Are your work relationships working?

If you were to conduct a straw poll about what causes the most stress at work, odds are most of your colleagues would point to gripes with their boss, staff, colleagues, clients, or other senior stakeholders.

Relationships have a significant impact on our moods and because workplace relationships can have such a huge impact on our wellbeing, at EEK & SENSE we suggest focussing some extra attention on them from time to time.

Why? Because if workplace relationships falter (e.g. there’s a misunderstanding in intentions, a difference of view not easily resolved or, more seriously, a loss of trust) the result is internal stress, barriers to progress and another challenge to address in your life.

Regular relationship health checks = ‘a stitch in time’.

We recommend the following approach to achieve stronger, more authentic relationships in the workplace:

  1. Create your own stakeholder map. Include everyone you engage with regularly as well as those critically important people you interact with less frequently (e.g. meeting the Executive Leadership Team once every 6 months).
  2. Consider your successful connections. Why do you connect well with these people? What approach do you take that you could mirror in other relationships? Are you doing enough to sustain your positive relationships?
  3. Identify relationships that need more work. With whom could your relationships be more productive or trusting?
  4. Should you invest more time in an important relationship? Could you communicate more proactively? Could you make extra time to connect formally and informally, sharing useful and relevant information?
  5. How might you change your approach? Got a challenging relationship? How might you change your attitude, behaviour or mood towards that person? Are you carrying baggage from previous interactions into every situation? What mindset would you like to adopt when you talk with them?
  6. Where’s the other person coming from? What do you think might be going on for the other person in this relationship? What’s driving their position and behaviour? Get curious and ask more questions so you can explore their perspective.

Finally, it’s important to remember:

We tend to judge ourselves by our good intentions and others by their actions. 

How about swapping that around today?