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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Relationships—Developing Bonds with Co-workers

It's more shameful to distrust one's friends than to be deceived by them.

Your successis primarily a result of your initiative, hard work, knowledge, and skills. But it is also dependent on the people around you. They can choose to make your worklife pleasant, or they can strive to make it miserable. Developing good relationships with the people around you will be good for your mental health, stress level, and career. Here are some things you can do to build relationships:

  1. Be courteous. Treat others with respect. Treat them as you would want to be treated.

  2. Be empathetic. Understand people and their feelings. Put yourself in their shoes.

  3. Be accepting. Don't waste time trying to change people. You can't. You can, however, change your behaviour towards them. You'll find people so much more receptive if you accept their beliefs, religion, colour, etc. After all, there is real power in diversity. Having everyone follow one line of thinking and beliefs is not only boring, but also downright dangerous. While you may not be enthusiastic about everyone's opinions, you must accept their right to have a different opinion.

  4. Be patient. Don't rush to judgement. Think about what people say before making rebuttal statements.

  5. Be kind. Do little things to show you care. It could be a gesture as small as getting a colleague a coffee while you are going to get yours or offering to help when your desk is clear. Don't expect reciprocity. You will get it back sooner than you think.

  6. Be true to your word. Keep your promises. Meet your commitments. In fact, try to exceed people's expectations. Do things better and more quickly than expected.

  7. Be responsive. Do things quickly. Returning phone calls is an area where you can demonstrate a commitment to reliability and speed.

  8. Be appreciative. If a person is nice to you, acknowledge that. Don't take kindness for granted. Show your appreciation in ways such as:

    • Leaving a thank-you note on his desk.

    • Sending a card with a personal message.

    • Bringing him some baked goods to have with morning coffee.

    • Offering to help with a task considered tedious.

  9. Be collaborative. Look for win-win situations. Focus your most competitive instincts outside your organization, not on your colleagues. Help people save face. Find some value for others in a solution. Try to compromise if the outcome is not significantly impacted.

  10. Be open. Listen to new ideas. Listen to be influenced. Accept that there is more than one approach.

  11. Be humble. Admit your foibles. Show that you are fallible. Don't sweep your mistakes under the carpet. Admit problems, but show how you will fix them.

  12. Be helpful. Volunteer for tasks. Be first. Show the way. Show leadership. Take the initiative. Your great attitude will soon infect those around you. Try to stay positive, even when those around you don't respond; sometimes it takes a while for the infection to spread!

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