It’s easy for competitive pressure and heavy workloads at the office to build up and cause tension. The good news is that providing emotional and social support is a skill that gets better with practice.
Developing supportive relationships with your coworkers is good for your health and career.
The Benefits of Building Support in the Workplace
- Experience more happiness. Getting along with your coworkers has a significant impact on your job satisfaction. You’ll feel more content and secure knowing you can count on each other.
- Protect your health. Medical experts now know that many health issues are associated with stress and the chronic inflammation that it causes. Your headaches and sore joints may disappear when you feel more relaxed at the office.
- Boost your productivity. Teamwork requires empathy and trust. Challenging projects become less daunting when everyone works together effectively.
- Advance your career. Professional success depends on emotional intelligence and social skills as much as technical knowledge. Cover all your bases. Work on your communication skills along with your software certifications.
- Make new friends. Many find it more difficult to make friends after they finish school and grow older. If you enjoy having lunch with your office mates, invite them out for dinner. Reach out to the newest employee to see if they want to join you at the gym before work.
How to Build Support in the Workplace
- Acknowledge your coworkers. Start by letting those in the other cubicles know that you see them as human beings. Wish everyone a cheerful good morning!
- Share your feelings. Express your emotions. Maybe you’re wild about the dark roast coffee in the break room or nervous about having a new supervisor. Being authentic helps others to feel more comfortable around you.
- Show interest. Ask the receptionist how her son’s soccer game went. Welcome others back from vacation or sick leave.
- Listen actively. Being a good listener is an effective way to show you care. Give your full attention to your coworkers instead of rehearsing what you’re going to say next. Clarify what others are saying and offer thoughtful comments.
- Tell stories. Spice up your conversation. Describe the state fair you visited over the weekend or your experiences with mountain climbing.
- Pay compliments. Praise others for their talents and accomplishments. Encourage them to talk about their victories.
- Slow down. Take time to get to know your colleagues. Friendships often develop gradually.
- Be flexible. Sometimes you need to keep a meeting on track and other times you can go with the flow. Postpone your filing for the moment if an intern wants to share a great idea on how to cut travel costs.
- Let go of expectations. You probably have coworkers who will remember your birthday, but occasionally make comments that seem to undermine you. Accept both the strengths and weaknesses of your coworkers. Focus on treating others well, and consider it a bonus if they reciprocate.
- Lend a hand. If another account manager is struggling to close an important sale, ask them if you can pitch in. Maybe you can do some background research for them or monitor their calls until they’re free.
- Fulfill your responsibilities. Excelling at your own job is one of the best ways to be there for your coworkers. Think about those who depend on your performance and how you can create a great experience for them.
Work is about personal relationships as well as tasks. Creating a supportive workplace may be the most important part of your job. Make it a priority! You and your colleagues will achieve more and feel less stressed along the way.
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