While an education and a good work ethic are important for having professional success, the old adage that it’s more about who you know than what you know rings true for so many women in the workforce.
And although many women don’t intentionally start professional relationships in order to later take advantage of those bonds for career advancement, it’s never hurt to have friends in high places or to have a solid reputation with those who could put in a good word for you. So to ensure you always have a friend or two in your field to lean on, here are three tips for building effective work relationships.
Make Relationship Building A Priority
When you’re in a work environment, your main priority has got to be getting your job done. However, there’s often time to squeeze in a few other objectives as well. And if you want to be someone with connections throughout the office, you’ve got to make building relationships with your co-workers one of those priorities.
MindTools.com recommends scheduling some time into your day that you spend networking and getting to know those in your company better. This could mean stopping by someone’s office to chat for a few minutes, taking a coffee to someone on a different team, or liking a photo someone in your office posted on social media. All these small acts will add up to great working relationships over time.
When You Have A Problem, Go To the Source First
One of the biggest things than can destroy a work relationship is when any trust that has been built gets betrayed. This can be done either intentionally or accidentally, but once it happens, there’s often not a lot that can be done to salvage the relationship.
To ensure you don’t fall victim to this, Susan M. Heathfield, a contributor to TheBalance.com, suggests that when you have a problem with someone, you go to them first to try to resolve the issues. Only go to a manager or boss after you’ve already tried to speak to the person directly. This way the person won’t feel blindsided and get a bad taste in their mouth with regards to you.
Try To Stay Out Of Office Gossip
All women love a little gossip every once in awhile. But to maintain professional relationships in the workplace, Amanda Haddaway, a contributor to WorkItDaily.com, recommends trying to stay out of all office gossip if at all possible.
Getting too involved with office gossip could give you a reputation that could work against all your efforts for professional networking. So if you hear or see something at work that you want to share, talk about it to someone who isn’t working in your office with you.
If you’re interested in building stronger connections with those in your office, use the tips mentioned above to help you do just that.