The Essentials Of Healthy Work Relationships

At the core of leadership is the ability to build relationships.  It is why it is essential that a leader should never underestimate the importance of what it takes build healthy relationships.  Healthy relationships can have ripple effects from increased productivity to ensuring that whatever situation may arise in the workplace they will know their employees intimately to know how well they will respond when called into action.

All strong and healthy relationships are based on mutual trust, respect and understanding and these are equally true for relationships within the work place. Studies have shown that good relationships are great for our health too since strong relationships empower us to be less overwhelmed by stressful situations.

Building any relationship cannot take place over night. It is a journey. It is worth the time and effort to make the investment in developing good workplace relationships for a variety of reasons.  Good workplace relationships help to build a healthy morale and encourages engagement with our co-workers so that we are more inclined to share ideas and seek advice and also it significantly enhances a pleasant work environment.

There are a few keys to creating healthy workplace relationships that leaders can put in place:

  1. Earn trust: You can gain the trust of your co-workers by always being true to your word and actions.  Make it a habit to keep your promises. Consistently keep to your timelines and deliverables. Never over commit yourself.  This builds trust over time.
  2. Communication: Effectively and honestly communicate your concerns or requests with your team. Be yourself, but not to the point where you push others down. Communication is not just about talking; it’s about listening as well.  Become a good listener.
  3. Be merciful:  We all make mistakes, we are human. Show compassion when someone makes a mistake. Put yourself in their shoes and remember the golden rule “Do unto other” You will find that mercy will let you have greater grace as well.
  4. Validate people:  Be respectful of the views and opinions of others. We all come from different walks of life and we each want to feel that we are heard and validated for differences.
  5. Be helpful:  If you are not willing to help another, it’s not really fair to expect others to help you. Go the extra mile. Give and take is a two-way street.
  6. Defensiveness:  Being defensive will kill relationships. Make the effort to avoid trying to defend yourself to others. Try to understand where someone is coming from first before you attack.
  7. Get Interactive:  Make a point of spending time with your co-workers on a regular basis within and outside the office environment goes a long way to keeping the relationships strong and healthy.
  8. Be likable:  You are not likable; it’s going to make it an uphill battle to create a relationship. Don’t fake, be yourself. Find ways you can connect with your teams on common ground.
  9. Giving credit:  Share the credit, don’t take it for yourself.  It’s not a manipulation tool; rather you sincerely want to do this consistently. Your team wants to know that you are not just an ego maniac to take credit for their hard work. You gain trust, you earn respect and that goes a long way to bond with your team.
  10. Healthy distance:  There is a balance to be kept with relationship. Too far, it does can be crossed and you lose professional respect. Too tight and you can be seen as distant. You have know your team and find the right balance to being approachable, professional and keeping your line.

 

 

Jennifer Olney
Over the course of my career, I have been sought after by numerous organizations to bring my talents in the arenas of sales, marketing and business development. As the Founder and Director of Business BEALEADER, I bring my experience to the table to expand the knowledge base for those seeking to find their own leader within. In 2011, I created BEALEADER to be a platform for individuals to share their expertise and leadership to make others better by being a resource of business, career and marketing solutions for those who are just starting out or maybe have a “few” years under their belt and need keep their skills fresh. In addition to the BEALEADER platform, I have developed the business units BEALEADER Business Services, which provides marketing, business development and human resource management services and BEALEADER Executive Coaching Services, which provides one on one and group coaching services to executives and individuals. These business units expand our ability and brand to make others better as we reach out to our audience with these unique product offerings. In 2014, I was named to the Inc.com list of Top 101 Leadership Speakers and I have written for several publications such as Yahoo! Small Business, Business 2 Community and others. I have also co-hosted several podcasts and in 2015 will be hosting the BEALEADER podcast for our audience as well.
Jennifer Olney
Jennifer Olney
Jennifer Olney

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9 Comments

  • July 18, 2013

    LovelyLysa

    A new school year has just started at my workplace so this is a great article to share to start off the year! Thanks!

  • July 18, 2013

    Jen Olney

    LovelyLysa Thanks so much! Wishing you much success with your new school year. I hope you can join us for our blogchat this Saturday as well.

  • July 18, 2013

    AlaskaChickBlog

    This is our BlogChat’s topic for Saturday? Outstanding! (I hope you said yes!) My #1 downfall is #10. (Full-body slam, downfall.) Once again- I will do my best to be on time! LOL. I love this list- I don’t even mind that I totally fail on #10- because I can SEE it, and know what I need to find a way to work with , even in our unique circumstance. Thanks, Jen. Once again, you nailed a good one.

  • July 18, 2013

    Jen Olney

    AlaskaChickBlog Hi Amber-Lee. Yes, this is our topic for Saturday morning at 10amET. I’m so glad you love the topic – this is a favorite of mine as well. I’ve struggled with #10 too. Sometimes the line gets crossed. It happens when might invest too much into the relationship or the other party might invest too much as well – both sides can be at fault. There is a balance to be had and it requires working on boundaries. To know where you draw your line and holding to it. Very hard for some to know where to draw it and hold it. Look forward to seeing you on Saturday!

  • July 20, 2013

    Jen Olney

    Good Morning! The #bealeader blog chat is open and live ready for your questions and comments. I’ll be here for the next 30 minutes to answer your questions and comments. Join in the conversations.

  • July 20, 2013

    scott_elumn8

    Love that you included mercy. Such a beautiful word we don’t use often enough in the context of dealing with others, especially at work. I kind of like using grace too. 🙂

  • July 20, 2013

    Jen Olney

    scott_elumn8 Thanks, Scott. We don’t hear enough about grace and mercy. I think we tend to forget when dealing with others. I know that when can put ourselves in the shoes of another we can see that mercy should perhaps be shown. I know that perspective has helped me become a better leader.

  • July 20, 2013

    AlaskaChickBlog

    (I am sorry I wasn’t here- AGAIN.) I just re-read the post and before I even came to the list, another point caught my attention. “Good workplace relationships help to build a healthy morale and
    encourages engagement with our co-workers so that we are more inclined
    to share ideas and seek advice and also it significantly enhances a
    pleasant work environment.”
     This is an incredibly important point, Jen. “…so that we are more inclined to share ideas AND SEEK ADVICE…” ~ Without forming these REAL relationships, without the trust needed to form these real relationships; it may seem to an individual that they have no where or one to turn to. This, in my experience can be incredibly dangerous. In the bigger picture, it can lead to terrible choices, poorly planned career choices and unexplored opportunities.
    #10. Remains my personal hang-up. It also reminds me of things I have been told, numerous times, about “never work for family or friends”. Pshaw. I have never (as the worker) had this issue, myself, but have witnessed it and the heartbreak that comes from it.  But, I have (as “a” or “the”- Leader) felt the frustration that it does seem horribly difficult for others.
    To the point, though, I DO care. I want to know each ONE, of my Team and Trainees. I want to help and guide them, to understand what I have learned, to learn what I know. OUCH! (and that was me getting bit on the butt, from the “line” being crossed.) This is where I fall short. That line.
    What you spoke of with Scott, about grace and mercy. I too, Jen have witnessed and felt the great blessings that come from truly embracing both. I feel stronger, as a person growing and understanding myself better and as a Leader, understanding so much more of others better. It allows me to completely access all the other traits and values that have helped me to become a Leader, without being the kind of leader that has no one to lead.
    Thank you for such a great Blog Chat topic. I am so flustered that I wasn’t here! I will deal with this! LOL, Mid-October, to be precise! Till then, I am simply glad to have you all giving me strength to pull upon!

  • July 20, 2013

    Jen Olney

    AlaskaChickBlog Missed you this morning Amber-lee! But I love that you come in and share your thoughts here anytime. Yes, if we feel comfortable in the relationship we are more incline to seek counsel and really to take to heart the advice we are given. It’s a two way street. If the relationship is one sided, you never really feel that the person has your best interest at heart. Also too, if you feel that the leader is just taking no interest in you, that your ideas are just being given lip service, you will never really share that “Aha” moment with your manager. It could have been the idea that would have helped the company but one may never know. 

    The line about “friends” here is where I’ve seen it crossed. In my own experience, some take that too far and go to the TMI category (TOO MUCH INFOMATION) I’ve had experience where one person felt they could cross that line with me and that really blurred the work. I had to pull back and when I did, they didn’t take it well. Family is another issue, it’s works when you have a solid foundation of trust but if the foundation is not solid it can be an issue. You have know the boundaries of the relationships before you enter into a working relationship – there is a difference between working with family and being “family” and you have to know that you can draw the line when it comes to business. More personal stories I could share dealing with husband and wives who didn’t have a good foundation and that didn’t end well but in the end, it comes down to where you feel comfortable….that is where I think you need to start. Relationship all begin with honesty, trust and truth, respect. If you have the basics, the rest falls in line. 

    I appreciate you coming in for the chats – you’ll see few announcements in the next weeks about our chats and new meetings that I think will help your schedule. I know you are busy but I appreciate you always for coming in and all the writing and support you give #bealeader