What You Learned in Kindergarten … Still Helps Create Strong Work Relationships

When work relationships are positive and cohesive, we’re happier and more productive. Building and maintaining positive relationships with colleagues begins with open communication. From email to face-to-face, the stronger you communicate with those around you, the better your relationships will be.

working together at workZero in on the following interpersonal skills to ensure your interactions are leading to good work relationships:

1. Avoid bragging

  • Let your work and achievements speak for themselves
  • Quietly point out to the boss what you have contributed and achieved beyond the call of duty

2. Give others a chance

  • Learn to get along and work with people who appear not to like you or whom you may not like
  • Get to know and understand colleagues individually; don’t base a relationship on what another person might have said.
  • Develop a unique, personal and diplomatic working relationship with everyone

3. Don’t hold grudges

  • When angry over an issue, admit it and then take corrective measures to resolve the problem
  • Once the problem is resolved, let the anger go and move on

4. work relationshipsBe the peacemaker

  • Accept all co-workers and new employees
  • Be a negotiator when others are in conflict. Note: This may make you vulnerable to attacks from those who thrive on negativism.

5. Use sportsmanlike conduct

  • Discuss rather than argue
  • When you’re upset, explain firmly but calmly what upset you and why
  • Share information

6. Listen without interrupting

  • Hear your co-worker out, especially when the topic is important to him or her
  • Acknowledge a colleague’s point of view, even if you disagree

7. Reciprocate

  • Offer a favor when you have expertise to share
  • When offering favors, look for opportunities where you truly have value to add

8. Show appreciation

  • Compliment the work of everyone around you, at every level
  • Talk positively about the people you work with
  • Write thank-you notes to people at any level


Developing strong work relationships doesn’t happen by accident. Make a conscious effort to be the kind of colleague you would like to work with—even with those few difficult personalities around you. It’ll help you feel more satisfied with your job in the short term … and help move your career forward.

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