Ask the experts: How can I improve my workplace relationships?

We spend a great deal of our time at work, so it can make a real difference when we get on with the people we work with. Not all relationships are smooth sailing, but with some clear communication, they can improve.

Here executive coach Aaron Jude McCarthy tells us how we can improve workplace relationships and how coaching can support us. 

How to improve workplace relationships

With remote working becoming the norm, it’s tough to feel connected to colleagues. Do you have any suggestions for staying connected when working remotely?

When working remotely, video conferencing software is an excellent tool for keeping in touch with coworkers and staying connected with your boss. The ability to view and communicate with your team in real-time will enable you to feel more connected to them. To interact with coworkers, you may also use messaging tools such as Slack, Whatsapp, or HipChat. This will help you to remain up to speed on what’s going on in the workplace and easily exchange ideas and files with your colleagues and coworkers. 

Additionally, make it a point to communicate with your coworkers frequently, even if you aren’t directly involved in the same project. This may assist in keeping everyone on the same page and preventing any miscommunications from occurring. By following these suggestions, you will be able to maintain contact with your coworkers and continue to produce results when working from a distance.

Some relationships at work can become difficult, do you have any tips for navigating this?

If you’re having problems with a colleague, attempt to speak to them directly. Set up a meeting or coffee conversation, and bring instances of what has been upsetting you. Instead of blaming, approach this talk as an improvement to your working relationship. 

If the discussion goes well, you can both agree to make concrete modifications. Then, frequently check-in and be prepared to alter your own behaviour if required. Uneasy interactions do not always go well. If talking to your colleague doesn’t work, you may need to notify your manager or HR. This should be the last option, but it is occasionally required to maintain a healthy and productive workplace. In any case, keep it professional and avoid making it personal. 

Difficult professional relationships may be challenging to navigate, but with a little effort, they can frequently be resolved. These suggestions should help you restore peace at work.

What is one thing managers can do to improve communication amongst their team? 

One thing that managers can do to improve communication within teams is to urge their team members to respectfully speak freely and honestly with one another, even when it is unpleasant or difficult to do so and make certain that they are taking the time to listen to what their team members are saying rather than just waiting for their opportunity to speak out. 

Managers should also establish an atmosphere where communication is open and effective, which will result in a more productive team as a result. A team’s ability to communicate effectively is critical to its success. Managers may assist their teams in achieving better success by enhancing communication between themselves and their teams.

How can a coach help improve relationships in the workplace?

A coach can help improve relationships in the workplace by providing guidance and support. They can help employees develop better communication skills, manage conflict effectively, and work more collaboratively. Coaching can also help to create a more positive work environment, which can lead to improved productivity and staff morale. If you are experiencing difficulties with your relationships at work, consider seeking out the services of a coach

A coach can help individuals identify their own development needs and then work with them to create an action plan to address those needs. Additionally, a coach can help employees navigate interpersonal conflict and help build communication and teamwork skills within a team or organisation. By taking on these various roles, a coach can help create a more positive and productive work environment.

Aaron’s top tips for building positive relationships at work:

  1. Make an effort to get acquainted with your coworkers. Take the time to learn about their hobbies, backgrounds, likes, dislikes and family relationships to name a few.
  1. Show genuine care and interest in others’ wellbeing. Make an extra effort to assist others or provide a hand when they are in need. Differences should be respected. Recognise that everyone has their own unique set of ideas and beliefs and make an effort to learn from them rather than judge them. Cooperation and collaboration with others are encouraged. Work together to achieve shared aims and objectives.
  1. Be a good communicator. Concentrate on paying attention, communicating clearly and concisely, and attempting to avoid confrontation wherever feasible. By following these suggestions, you may improve your working relationships with your coworkers. This will make going to work more pleasurable and productive for you and your coworkers.

This article was originally published in Happiful Magazine (Issue 61 2022). You can order print copies online, or read the e-magazine for free on the Happiful app

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Senior Writer for Life Coach Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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