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5 Steps to Positive Relationships at Work

Updated: Apr 1, 2022

5 Steps to Positive Relationships at Work

How to foster positive relationships at work

Why are positive relationships at work important?

As highly social animals, we are hard-wired to bond, care for and depend on others. That means we all need healthy relationships, including at work! At the best, positive work relationships help us to grow, thrive and flourish in our lives and work. Conversely, negative work relationships have the potential to be a source of psychological distress, depletion, and dysfunction.

Most of us spend more time at work than on any other daily activity. Hence, it is natural that we seek to feel connected and supported by our peers, subordinates, and leaders. In fact, research has shown that people who experience positive relationships at work are likely to experience higher positive emotions and work satisfaction.

The PERMA Model to a Flourishing Life

Relationships is the third element of the PERMA model created by Dr. Martin Seligman, American psychologist, author and founder behind positive psychology movement. To summarize, this element is about forming and bonding strong authentic connections with others. These connections can give our life purpose and meaning and is often one of the best antidotes to “the downs” of life!

Read this article to find out if you are flourishing at work using the PERMA Model!

5 Steps to Positive Relationships at Work

The fundamentals to a positive work relationships is no different from that of our own personal relationships. They are built on trust, respect, honesty and authenticity. But, before you start thinking this is about just having social events with the same group of co-workers every day, then you are wrong! These are my 5 steps to building positive relationships at work.

1. Map out the key relationships

If you have not already done your relationship mapping within the organization, please do so now! This should be done as soon as you join the organization and as and when your role / job title changes. Relationship mapping is about identifying the key relationships that will make you thrive at work! This includes your direct managers, team members, key stakeholders from other teams / departments and other leaders in the organization that may directly or indirectly have an influence over your progression in the organization.

2. Understand each key contact’s needs

After your relationship mapping is completed, it is about getting a basic understanding of what the person does in the organization and his or her needs and interactions with you or your team. At this point, you should have a rough idea of the gaps in your understanding, so it is time to schedule that chat!

3. Schedule coffee or lunch

This sounds like an obvious, but I have seen so many people especially at the more junior to mid levels who fail to do this! Remember, this is not about hanging out with the same group of people every day! Reach out to the key relationships you have mapped out, even if they are in more senior levels than you. Trust me, they will appreciate your pro-activeness in building relationships!

4. Offer Help!

When the time comes, be proactive to offer help or collaborate! This helps to build trust and respect and you know what, you will need help one day too.

5. Repeat

Yes, repeat the above steps again. All relationships require TLC, isn’t it?

Final wisdom…

Remember my point earlier about trust, respect, honesty and authenticity? Don’t forget these important foundations to building positive relationships in each of the steps. When you find yourself being accepted, trusted and supported by the people you work with, you will find yourself more empowered and thriving in the work you do.

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

Elynn Teo | Creator | The Mind Studio

From a finance-leader to a coach, Elynn is passionate about empowering others to become a better version of themselves and live a flourishing life.   Elynn spent 18 years working in highly dynamic and fast-paced corporate environments and held various global leadership roles. During this time, Elynn had the privilege to lead and serve global and virtual teams. And, it is through these beautiful souls that Elynn discovered her passion of empowering others to become a better self. Elynn holds a Bachelor in Accountancy, Graduate Diploma in Applied Positive Psychology and Graduate Certificate in Counselling. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Counselling.

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