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Workplace Relationships: How To Build & Sustain Them

Workplace Relationships: How To Build & Sustain Them

Building relationships at work can be a daunting task for some people. Which category do you fall in? Do you find it hard to relate with your colleagues at work or are you the mouthpiece of your team? 

I believe interaction with teammates is one of the key motivational forces for employees. And that’s why the topic of my final year project was “The impact of employee motivation on organizational performance”. 

In this article, you will learn more about what it means to build relationships in the workplace, and how to build as well as keep them, especially as a believer.

Scattered over the web are different quotes that emphasize the need for collaboration and teamwork. 

As a Christian, you have probably read different verses of the bible that prove the power of numbers and teamwork, one of them is Leviticus 26:8 “Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall before you by the sword”. The implication of this is the greater good that is achieved when more than one person agrees to come together to do something, even if it’s in the workplace.

There is no doubt that as humans, the differences in your personality, background, education, and experiences enable and increase the chances of you clashing with some colleagues and ending up on their black book or vice versa. Regardless of this, you must understand the scope of maximizing and navigating this special relationship. 


Why You Should Build Workplace Relationships

  1. Increased Productivity: Like the bible passage in our introduction, the more at peace and connected you are with your teammates/colleagues the better your output. When there is no beef between you and a colleague, it is easier for you both to work together and prove the popular saying that “two heads are better than one”. For instance, a recent Gallup research discovered that workers who have a best friend at work display higher levels of engagement and productivity.
  2. Creativity Boost: Everyone is unique and has a special attribute that differentiates them from the general public. By connecting with other people at work, your creativity can be nurtured. You will be shocked at how smart you are when you interact with other minds, iron sharpeneth iron isn’t it?
  3. Moral Support: Sometimes you get stuck or overwhelmed with work, but the relationship you have built with your colleagues will save you at this time. One of your teammates can offer to buy you lunch to help you relieve the stress or even take the task off your shoulders, this can’t happen if you have not fostered that relationship.
  4. Personal Development: Working with other people is one of the best learning techniques out there. You are presented with the opportunity to learn from your colleagues when you work with them. Sometimes they even drop tips for your career growth during conversations.


Skillset Needed For Buiding

  • Objectivity: You may be tempted to be biased towards some of your colleagues because you are unable to marry their work ideologies with yours but it is completely fine to have varying opinions. Everyone can’t be thinking the same way, your ability to stay objective will help you understand from the other person’s perspective. Sometimes, you don’t even need to agree but you must understand where the other person is coming from.
  • Collaboration: A popular adage says “If you want to go fast, go alone; but if you want to go far, go with people”. The positive impact of collaborating cannot be overemphasized. It is through working with some of your teammates that you get to bond with them, get to know how their mind works, and understand their creative process. Chances are you would have different things to learn and unlearn in this process.
  • Conflict Management & Communication: Misunderstandings are a constant in the human ecosystem but you have been provided with tools on how to manage them. Jesus said to settle the beef with your brother (Matthew 18:15) before coming into the temple to pray. When there is an issue, learn to communicate, don’t bottle things up or grumble. Face the matter head-on and clear whatever misunderstood fog is causing the problem.
  • Respect: Cliche but true “respect is reciprocal”. In the workplace, you interact with superiors, colleagues, and subordinates. Knowing how to set boundaries even while building relationships with these people is very vital. 


How To Build Workplace Relationships

  • Learn to appreciate others. When someone helps you out with a task that you have been battling with, tell them thank you. You can even go as far as getting them a little gift. Acknowledge their strengths.
  • Be inquisitive. Ask questions; this is the best way to start conversations around work or even matters outside work. This way you get to pick the brains of your smart teammates.
  • Offer & ask for assistance. When you notice that someone needs help with work (or not), reach out to help them solve it and vice versa. That way you are building trust.
  • Be compassionate. One of the fruits of the Spirit that should be evident in your life as a believer is kindness. 



Some of the most beautiful personal relationships have their root/origins in the workplace. People have gone on to become friends, business partners, and family by building and cultivating smooth relationships with teammates. Your next career leap might come from the connection you made with a colleague. 

The essence of relationship building in general is LOVE, not the benefits, privileges, or opportunities derived from these relationships but the psychological comfort of loving and being loved back. 

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