All of us try to set boundaries at work by keeping our personal and work life separate. However, building and maintaining your relationships with your colleagues can go a long way.
Building and maintaining relationships
The building, protecting and repairing of relationships is at the center of all our lives. You spend almost as much time in work as you do with your family so it is not surprising that relationships are considered of fundamental importance.
The art of motivation is nothing new to us as we do it as a matter of routine in our lives. We motivate our children to succeed and we encourage our friends in their pursuits. Building and maintaining relationships takes time and effort but these can be so easily lost. An excellent relationship developed over years can be lost in a second due to a hasty comment or a sudden action.
As a supervisor or manager you will build and maintain thousands of relationships during your career so it is worth developing your relationship skills. Although relationships and motivation are not exactly the same they are totally inter-related. For example, when you successfully motivate someone to do something then that will improve your relationship. On the other hand, if you have a good relationship it becomes easier to motivate because you are trusted.
Here are some tips on building good relationships at work
1. Build new relationships quickly and carefully
The advantage of new relationships is that they start from a clean slate. This is a great opportunity to build a healthy and lasting relationship. Be careful not to show favouritism, as you cannot damage the existing relationships in the process. If you are a fresher then you will need to work very hard to establish your relationships with your new group. You will be the center of attention, so be careful.
2. Relationships require constant attention
Do not take relationships for granted, as they need maintenance in the same way as complex machinery. A common problem is to only talk to your people when there is a problem or a specific reason. This is a clear sign to everyone that the job is more important than the person is.
3. Repair damage quickly
No matter how skilful you become in building relationships the occasional breaks are inevitable. When these happen you must act quickly, don't allow them to fester. It may be a simple misunderstanding that can be resolved in seconds or perhaps an apology is required.
4. Don't build one relationship at the expense of another
It is possible that one of your groups needs much more attention than another. In building one relationship, it is easy to neglect the others. Make time for each group member and never allow your personal favoritism to show.
5. Don't play games with relationships
A relationship is not a toy or an experiment that the supervisor is free to experiment with freely. A relationship is based on trust and this must be treated with respect.
6. Keep the channel cool
The relationship line can become emotionally charged. Extreme emotional feelings can make the channel very hot. An emotional outburst is one of the easiest ways of damaging relationships.
7. Separate business from pleasure
The best policy is not to mix your business and personal lives. It is difficult to discipline someone if you are close friends.Of course, in many cases you will have been co-worker and friends with most of your group for many years and there is no justification for changing these relationships. However, you need to exercise caution in these relationships. Keep business related tasks at work and activities that involve socializing outside - don't mix the two.
8. React to the breakdown of a relationship
Sometimes in spite of all your hard work you fail to build a workable relationship with someone under your supervision. It is difficult to admit defeat but it is also important to protect the other relationships in the group. This nearly always means removing the person from the group. This can be achieved by the transfer the person or by his termination.Making these decisions is never a pleasant task, but in some cases it is inevitable. Ironically, this action is usually the best for both parties.
9. Your behaviour
The last but not the least important aspect of people management is your behaviour. This is the one area where you have an enormous advantage over machine management in that you have the choice. Others usually choose our machines and you can do little to change that, but the way you behave is your choice.