[First posted on Leaderonomics.com on 22 March 2013]
[Updated: 21 May 2015]
1. Display a positive attitude
This contributes to a good atmosphere in the workplace. It also enables you to become approachable and will attract conversations from your co-workers. All great relationships start with that ﬁrst conversation!
2. Give a happy ‘Hello!’ in the morning
Do you walk into the ofﬁce with your eyes downcast; shoulders slumped, and immediately start your work? If this is your behaviour, you may ﬁnd that your co-workers will, at best, ignore you, or at worst, avoid you. Get into the habit of smiling and greeting your colleagues. It’s amazing how far a little courtesy can go!
3. Return calls and emails promptly
To develop good relationships, don’t neglect good ofﬁce etiquette. There are few things more frustrating to a busy co-worker than having their emails and phone messages ignored. You want to avoid being in a position where you convey the unpleasant message that “You are unimportant to me.”
4. Accept good-natured teasing
A sign of a good relationship is being able to have good fun together. Your co-workers might sometimes play jokes and tease you just to test what kind of person you are. As long as the teasing does not cross personal boundaries, don’t get angry. Show them you love a good joke – even if it is at your expense!
5. Build trust
Trust and honesty are fuel for positive relationships. In some cases, honesty means admitting that you don’t know an answer or that you have made a mistake. Showing this side of your character sends the message a bout your honesty and integrity.
6. Help your co-workers whenever possible
Providing your knowledge and expertise in an area outside your job description is helpful to your co-workers. It is also a growth opportunity for you. Your helpfulness will likely be reciprocated when you ﬁnd yourself in need of assistance.
7. Respect cultural differences and different work styles
The work place is becoming more and more diverse. Your colleague’s style of communication and work may be different from your own. Always embrace an opportunity to learn from others. Respect and acknowledgement are essenti al elements of healthy relationships.
8. Show respect to all your co-workers
Respect is the foundation of positive relationships. When you show your co-workers respect, you will begin to understand the basis of their opinions, work habits, and beliefs. Understanding these differences helps prevent negative discussion or offensive conversations that can strain relationships.
9. Learn the art of small talk
Ask your co-workers about their interests – favourite music, movies, books and hobbies. Showing a genuine interest in them will make them feel comfortable around you. Once you know what excites your colleagues, you will be able to come up with great conversation starters and develop your inter-ofﬁce relationships.
10. Participate in office outings
If your ofﬁce doesn’t have outings, it should! Getting to know your colleagues outside the ofﬁce is a great experience. When you ﬁnd out that your ofﬁce administrator is in a band, or that your partner enjoys a good game of badminton, it helps build camaraderie. You will soon realise that you might have more in common with your colleagues than just working in the same organisation.
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Published in English daily The Star, Malaysia, 29 September 2012