Association News

Building Workplace Relationships

Aug 25, 2017

In today’s work environment we work with many individuals, teams, departments, parents, the community, and others. One key to our success is how well we build solid relationships with others. There are clear links between workplace productivity and our relationships with coworkers. We are all becoming more and more interdependent to accomplish our goals.  

Here are some tips to help you build positive relationships at work:

Listen – being an effective listener is hard work and takes conscious effort. Pay attention! Focus on what the speaker is saying and not on what you will say next.  Don’t interrupt. Reflect back to the speaker what you think they have said to confirm understanding. Ask questions to get additional information. Seek to understand before you try to be understood.

Communicate - there are more communication tools available to us than ever before. It is important to express yourself clearly on the phone, in person, or via email, written documents, or voice mail. Think about what you are trying to say. Share information, be courteous, and clear.

Ask for feedback - we all perceive things differently. Solicit feedback from colleagues to get their perspective on how things are going. 

Manage conflict - regardless of how well we get along with our team members, misunderstandings sometimes occur. Focus on solving the problem, not attacking the other person. Use "I" statements. Good conflict resolution skills are important in healthy relationships. 

Respect and value differences - don’t expect everyone to be just like you or think and work in the same way you do. Each of us is unique - we may approach life and work differently. These differences help us learn and grow.

Keep a healthy sense of humor - Laughter is good for our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Laughter helps us unwind, be in the moment, and think creatively. 

If you would like further information or to speak with an EAP counselor, please contact your confidential Employee Assistance Program at 303-982-0377 or visit our website at https://sites.google.com/a/jeffcoschools.us/eap/. Your EAP offers no-cost assistance to all Jeffco Public Schools employees, their family members over age 15, and retirees. “Confidential help from caring professionals…”