how to improve work relationships

How to improve your work relationships in three easy steps

As part of our Mental Health Week series we look at how to improve your work relationships in three easy steps, to make the working day more enjoyable

We spend more time in work than we do at home, and yet we often neglect our work relationships which in turn impacts our mental health. So, how can you improve your work relationships, after all these are people you wouldn’t necessarily choose to have in your life?

By changing how you respond instead of reacting. You can’t control other people, but you can control yourself, which is why changing how you deal with work conflict will change your relationships for the better.

Don’t know where to start? Try these three points as recommended by Tara Swart, author of The Source.

Listen first, speak second

Instead of jumping in to solve a problem or deal with conflict, sit back and listen. Open your ears and really listen to what people are saying. Not what you’re hearing, but what they’re really saying. Paraphrasing what’s been said back to the speaker builds connect and shows that you’re interested and invested. Which in turn will change how people respond to you. This is a great approach to use when you’re dealing with the aftermath of a difficult situation.

Think laterally

If you keep doing the same thing you’ll keep getting the same results, so instead of focusing on the team you have why not think outside the box? When Steve Jobs was at Pixar, he redesigned the office to facilitate serendipitous personal connections, recognising the creative importance of these random and informal interactions. Is there somebody in a different team who has skills or an attitude you want to encourage in your own team? So why not get them involved? It will build communication through different departments, open up new relationships and build new skills.

Speak up

Are you useful? Can you help your colleagues? Then let them know! By communicating your willingness to help your colleagues will start to see you in a whole new light.

What you sow you reap, so by being helpful for others people will be willing to help you.

READ: Is The Pick Three Method the secret to work happiness?