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5 Relationships You Didn’t Realize Were So Important

5 Relationships You Didn’t Realize Were So Important

Relationships are the foundation of our interaction with society. We form them, we break them; some people avoid them, others can barely live without them. Of course, there are some important relationships we may overlook in our day to day lives, so let’s take a look at a few we should keep a closer eye on.

1. The relationship with your boss.

Your boss might be the nicest person you’ve ever met, or they might be a tyrant. Either way, they’re an important person in your life because your job often depends on how they feel about you. On top of ensuring you’re always performing your job to the best of your abilities, make sure to invest time in things that let your boss know you care about your job and that you respect them. This doesn’t require you suck up to them, but it’s always nice to remember their birthday, or even just offer to buy them lunch sometimes. Most importantly, never go behind their back about things, and always be respectful even if you’re being playful. They may be the last person you’d ever spend time with by choice, or they may even be a close friend, but when it comes to work-related things, a sense of professionalism is always important.

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2. The relationship with your co-workers.

Maybe you use the excuse, “I’m not at work to make friends,” to distance yourself from the people you associate with through your job. Maybe your co-workers just aren’t your cup of tea or have hurt you somehow. Still, you spend upwards of 8–12 hours a day with these people (maybe more), so having peace between you is important for your daily mental comfort.

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It’s easy to dismiss co-workers because they aren’t among those you’ve chosen to have in your life, but it’s possible you actually spend more time with them than you do your chosen friends. At worst you should always ensure your relationship with co-workers is civil, but at best, what’s wrong with developing work friendships? No one says you have to go out for dinner after clocking out, but isn’t it nice when someone has your back?

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3. The relationship with your pet.

Cats and dogs have unique manners in which they show affection, but both can offer infinitely rewarding relationships. A close relationship with your feline or canine companion can result in their unconditional love and adoration. This unique companionship defies understanding and can be one of the most meaningful in your life. A dog or cat will never tear you down or make you feel bad about yourself (though they may pester you if you forget to feed them), and most animals are more forgiving of your moments of anger and frustration in a way that humans never could be. So, make sure to treat your animal friend with the same compassion, understanding, and forgiveness that they offer you. That vase Spot knocked over can be replaced—your bond can not.

4. The relationship with your closest confidant.

Everyone has that one person they tell everything to. Maybe it’s a best friend, a pen pal, or even your significant other. Whichever way, ensuring you maintain open communication both ways is pivotal to the long-term success of the relationship. Make sure that if they’re lending you an open ear or a shoulder to cry on, you’re doing the same when they need it. All rewarding relationships come from the work of two people, not one.

5. The relationship with yourself.

In your day-to-day life it’s often easy to neglect your personal needs in favor of doing things for others, but there’s no more important relationship than the one you have with yourself. Take moments to yourself every day, eat something you enjoy, make time for your hobby, get enough sleep at night—wearing yourself too thin can result in you fumbling other relationships in your life. If your life is very busy and hectic it may seem impossible to make this happen, but it’s often vital that you make time, even if it means you might have to make up for it tomorrow.

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Billy Givens

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

How Relationships Building Helps Achieve Career Success

As playwright Wilson Mizner supposedly said all the way back in the 1930s,

“Be kind to everyone on the way up; you will meet the same people on the way down.”

The adage is the perfect prototype for relationship building in 2020, although we may want to expand Mizner’s definition of “kind” to include being helpful, respectful, grateful, and above all, crediting your colleagues along the way.

5 Ways to Switch on Your Relationship Building Magnetism

Relationship building does not come easily to all. Today’s computer culture makes us more insular and less likely to reach out—not to mention our new work-from-home situation in which we are only able to interact virtually. Still, relationship building remains an important part of career engagement and success, and it gets better with practice.

Here are five ways you can strengthen your relationships:

1. Advocate for Other’s Ideas

Take the initiative to speak up in support of other team members’ good ideas. Doing so lets others know that the team’s success takes precedence over your needs for personal success. Get behind any colleague’s innovative approach or clever solution and offer whatever help you can give to see it through. Teammates will value your vote of confidence and your support.

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2. Show Compassion

If you learn that someone whom you work with has encountered difficult times, reach out. If it’s not someone you know well, a hand-written card expressing your sympathy and hopes for better times ahead could be an initial gesture. If it’s someone with whom you interact regularly, the act could involve offering to take on some of the person’s work to provide a needed reprieve or even bringing in a home-cooked dish as a way to offer comfort. The show of compassion will not go unnoticed, and your relationship building will have found a foothold.

3. Communicate Regularly

Make an effort to share any information with team members that will help them do their jobs more effectively. Keeping people in the loop says a lot about your consideration for what others need to deliver their best results.

Try to discover the preferred mode of communication for each team member. Some people are fine relying on emails; others like to have a phone conversation. And once we can finally return to working together in offices, you may determine that face-to-face updates may be most advantageous for some members.

4. Ask for Feedback

Showing your willingness to reach out for advice and guidance will make a positive impression on your boss. When you make it clear that you welcome and can accept pointers, you display candor and trust in what opinions your superior has to offer. Your proclivity towards considering ways of improving your performance and strengthening any working interactions will signal your strong relationship skills.

If you are in a work environment where you are asked to give feedback, be generous and compassionate. That does not mean being wishy-washy. Try always to give the type of feedback that you wouldn’t mind receiving.

5. Give Credit Where It’s Due

Be the worker who remembers to credit staffers with their contributions. It’s a surprisingly rare talent to credit others, but when you do so, they will remember to credit you, and the collective credit your team will accrue will be well worth the effort.

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How Does Relationship Building Build Careers?

Once you have strengthened and deepened your relationships, here are some of the great benefits:

Work Doesn’t Feel So Much Like Work

According to a Gallup poll, when you have a best friend at work, you are more likely to feel engaged with your job. Work is more fun when you have positive, productive relationships with your colleagues. Instead of spending time and energy overcoming difficult personalities, you can spend time enjoying the camaraderie with colleagues as you work congenially on projects together. When your coworkers are your friends, time goes by quickly and challenges don’t weigh as heavily.

You Can Find Good Help

It’s easier to ask for assistance when you have a good working relationship with a colleague. And with office tasks changing at the speed of technology, chances are that you are going to need some help acclimating—especially now that work has gone remote due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Much of relationship building rests on your genuine expressions of appreciation toward others. Showing gratitude for another’s help or for their willingness to put in the extra effort will let them know you value them.

Mentors Come Out of the Woodwork

Mentors are proven to advance your professional and career development. A mentor can help you navigate how to approach your work and keep you apprised of industry trends. They have a plethora of experience to draw from that can be invaluable when advising you on achieving career success and advancement.

Mentors flock to those who are skilled at relationship building. So, work on your relationships and keep your eyes peeled for a worthy mentor.

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You Pull Together as a Team

Great teamwork starts with having an “abundance mentality” rather than a scarcity mentality. Too often, workers view all projects through a scarcity mentality lens. This leads to office strife as coworkers compete for their piece of the pie. But in an abundance mentality mode, you focus on the strengths that others bring rather than the possibility that they are potential competitors.

Instead, you can commit relationship building efforts to ensure a positive work environment rather than an adversarial one. When you let others know that you intend to support their efforts and contribute to their success, they will respond in kind. Go, team!

Your Network Expands and So Does Your Paycheck

Expand your relationship building scope beyond your coworkers to include customers, suppliers, and other industry stakeholders. Your extra efforts can lead to extra sales, a more rewarding career, and even speedy professional advancement. And don’t overlook the importance of building warm relationships with assistants, receptionists, or even interns.

Take care to build bridges, not just to your boss and your boss’s boss but with those that work under you as well. You may find that someone who you wouldn’t expect will put in a good word for you with your supervisor.

Building and maintaining good working relationships with everyone you come in contact with can pay off in unforeseen ways. You never know when that underling will turn out to be the company’s “golden child.” Six years from now you may be turning to them for a job. If you have built up a good, trusting work relationship with others along your way, you will more likely be considered for positions that any of these people may be looking to fill.

Your Job Won’t Stress You Out

Study shows that some 83 percent of American workers experience work-related stress.[1] Granted, some of that stress is now likely caused by the new pandemic-triggered workplace adjustments, yet bosses and management, in general, are reportedly the predominant source of stress for more than one-third of workers.

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Having meaningful connections among coworkers is the best way to make work less stressful. Whether it is having others whom to commiserate with, bounce ideas off, or bring out your best performance, friendships strengthen the group’s esprit de corps and lower the stress level of your job.

Your Career Shines Bright

Who would you feel better about approaching to provide a recommendation or ask for promotion: a cold, aloof boss with whom you have only an impersonal relationship or one that knows you as a person and with whom you have built a warm, trusting relationship?

Your career advancement will always excel when you have a mutual bond of friendship and appreciation with those who can recommend you. Consider the plug you could receive from a supervisor who knows you as a friend versus one who remains detached and only notices you in terms of your ability to meet deadlines or attain goals.

When people fully know your skills, strengths, personality, and aspirations, you have promoters who will sing your praises with any opportunity for advancement.

Final Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is “who you know” not “what you know.” When you build relationships, you build a pipeline of colleagues, work partners, team members, current bosses, and former bosses who want to help you—who want to see you succeed.

At its core, every business is a people business. Making a point to take the small but meaningful actions that build the foundation of a good relationship can be instrumental in cultivating better relationships at work.

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Featured photo credit: Adam Winger via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] The American Institute of Stress: 42 Worrying Workplace Stress Statistics

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