Do you think building relationships at work can feel a bit pointless? you may take the approach that you don’t have to be friends with your colleagues; just get the job done and move on. However, if you stop and think about it, you spend more time with the people you work with then any of your friends or family, so isn’t building solid relationships with people you can trust and work with be important?

The advice below may seem, well, a bit simple and it is, but so often we just don’t follow it and this is mainly due to us not communicating effectively; simply put you need to treat others the way you would like to be treated.

Here are 5 ways you can drastically improve how you communicate with your colleagues:

1. Honesty is the best policy

If you don’t know, just say so! But go that bit further to offer to look into the issue and get back to them in a set time frame. Most importantly, do it, honesty is built on being true to your word and part of building a relationship is people knowing they can trust and rely on you.

2. Be clear with people

So often we go around the houses when telling people what we want, which ends up not really telling them anything! For example instead of saying “perhaps next time you can consider what other information you might include” be clear and say “next time I’d like you to include X, Y and Z” that way it is absolutely clear what you want and they will respect you more.

3. Do not “demand” your request

Remember manners matter, always ask politely. People are much more likely to respond in a positive way if you ask rather than demand. Put yourself in their shoes, which would you prefer… “Can you please get back to me tomorrow with that” or “I want it tomorrow, final”… I know which I’d prefer!

4. Be interested

There is nothing worse than someone looking at you with a vacant expression on their face muttering a few words every now again, when you know they haven’t listened to a word you’ve said.  Make sure you give confirmation that you have been paying attention, you can either repeat what they have said such as “so, just to confirm….” Or ask questions or for more information so you show you are interested in what they are telling you.

5. Don’t forget you have ears too

You don’t always have to do the talking or even worse interrupt or talk over someone because you think you already know what they are going to say. Let them express themselves and finish what they want to say, to show that you respect their opinions.

These 5 simple tools can be put to use by everyone at every level so why not try it and encourage others to do the same and we can really start to build those relationships.

If you would like to speak to someone about communication skills, get in touch to see how we can help.