In the workplace, professional relationships can be a key factor for success. However, for most people, it’s difficult to create strong, authentic bonds in the business environment. After all, there are so many different personalities! Not to mention, it’s hard to know what’s appropriate. Superiors, subordinates, co-workers, and clients all seem to have different “rules” for interaction.
There’s a great deal of confusion out there. I see professionals who treat everyone they work with like friends, sharing way too much personal information. I see other people hiding who they really are and keeping everyone at a distance. I also see far too many professionals who experience conflict on a daily basis and don’t know how it happens, how to resolve it, or how to prevent it.
In short, I see a lot of painful professional relationships out there.
How do you know if you’re suffering with poor professional relationships? Here are a few common signs:
- Lack of trust
- Lack of respect
- Inappropriate distance (too personal or too detached)
- Conflict (arguing, bickering, disagreements, etc.)
- Lack of productivity
- Lack of teamwork
- Irritation or frustration
If the items on the list above resonate with you, have no fear. Like I said, it’s a regular occurrence, so you’re not alone. There are numerous strategies you can use to repair these relationships and ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.
The good news is that you really can be yourself in the workplace and STILL be a professional. You don’t have to put on an act. The most powerful relationships are built on authenticity. But they’re also built on trust, respect, mutual benefit, and communication. It’s a delicate balance that can be easily thrown off if you aren’t careful.
Once you understand the strategies for building strong, authentic professional relationships, you’ll enjoy enormous benefits! Better working relationships lead to…
- Improved productivity
- Improved teamwork
- New opportunities
- Promotions, raises, rewards, and so on
- A greater sense of comfort, confidence, and fulfillment
- More fun!
Imagine walking into work each day feeling confident and looking forward to seeing your co-workers. Imagine not questioning yourself in interactions with your boss. Imagine feeling comfortable when speaking with clients and contacts, no matter how long you’ve known them or what topic you’re discussing. Imagine resolving conflict with ease and grace.
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