It used to be thought that friendship and work didn’t mix. Life should be compartmentalized into professional and personal. Neither the two shall meet. Employee’s personal lives should be left at the door. But this line of thinking is beginning to change. In his book Vital Friends, Tom Rath analyzed over 8 millions interviews conducted by The Gallup Organization. He and his team found that people who said they have a “best friend at work” are seven times more likely to be engaged in their work. Did you hear that upper management? Seven times! Now this doesn’t mean that you should necessarily be revealing your inner most thoughts or latest boyfriend drama to the third floor janitor and the cafeteria staff, but many of us spend more time with our colleagues than we do with out friends and family. Having positive, supportive work relationships is therefore vital. We’ve put together 5 tips for building healthy relationships at work. But that’s not all! We’re running a contest too, so make sure you read all the way to the bottom!
Speak positively: Sincere complements can go a long way and encouragement goes even farther. Life in scrubs is challenging. You can either make it easier for your coworkers are harder. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna, and we certainly aren’t saying to avoid issues, but instead of focusing on the problem, try finding the solution. If the solution is outside of your control, work on rallying your coworkers around ways to make the situation better. Negativity is intoxicating but it’s also toxic. See it’s right there in the word! (In-toxic-ating.) See what we did there??
Avoid gossip: Again, we aren’t advocating for a head-in-the-sand approach. Avoiding conflict can be just as toxic to a work relationship, but gossip is never productive. It focuses on the problem and keeps things stirred up instead of working towards a solution. When someone tries to include you in gossip, you can sympathize with their frustration, but encourage them to address the situation directly.
Take an interest in others: Sometimes we are so busy waiting to talk that we forget to really listen. Ask more questions than you answer. Don’t ask folks how their weekend was just so you can talk about yours. Really listen. Practice your active listening skills with your coworkers as well as your patients.
Be open: It’s human nature to be drawn to folks that are like us, but by being open to folks who are different than we are, we can learn so much. Putting ourselves in another’s shoes can open our horizons and broaden our perspective. Have a coworker who’s into kayaking? Ask them about their latest trip (and not so that you can tell them about your latest adventure). What new gear they are looking to purchase and why. Who knows, you might discover a new hobby of your own.
Be respectful: The easiest way to damage a work relationship is to be disrespectful, and that doesn’t just mean how you talk to people. Be on time. Make sure you are completing your responsibilities and not pushing them off on others. Offer to help when you see someone needs it. Ask for help when you need it. Apologize when you need to, and be open to other’s suggestions. A little respect goes a long way.
Now we want to celebrate those strong work relationships. You can win a set of scrubs for you and your work BFF. Earn entries by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and by posting pics. Details below:
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