Whether you work remotely or step into the office every day, it’s critical that you build relationships with your coworkers. This is the core of your work life! You don’t want subpar relationships with the people with whom you spend (at least) 40 hours each week.
A positive relationship where there is mutual understanding and easy communication is calledrapport. You tend to trust those with whom you have this type of easy relationship, and that trust goes hand in hand with empathy. It’s an all-around good work environment that allows you to be an effective team. Positive relationships like this have been linked to improved job satisfaction and increased productivity. Employee retention is also better when there is rapport among coworkers.
Rapport rarely just happens, however; building it takes work. You have to strive for a common ground and make sure you continue the interactions that will keep up your rapport with each coworker. Sound exhausting? It doesn’t have to be. Below are 5 ways to build rapport with your colleagues.
1. Be Real
To build a positive relationship, you have to be genuine in your interactions. Come to the table with your real perspective, emotions, and ideas and you’ll be off to the best start possible.
2. Ask Questions
Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” Focusing on others is the key to building rapport! You will find common ground and learn more about what drives your colleagues if you listen to them tell you about themselves.
It’s easy to build on your relationship with a coworker once it gets started. Remember those questions you asked? Follow up on them and find out more. Ask someone how their daughter did on that spelling test, or simply ask how their weekend was. These conversations show your colleagues that you pay attention to them, which builds their trust.
3. Give Answers
Information exchange goes two ways. Responding to your coworkers’ questions about you will show them where your perspective comes from. If you are a very private person, you don’t have to tell your whole life story. But even sharing “resume details” like where you went to college or where you worked previously can provide some common ground to work from.
4. Be Helpful
Show your coworkers that you are here for the teamwork. Everyone needs a helping hand once in a while, and this will show others that you want them to succeed. Your colleagues will see you in a positive light as someone who is a team player.
5. Leave the Office
If you can, get to know your teammates and coworkers outside the office. Studies show that time away from the office encourages people to see each other more as “whole people” instead of just a coworker. If your company doesn’t have activities that take place outside the office, try to get your team together for lunch once in a while. And no work talk at the table!