Good working relationships is an important factor in ensuring an emotionally healthy workplace. We need to put in time and effort to cultivate and manage good working relationships.
Treat others with respect and dignity
A culture of respect and dignity in the workplace will ensure a healthy working environment. You can contribute to this environment by:
- building a sense of community spirit at work through group lunches, organising or participating in events like 'Family Day' and workshops that emphasise team building
- abiding by work ethics and maintaining confidentiality
- treating your colleagues as you would like them to treat you
- supporting your colleagues in times of need
Manage your emotions
It is common to experience anger and anxiety at work. When you are overwhelmed with such emotions, there is a tendency to react explosively or become withdrawn. By managing your emotions well and being patient, a sense of calm and stability can be maintained. This allows you to work better with your colleagues, even in stressful work situations.
You can try to manage your emotions by:
Checking your thought patterns
One of the ways to manage your emotions is to check your thought patterns. Sometimes, we may have negative thoughts that make us feel that we are not in control of our emotions. Learn how to identify these negative thoughts and correct them accordingly.
Practising relaxation techniques
Another good method to manage your emotions is to practice relaxation techniques:
- deep breathing (i.e. inhaling and exhaling slowly until you feel calm)
- playing relaxing or soothing music
- excusing yourself from the situation to take a breather. However, assure the other party that you will come back to handle the situation when you have calmed down.
Effective communication in the workplace will minimise misunderstandings among colleagues thus maximising work efficiency. When we have communication breakdowns at work, we spend time and energy trying to make amends.
Be mindful of these components of communication
- Choice of words
- Tone of voice
- Non-verbal cues: body language and emotions expressed
- Relationships between communicating parties
Be an active listener and speak with discretion
Being an active listener gives people the impression that you are genuinely interested in their views and also shows respect to the speaker. Speaking with discretion also helps to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings with peers. Cultivate the habit to think before you speak so that you say the right things at the right time.
Communicate effectively with your superiors
Learn to accept instructions and feedback from your superiors as it is important to understand their positions and reasoning. You should also not hesitate to ask for help when you need it and to explain problems that you encounter in your work when necessary.
Communicate clearly and frequently with your colleagues on the following
- what you are currently doing for the company
- what are some goals you are striving for at work, and even some of your personal ones that may affect work
- some of the difficulties you are facing with customers, management, colleagues etc (without sounding like you are whining and complaining)
Value of face-to-face interactions
When we communicate with a person face-to-face, we can build trust and openness with our verbal and non-verbal cues. We can also sense and understand the other person s point of view and what they feel.
Use of emails
Use e-mails if you have specific requests or updates for a colleague, and the message can be read at their convenience. With e-mails, you can still sound cordial, instead of being distant. Just a few more seconds of typing some niceties like Have a great day! can bring a feeling of goodwill to the reader.
Consider carefully your choice of words while crafting your email messages. For example, if you communicate your unhappiness or anger via email, pause a moment before you hit the Send button! Cool down, review what you have written, and edit it so that it sounds more objective. Stick to the facts and avoid character attacks. Be objective and constructive. If you are criticising something, offer a solution to improve the situation, if possible.
As you learn to communicate more effectively at work, you will be able to achieve your goals, garner more support during setbacks, and feel much happier at work.
Managing healthy relationships at the workplace not only increases understanding, but also leads to a happier and less stressful working environment.
Learn to work with others in a team
Working as a team means that you are part of a collective body whereby everyone is working towards a common objective or goal. This also means that you need patience and understanding to learn and adapt to different working habits, points of view, and personalities of your team members.
Be responsible for your assigned role for the team
No one likes a lazy member in a team who needs others to cover for his/her inaction. Responsibility in all matters, regardless of big or small, will earn you the respect of your peers.
Acknowledge what your team members have contributed
The affirmation and validation that you give to your members demonstrates that you appreciate them for who they are and what they are doing. Saying a word of thanks or well done is not only good manners but it helps to brighten up someone s day at work.
Offer emotional support
Offering support to your colleagues in times of adversity enables you to be involved in your colleagues life. This can range from encouragement to offering a listening ear when needed. Being there for one another helps bring the team closer together as a unit, and also improves your relationship with your peers.
Go the extra mile
In a workplace environment, doing something special for your colleagues or peers may not require a lot of effort. It could be something small like running an errand, answering the phone or even pulling out a file from the library for your colleague. A very simple action will help your colleagues see you positively and appreciate who you are.
Make work fun and rewarding
Work need not be boring and repetitive. On the contrary, work can be fun and stimulating. The word 'play' often brings out negative connotations of engaging in frivolous activities or even having a nonchalant attitude. But it need not be so. To add 'play' into the workplace is to find new and creative ways to execute tasks at hand and to think out-of-the-box for solutions to problems.
When you make work fun, it can be pretty contagious and your colleagues will catch on to this newfound attitude and enthusiasm that you bring to the team. Remember to also bring in laughter to your work as it will lighten your colleagues' mood and help to make work more enjoyable.