Written by Mrunal Kale
Be it workplace or a relationship, communication is what takes you through! Honestly, today’s workplaces are much like a jungle with swift dynamics and politics always running in the undercurrents. A Forbes survey revealed that 58% of the employees would trust a stranger over their bosses. Outrageous isn’t it?! It is also not always about the boss and subordinate relationship but also comes down to the equation with the colleagues. There is always more than what meets the eye and to sail smoothly without letting the relationships at work exhaust you out of your wits, we have some pointers that will help you manage the workplace relationships just right! Here we go…
#1. Pick up the culture
All organisations apart from the usual frame of corporate culture have their own internal unwritten rules and laws and patterns that run into several years. The big reveal here is to identify them and run along the lines of it with your set of ethics. For instance, in an organization, there could be people who are used to greeting each other in a certain way or following a particular protocol during a meeting or some kind of involvement when it comes to office events. What you need to figure out is the behavior around it and pave your way in steadily. Having said this, in all circumstances always remember that what you bring to the organization is unique to you and you only. It is also equally important to hold onto your own principles and morals while trying to blend into a whole new atmosphere. Unlearning some things while adapting to a few more things while clinging to the ones that are your USPs is the one line that sums up it all.
#2. Take it slow
Relationships at your workplace have a pace of their own and it should strictly remain that way. Do not try to jump the gun or fantasize about being best friends forever with anyone you remotely connect with. There is a world of difference between friendships in campus and a corporate. Exchange views and opinions while maintaining a safe and respectful distance from your co-workers. This is a trend that is observed mostly with freshers who are just out of college and sometimes even with seasoned professionals. People have run into trouble while rushing into turning the official relationship into a friendship that outruns the workplace. There is really no exception to this one. It is always, I repeat ALWAYS a good idea to honour the beat of the relationship. Don’t be in a hurry to plan a weekend trip or even a Friday night with your colleagues without giving it enough time. It could really get out of hand or awkward or even inappropriate at times and none of the above we would like to face the next morning in the office.
#3. Don’t mix business with pleasure
Now, this may sound closely related to the point stated above and it is but a little more evolved. This is a stage where you have developed some kind of rapport with your associates but then come to the defining limits. By this time you are comfortable enough to share a meal together, maybe hung out for coffee, even share a few jokes etc. but even so you need to keep the right distance in between. Even if they seem good enough, steer clear of connecting on social media just because you talk on a regular basis. You might be comfortable sharing a joke or two around the cubicle but keep it strictly professional in meetings/discussions. One small error and it can turn into a very unpleasant confrontation. Always remember in your head that these are the people you work with. All is well today, but you never know what you have in store for tomorrow. Therefore make friends but really really take your time when you get involved in situations that could strain your work relationships.
#4. Don’t go on assuming
No two people have the same thought process or approach and therefore it is of utmost importance not to assume things beforehand. Always enter a discussion with an open mind and most importantly no presumptions. Even if you know already that your viewpoints do not really match with a certain someone, listen! Don’t just hear to answer back. They really might have a point that could be a better way to go but only because you have some things set in your mind, you refuse to understand that it is actually better for the task that is being attempted. Ask questions, make notes, weigh things from a different perspective, observe! This kind of sincere effort is always healthy for workplace relationships. After all, said and done you are there to do the job in the best possible way, and having a cordial atmosphere will only help the case.
#5. Look at the bigger picture
One must always have an eye for detail but this one line has been a life mantra and definitely a winner when it comes to office equations. Each person is contributing to the workplace in some way or the other and it is not your job to fix others just because you don’t think they are doing what they should be doing. We, humans, are always quick to find the flaws and form judgements about others. There will always be people who will be trying to find what is wrong with others or how to make a situation difficult but one should always carry the big picture in the head i.e. to get the job done. Instead of trying to serving to a workplace relationship unnecessarily fix your vision to the end result. The genuine equations will always have your back, helping you learn new things and the rest will just serve their time and go to the grave. Don’t get stuck in petty chaos and drift away from the target. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is the deliverables.
Let us know if these helped you in getting a better understanding of attempting the relationships at the workplace.