By Georgianna Donadio, PhD – Some of us may not realize just how important it is to create excellent relationships with our coworkers. Without the support or cooperation of those with whom we spend a significant amount of our time, our job performance and certainly our work satisfaction can suffer.
Several studies have shown that difficult relationships in the workplace impair performance and decrease morale even more seriously than rumors of employee layoffs.
Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours working. And as a result, we spend the majority of our time with our coworkers. Just as with other people in our lives with whom we interact on a regular basis, our coworkers need to be viewed as important and essential parts of our “life support” group. Cultivating respectful, considerate relationships with our co-workers is good for our health and our work performance. It creates a positive and friendly environment where we spend a majority of our time.
Here are some easy ways to make the work environment nicer, friendlier and more positive place:
Avoid gossiping: No one wants to be gossiped about. If you don’t gossiping about others, your coworkers will get the message that you do not wish to “stir the stink” about them and they will respect your integrity and treat you likewise. If someone starts to gossip with you, simply respond: “Really?” Then change the subject or excuse yourself from the conversation. Reducing gossip effectively enhances the work environment and your reputation.
Show genuine interest: One of the nicest experiences is having someone show interest in the things that interest us. It makes us feel valued and builds rapport and trust. If you are aware of co-worker’s interests and happen to run across something pertaining to those subjects, giving him information or helpful articles can really make his day and enhance your working relationships.
Give credit where credit is due: Embrace the win-win attitude and always give credit where credit is due. If people have worked hard and made a huge contribution to a project, they should be recognized and applauded for their efforts. Nothing is more uplifting than being recognized for our contributions and the value we bring to our work. By supporting and appreciating co-workers, you create for them and for yourself a cooperative and trustworthy environment that encourages them to continue to do their best. Competition can be healthy, but not when it results in giving credit to the wrong people or not recognizing excellence in others.
For more information about this topic, you can access a free excerpt from the bestselling book Changing Behavior: Immediately Transform Your Relationships with Easy to Learn Proven Communication Skills by visiting www.changingbehavior.org.