Do you work well with others?

Three strategies to build better relationships at work

Does this sound familiar? You are in a meeting at work and everyone is acting very professional, knowledgeable, calm… whatever, but they’re acting. Or you receive an email that doesn’t really concern you and you discover many, many other people copied in, that actually don’t need to receive this either. Your colleague made a mistake but doesn’t admit to it – he rather finds plenty excuses and explanations why he is right after all. In fact no one talks about their errors (let alone apologising for them), so you better don’t try anything new just to be sure to avoid making a mistake altogether. 
Oh, how exhausting this must be! 
What if we could all be a bit more authentic, instead of wearing our masks? Or if we’d work well together without the need to be perfect and jointly learning from the mistakes we make? What about being valued for who we are and experiencing a few more positive micro-moments that build relationships and connections that are strong, resilient and supportive?

Putting more life into your relationships

It is worthwhile to be mindful about our interactions with others. For the relationship, because it helps build trust and psychological safety, which fosters learning. You and your colleagues also learn better from mistakes and your team will perform better and be much more efficient in coordinating tasks. And, get this: Having positive micro-moments – or high-quality connections as the researchers call them – improves your cognitive ability and fosters growth and development.

How do you know you’re experiencing such a high-quality connection?

Simply enough, you can feel it and you “just know”. We experience more vitality and aliveness. These connections are mutual and full of respect. Your body also notices, as oxytocin and other substances are released to reduce stress and regulate blood pressure. You can imagine how good this is for us in the long run: we deal better with stress, have a stronger immune system and actually live longer.

So how can you create more positive micro-moments with others?

Researchers suggest a few strategies:
  • Show respect. This is not about grand gestures, but really the small things in every day life. Like not checking your phone when someone is talking to you or expressing your gratitude regularly. A little “Thank you!” goes a long way!
  • Enable success. Help others completing their tasks, provide information without being asked for it or give emotional support when someone’s not feeling so good. If you help your colleagues in a way that’s fair and respectful, your relationship will get stronger.
  • Introduce play. Who says work can’t be fun? Introduce playful elements into the work you do with your colleagues and you’ll get to know them more easily and in a way you wouldn’t have otherwise.
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