Thursday, May 30, 2019

Building interpersonal relationships at work

How well do you relate to others? 

Having the required interpersonal skill sets to relate to others  and forging a positive relationship with them is crucial for your career advancement. By developing such skills, it becomes easily possible for you to interact openly and positively with your co-workers and bosses in the work environment. Your endeavor in developing relationships at work should result in mutual understanding. This does not necessarily mean always agreeing with the other person, rather its appreciating and respecting their situation or point of view while holding your own. 

1. Effective communication skills
This is the most fundamental people skill because it encompasses your persona and ability to get along with other colleagues, persuade others to listen to your ideas, and much more. Effective communication helps us better understand a person or situation and enables us to resolve differences. It also allows us to build trust and respect, and create environments where creative ideas, problem solving, affection, and caring can flourish.

2. Practicing Active Listening

Hearing and active listening are two different things. Most people hear someone speak and start to form a response in their mind (or worse, starting talking) before the person finishes what theyre saying. Active listening involves the use of both verbal and non-verbal cues to encourage another person to express their ideas, thoughts and emotions freely, and comprises of the following ingredients:
A. Prompting: This is required to show interest and keep the other person talking. Use verbal cues like - Yes, Okay, I see…’, Mmm..and non-verbal cues like nodding your head and showing the appropriate facial expression.
B. Responding: You need to respond to gather more relevant information and encourage the other person to reveal their needs and concerns, as well as establish an open two way communication. Your response should be in the form of open ended questions instead of leading ones. Use a positive tone without agreeing or disagreeing. Responses can be in the form of - Is this important for you?, Tell me more about it., and How do you feel about it?
C. Restating: This is paraphrasing the other persons point to clarify your own comprehension about what the other person is meaning to say, and that you are trying to understand the situation correctly. Avoid value judgments or convey your own opinion. You can use phrases such as - Is this what you mean…’, Am I understanding correctly that…’, Is it correct to say that…’ or Im not sure Im following you here…’
D. Empathizing: You can recognize the other persons point as valid without necessarily accepting their opinions or conclusions. You need to show that you fully understand and respect their point of view and comprehend their feelings. Use phrases like I understand how you feel…’, It must have been very frustrating for you…’ or I fully comprehend your feeling this way…’
E. Summarizing: Its important to draw all relevant information or ideas together to establish the ground for further communication and highlight the key points of the discussion, and set aside irrelevant information. So what Ive gathered from our discussion…’, It seems your key issue is…’, or So the most important point is…’ are some phrases which can be used.

3. Building Trust
Building a relationship of trust involves being reliable throughout. You should be able to do what you say, and say what you mean. Honesty is an important trait in trust building. You need to keep your word and tell the truth. Develop an open attitude and express yourself freely and have others do the same to you. Share your thoughts, truly listen to others and show empathy. Keep away from the danger of gaining trust by using gossip, and show integrity by keeping secrets that are told to you. In short, you need to adopt these five traits if you wish to build a trustworthy relationship: Reliability, Honesty, Open attitude, Empathy and Integrity. Once trust is established, you can build upon the valuable performance oriented  values of confidence, empowerment and inspiration:


4. Showing Empathy

While sympathy is mere compassion, empathy goes one step further as being responsive compassion, or compassion plus expression. Its stepping into the other persons shoes - putting yourself into their situation and feeling the way they do. Empathy involves not only expressing mere words, but also involves empathetic and active listening, word choice as well as timely cues and responses.

                5. Displaying Good Etiquette

Displaying good etiquette at the workplace goes a long way in building your reputation as a well mannered and genuine person. This may range from smiling, greeting and wishing co-workers & superiors, displaying a helpful, cooperative attitude, respecting other's privacy, paying genuine compliments, displaying emphatic concern at other people's problems and several other small gestures of generosity and caring. However, you need to ensure that these gestures come out naturally and spontaneously and are not forced or artificial, otherwise you may come across as being phony.

Putting these five skills - effective communication, active listening, building trust, empathizing and observing good etiquette - into active use at your workplace will help you develop healthy and positive interpersonal relationships with others which can go a long way in promoting your career prospects. 

View the following uploaded videos on our You Tube channel on building interpersonal relationships: 

1. Building positive relations at work
2. Building interpersonal relationships


  1. Agree these skills are useful for interpersonal relationships

  2. It's true we should avoid gossip at work. Nice post advice should be followed

  3. I best like the tips on active listening

  4. Informative article. Thanks for posting.

  5. Both trust building & active listening tips are useful

  6. Both trust building and active listening skills are useful tips.

  7. This is useful advice, but the other person should respond too

  8. Interpersonal relations good for networking.

  9. It's true people don't trust others easily

  10. Trust building is necessary for good relationship

  11. Both article & vids very informative

  12. Nice update on interpersonal relationships

  13. Good teamwork requires positive interpersonal relations. Good useful post

  14. Useful article on work place professional relationship building