Building relationships at work

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Office Worker
Office workers have plenty of obstacles
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Building relationships at work helps you win friends and influence people

We all face a bit of tension when we start at a new job.  We want people who we work with to like us, if for no other reason than it will most likely make our work day that much easier. 

The simple fact is that building relationships at work is an ongoing process that has to be constantly tweaked.  Even if you are not a new employee and you simple think that you need to polish up your ability for creating friendships at work, there are a number of different aspects to building those ties.  There are a number of different approaches you can take.

Types of Workplace Conflict

Of course, the biggest roadblock to building work connections are the routine conflicts we can experience with our coworkers.  There are five common types of conflict  that occur in most workplaces. 

Independence conflicts, difference in style, differences in background, differences in leadership and personality clashes are the main problems people have when strengthening their office or work relationships.  Obviously, the main reason behind quite a few office partnerships coming into conflict is simply a lack of understanding of the people around you. 

When you feel yourself getting into a situation where you're angry or annoyed at someone in the office, realize that the clashing most likely has something to do with the previous five factors.  Once you can determine why you're in conflict, there are ways to diffuse the situation.

Giving and Receiving Feedback

Feedback is essential to workplace work environments, either verbal or non-verbal in nature.  We need to know how others perceive us and they need to know how we feel about them. 

Unfortunately for most of us, we are going to receive and give out plenty of negative feedback.  How we learn to deal with that feedback will go a long way towards healthier and stronger relationships.  If people find that you are not able to take feedback well, they are less likely to trust you.  If you are not careful in how you give feedback to other people, they are likewise less willing to talk to you, or trust in your judgement. 

How you interact with people will determine just how much they trust and believe in you.  There really can't be a standard of healthy environment if your co-workers or employers don't trust how you will react from one situation to another.

Trying to Put People at Ease

Putting someone at ease is often harder than it sounds.  We are not all built to be social butterflies, and this can have two different kinds of negative effects.  If you are not comfortable having pleasant conversation with someone, it will show.  The problem becomes when those same people misunderstand your reaction.  Shyness can often show up as standoffish when people do not know you personally.  The flipside of that is that if you own a boisterous personality and you are interacting with introverts, they could find your behavior off-putting.

One of the best ways to make sure that you are building better synergies when it comes to putting your coworkers at ease is to meet with them in environments that they feel comfortable in.  If there is an after work get together being arranged, go to it and work to build friendships there.  Some people will tell you hosting your own party might be the way to get the walls of communication breached.  The problem is that new co-workers may not feel comfortable spending time in your home. 

It is better to find a place that can serve as neutral ground, especially when you are trying to strengthen old relationships or form new bonds.  Trust and acceptance is at the root of all healthy work places.  Different people will learn to trust you at different paces, but there are building blocks available to help you along.

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