Business · Consultations · Public Relations

8 Ways to improve your working relationships by Norman Murray

In Public Relations, relationships are essential, the fundamental foundation of your success, and most importantly needs to be nurtured and cultivated every day.  I felt this article was right on point! 


At work, do you waste too much of your time dealing with toxic relationships?

For most working people, we spend more time at work than we do at home, so it’s important to have healthy relationships with the people we work and interact with, including employees, managers and customers. Dealing with personalities, moods and egos can be tricky. Since we can’t change them, then we must look to ourselves to be the lead in creating the most healthy environment to foster strong relationships. Here are some tips to help you put your best foot forward:


Be a Can-Do Person

Being positive is the first commandment of any relationship. Your attitude can be your biggest attractor or detractor. There are going to be off days, and these moments are more defining of your character than the smooth, trouble-free times. Anyone can handle good days well, but how do you handle bad days? How do you handle interruptions when you’re in the middle of something pressing? How do you handle when you’ve asked for something multiple times it’s still not right? How do you treat your staff when you’ve just been chewed out by your boss? If your answer is that you handle it with dignity and you roll with the punches, then give yourself a gold star. If you handle stress privately without taking it out on the people around you, then bravo. Stuff is gunna happen. If you can deal with that stuff and still keep smiling, then you are in the driver’s seat and well on the way to having great work relationships.

Always be a Value-Adder – Not a Time Waster

Go out of your way to help a teammate or colleague, whether they ask for it or not. They will be surprised and grateful. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Giving them information, covering for them, or acknowledging them in front of others can go a long way. Before long, they will do the same for you. And don’t waste a client’s time. They will appreciate if you acknowledge your limitations and offer alternate suggestions. If you simply can’t meet the need, let them go. They’ll come back – because you didn’t waste their time, and they appreciate that.

Nothing is ever “Between You and Me”

As people start to know you, they may make disparaging remarks about others to test the waters. A subtle way to avoid gossip is to respond with “Oh really?” and then exit or change the subject. What you don’t want to do is to align yourself to someone else’s cause. Stay neutral and keep a distance from any gossip.

Compliments go a long way

People love to be recognized, and compliments are a form of recognition. Go out of your way to make mention when someone does a good job or has a good idea. When the sentiment is genuine, a compliment is always appreciated. This also makes people more receptive to you, and they will look at you in a more positive light.

Don’t be a Know-It-All

We all hate the person who has the answers to everything. Why not give someone else a chance to come up with an idea now and again? You’ll be surprised how their different outlook can spark new and better ideas in you. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to ask others for their opinions even if you don’t need or necessarily want them. The give and take of idea sharing promotes engagement and buy in. The only harm in listening to their opinion is if you cut it off with a ‘yeah, but.’ Do that often enough, and you won’t have to worry about dealing with those pesky ideas of theirs anymore.

Silence is not always Golden

Just the opposite of the know-it-all, and just as annoying, is the person who never says a word in a group setting. If you never voice a thought or opinion, you either don’t have one or are afraid to take the stage. The problem is that nobody will know who you are. They don’t know how you think, and they will have no reason to want to work with you. There is a happy medium. I suggest you find it. Not to mention, if something is wrong, be the one to point it out. That takes backbone and is an admirable trait. Just don’t forget to follow it up with a solution.

Be Open to Opposing Ideas

Not everybody thinks like you do. That doesn’t make them wrong, it just makes them different. Different is okay. Different is where unique and special are born. Unique and special breed outstanding. Be tolerant of those around you who think differently. Take a deep breath, be patient, and hear them out. Wrap your mind around their idea, and you will probably see that there is some element of value in their comment. Now use what you just learned to improve your original idea. That’s how collaborative minds create brilliance.

Show Respect

The best way to end this piece is with respect. We must give every individual we work with the respect they are due as fellow human beings. Even the most seemingly incompetent person is not a bad person. Their role and skill level may be mismatched, but they are a person with a family and a heart, and therefore, should always be treated with the respect you would expect from them to you.

If you follow these guidelines, you can’t help but to have great work relationships, many of which will likely transcend work and turn into great personal relationships. What other tips would you add to this list?

Mediation for Success Skills for Managers training gives a comprehensive overview of essential managerial skills, develop the qualities needed to becoming a successful leader, and can help you deal with persistent and difficult staff behaviour. Go to for more options.


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