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Building Better Relationships at Work

Having strong relationships with your work colleagues is critical in having a successful career. You spend most of your day with your work mates, so might as well have an excellent rapport and a good feeling that you can share your ideas without the fear of being judged.

In this article we share some best practices on building good authentic relationships.

Do things with the right intent and treat others the same you would like to be treated. If you aim to build a relationship based on trust you need to show your colleagues that you have their back in moments of need.

Being positive with your colleagues is another good way to building better relationships. Positivity is contagious, and people are more likely to seek your input when you act as such. This influences the way you are portrayed and it is more likely that your feedback is received in the right way.

Listen with attention. In most cases, when we listen, we only pay little attention to what the counterparty is saying. A substantial part of our efforts is spent on deciding how we will respond or what we think about what is being said. This is a minute level of listening. A better level of listening is when we fully understand the other person’s words. The optimal level of listening is when we pay full attention to what is being said but also, to the body language and underlying emotions. This helps the other person feel valued and understood.

Be willing to show vulnerability in certain moments. The fact that we trust someone with a personal experience such as an ambition, dream or even an insecurity, we send a signal to the other person that we trust them. This will result in the other person opening up with other experiences and a deeper bond is formed. This level of authenticity and trust between colleagues not only impacts work performance positively but is also good for our well-being.

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson’s book Love 2.0 highlights that short moments of connection among humans actually improve our immune systems. The vagus nerve (which connects our brains to our hearts and regulates the body’s inflammation, glucose and heart rate, protecting the body from heart attacks) strengthens as the body experiences more of such connections.

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