Monday, May 20, 2013

The Roles of Relationships in the Workplace.

As mentioned briefly in last weeks post,  relationships play a central role in our experiences. Relationships play a key role in our happiness and success both personally and professionally. This doesn’t mean you need to be completely extroverted in every situation. While being friendly and outgoing obviously makes you a more approachable individual, there is no exact scientific correlation between success and relationships.   Being a social butterfly is not always a guaranteed antecedent of success, and similarly being shy does not doom you to failure.  It is; however, important to make an effort to get to know the people with whom you work and learn about what skills and abilities they bring to the table. There is a strong need to build relationships regardless of your personality. In Amanda Haddaway's article titled How to Build Positive Workplace Experience, she presents these ideas and discusses the importance of attitude, work ethic, first impressions and building strong relationships from the start.

Here are some of her  tips on how to encourage positive workplace relationships:
  • Be friendly and encouraging to co-workers.
  • Be responsible – if you say you’re going to do something, do it. If you’re unable to complete a task for some reason, make sure information is communicated to all team members who would be impacted.
  • If you share an office, be considerate. Find out how your office mate works and be respectful. For example, some people need to work in complete silence, while others enjoy background music. Make sure you’re not inadvertently making your office mate crazy with your personal habits.
  • Understand that people are unique and dwell on their positive qualities, not their negative qualities. It’s acceptable to not be friends with everyone, but try to at least be professional and cordial in your interactions.
  • Rise above office gossip. No one wants to earn the reputation of being the office busybody.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate! Your co-workers are not mind readers, so make sure you’re communicating with them and your manager on a regular basis  
Number two, "Be Responsible" is the one that sticks out most to me, personally. I know that I struggle with being able to say "no". I often try to take on too much, while on the job and in life, trying to please everyone. The problem is, when we spread ourselves too thin we are unable to do anything great. We become overwhelmed, bouncing from one project to another, and often find ourselves unable to fulfill all commitments. I have found that it is easier, and more effective to 'pick your battles.' Most likely, your boss would prefer reasonable  honesty and appreciate your ability to recognize your limits. Learn to COMMUNICATE... effectively, assertively, and proactively. Rather than being unable to say no and committing yourself to too much. If you make a commitment, stick to it! Follow through is expected. People are depending on you. Empty promises lead to stressful situations and people scrambling at the last minute. Failure to follow through is more damaging than saying no from the start. Not only will effective communication enhance relationships and promote success, professionally. Being able stand up for yourself and to voice your thoughts, wants, feelings, and needs in the workplace is essential to eliminating unnecessary stress, as well promoting emotional health and wellness.  Below I have provided some links to sources related to emotional health and communication in the workplace. enjoy! :)


Tips to Reduce and Manage Job and Workplace Stress 

Pay special attention to tips two and three, regarding stress reduction through taking care of yourself and prioritizing!