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How to Improve your Work Relationships

​Your work relationships define whether or not you will be promoted at work.  Do you find yourself tip-toeing or avoiding around certain individuals?  Or are you always trying to please other people and say the right thing in order to win over their support or approval?  The good news is that if you can really start to define who you are in the workplace you can start to build work relationships that will boost your career progression.


First and foremost ask yourself,


'Why do I want to Improve Work Relationships?´'


It is definitely easier to be surrounded by people at work who care about you.  People who are generous with their help and compliments, people who are not threatened or upset by your success and people who have your best interests at heart.


Basically, these types of people are in your fan club as they want to do what they can to help you to succeed.  They tend to be honest with you, protect you from negative influences and they may even mentor you.  Offering you random acts of kindness or acting as your human database by putting you in touch with people who can offer you what you need is all part of their friendship.


How do you choose Healthy Work Relationships?


By focusing on the types of people you want to be around at work, you may start noticing that some people put you down or make snide remarks about you.  Perhaps, you don´t feel comfortable around certain individuals or as if you are under pressure to please or fit in with some people.


Whatever is going on with your work relationships, it can all change very quickly indeed if you start to recognise how you want to be treated.  It may even involve you educating and teaching people how to be with you.  It is perfectly OK to ask people for what you need and advise them what support, encouragement and praise suits you best.  You may need to let some people may go, even if you have a long and shared history together.


If the people around you at work are not contributing positivity to your career, you are better off without them. It is all about choice:  choose to have positive and helpful people in your work life and choose to let negative people go.


Relationships at work can be improved very quickly indeed by better understanding your colleagues' and manager's natural behavioural style and personality and comparing it to your own.  To find out for what your natural style of behaviour is, fill in our FREE career management profile


Three Typical Work Relationships


Listed below are three of the most common types of work relationships.  Check the out to see where and how you can improve your working relationships.


  1.  The Energy Sapping Relationship – These relationships are exhausting to be in and they may lead you to feeling quite low.  On the surface, the individual may appear to be very charming, attentive and friendly but this person can literally wipe you out energetically.  These individuals tend to siphon your energy by their constant demands, requests or neediness.  You not even be aware of what is going on because you may enjoy the feelings of importance or value that this relationship offers you.  These types of relationships may be tricky to end if your sense of self or well-being is wrapped up in it, in any way.


Sue was caught up in energy sapping work relationships.  Her boss would call her or text her late in the evenings even demand that she should come into the office early the next day.  Her boss paid no attention to her well-being or personal time.  The focus what purely on the boss and if Sue started to talk about herself her boss´s attention was limited and the conversation was often brought to an abrupt end.


  2.  The Energy Dependent Relationship – This type of relationship may appear to be an equal relationship as each party is dependent upon the other party for something.  Each party tends to take turns being dependent upon the other party and it tends to work quite well if neither person changes in any way.


The relationship however does not tend to thrive because personal growth threatens the existence of the relationship itself.  Neither party wants the other person to not need them anymore or to out-grown the relationship.


Bill was in an energy dependent relationship and all was going well until he started to focus on building his self-esteem outside of work. As Bill´s self-confidence grew, he was no longer dependent on his boss´s approval to feel good in himself.  He, therefore, chose to move company and continue to build his own positive self-talk so that he could continue to make more courageous career choices.


  3.  The Energy Exchange Relationship – This type of relationship is a healthy and creative one.  Energy is shared and expressed positively so that each party can develop things further.  Neither party is trying to steal or grab energy off the other party so there is space to create things.  Being in a work relationship with these types of people allow you to tap into your best ideas, invent something or allow you to feel inspired as you get in touch with new parts of yourself.


In short, these people bring out the best in you and help you to feel fresh, positive and more creative.


Joanna had always wanted to do graphic design at college but had been persuaded by her parents and school to follow a more academic career path.  She had always felt as if something was missing and as if she should be doing something else.


Presented with an opportunity to do an online graphic design course, Joanna soon found her creative spirit.  Over lunch one day, she casually showed a work colleague her work and was a little surprised to receive an email requesting a tentative request for some help with a project outside of work.  Needless to say this first project led to a whole string of work assignments which within a year allowed Joanna to freelance full time on a salary that was 20% higher than her old job.


But What About YOU?


Have you got people around you at work who are holding you back?  Are you wanting to step forward but lacking a bit of direction or self-confidence?  Do you perhaps need to know how to protect yourself and put boundaries around you so that you are not pressurised to so more than you feel you can?


If you are not working with the right sort of people, don´t be afraid to change.  Great people are not necessarily great for you.  You can make a special impact on the work world by working with people who are good for you.


Complete our Free Career Management Profile NOW and discover just how accurately it describes you and, most of important of all, why people may be reacting to you in the way that they are and what you can do about it.

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