perspectives in a courteous manner. Avoid telling lengthy personal stories and sending emails unrelated to work. If you work in a shared office space, limit personal phone calls and distractions such as radios. Maintain a professional and courteous attitude.