Creative Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Coworkers

Creative Ways to Improve Your Relationship With Coworkers was originally published on Ivy Exec.

Your relationship with coworkers can affect your productivity and work morale. If you get along with them, you will look forward to going to work and be more enthusiastic about your duties. You will be open to collaboration and receiving positive criticism.

While a good relationship with your colleagues is crucial, it isn’t always easy to build. Your different personalities and opinions may clash and test your patience. Sometimes, you may feel uncomfortable trying to mend a relationship after a conflict or when one of your competitors gets a promotion.

Are you wondering how to improve your relationship with coworkers without crossing the line? Let’s explore some creative ways to do so.


✅ Find Out What You Have in Common

The simplest way to build your relationship with coworkers is by using things you have in common. Do they have the same interests and hobbies you do? What do they value most about their job or career? What do they want to achieve in their current role or the next five years?

Learning your coworkers’ goals and what they like will help create a great foundation for your professional relationships. If you share a hobby, you can invite them to participate in such activities after work. On the other hand, you may mentor and motivate each other if you have similar career goals.

Taking the first step to engage your coworkers can be tricky, especially if they are new hires or people you’ve barely interacted with. But discovering their interest will give you conversation ideas. It makes your first friendly interaction less awkward and improves the chances of clicking with them.


✅ Participate in Team Building Activities

Many companies have team-building activities to strengthen the workplace culture. If such events are optional, you may prefer not to attend and use the time to relax or run personal errands. Unfortunately, skipping team-building events may imply that you have no interest in bonding.

Participate in such activities to enhance your relationship with coworkers and get to know them better. Use outdoor activities to learn how to work with them in a fun environment. Improve your communication skills by taking part in fun games like scavenger hunts and storytelling.


✅ Find Opportunities for Collaboration

Working with your colleagues on a shared project is a great way to build good relationships. You will learn from them and merge your skills to produce better results. Collaboration also makes you more efficient and improves your problem-solving skills.

If you want to improve your relationship with a specific employee, you can ask them to be on your team. You may also approach them for help with a difficult assignment.

Your coworkers also want to benefit from collaborating with you. Instead of relying on them to help you do your job better, you should also offer value.

Help them excel by solving problems they face in their roles. Assist them with time-consuming projects and offer the resources they need. You don’t always have to wait for them to ask for help. Be proactive and identify the right time to chip in.

Collaborating with coworkers won’t always be easy because your goals and personalities differ. Some ways to make it seamless include:

  • Encouraging accountability
  • Offering constructive feedback
  • Assigning roles that match their expertise
  • Addressing conflicts early before they escalate


✅ Don’t Overthink It

It’s common to overthink about your relationship with your colleagues. You may worry about what people will say, especially if you are in a gossipy work environment. Besides, you might feel their effort to connect with you isn’t genuine, especially if you haven’t gotten along in the past.

Avoid overthinking about your relationships and just work towards improving them. If a coworker offers help, don’t view it as an opportunity for them to sabotage your work. Avoid letting your competitive spirit influence you to outshine them and take credit for their work.

If you are unsure about another colleague’s intention, it’s better to ask them than assume. You will likely discover they are also trying to establish a good relationship with you and benefit from your expertise.


✅ Be an Active Listener

It’s tempting to interrupt when your coworker is speaking to you. You might have a different perspective about what they are discussing or feel the need to correct them.

Allowing your coworkers to talk without interrupting is an excellent way to practice active listening. It helps you understand them and avoids miscommunication that could cause conflict.

Here are other ways to practice active listening with your coworkers:

  1. Maintain eye contact.
  2. Use non-verbal cues to show you are listening.
  3. Ask them to clarify when you don’t understand something.
  4. Show empathy by acknowledging their feelings.
  5. Control your emotions during heated conversations.

Active listening shows your coworkers that you care about their opinions. It helps you build trust and makes them feel more comfortable around you. Active listening also improves engagement during interactions. It creates a good foundation for your future conversations.


✅ Don’t Force It

Not every coworker will want to build a good relationship with you, and that’s okay. Trying to bond with people who aren’t interested can set you up for sabotage. It may make your interactions more awkward and affect your reputation.

Instead of trying to get along with everyone, try to maintain respectful relationships. If a colleague has an event and they invite others but not you, don’t go. If they reject your collaboration request, try to work with those who are open to the idea.

Respecting boundaries and not forcing relationships with your coworkers makes you more valuable. It reduces tension and makes it easier for you to work with them. Moreover, it allows all parties to focus on common goals and creates a better work environment.


Be a Great Coworker

Building your relationships with coworkers is vital for career success. While there are many ways to bond with them, it should feel natural.

Use common interests and shared tasks to connect with them. You can also leverage activities that aren’t work-related to know them on a deeper level. Still, have clear boundaries to ensure your relationships are respectful and mutually beneficial.

Read other insightful posts on our career help blog.

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.