How to Build a Positive Workplace Relationships

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Building positive workplace relationships is a critical aspect of creating a happy and productive work environment. Whether it’s working with your colleagues, your manager, or clients, having strong relationships can make all the difference in how you feel about your job and how well you’re able to perform.

The good news is, building positive relationships doesn’t have to be hard. A few simple gestures, like being a good communicator, showing appreciation and respect, and being a team player, can go a long way. After all, you don’t want to spend eight hours a day with someone you can’t stand, do you?

In this article, we’ll dive into what it takes to build positive workplace relationships and how it can benefit you, your team, and your company as a whole. So, let’s get started!

Don’t be a drama llama

Nobody likes a drama llama, not even other llamas. They’re the type of person who always has something negative to say about everyone and everything, like a dark cloud following them around. They’re like a walking soap opera, except nobody asked for the drama.

Be positive and focus on the good things about your colleagues and workplace. It’s like that old saying, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” 

And if you do have a problem with someone, don’t be passive-aggressive and complain to others behind their back. That’s just cowardly behavior. Instead, be mature and professional and address the issue directly with the person involved. It’s called communication, and it’s a skill worth cultivating.

Communicate effectively

The backbone of any successful relationship, whether it’s romantic or professional. And when it comes to your coworkers, trust me, you want to make sure that backbone is nice and strong.

Being clear and concise is key. Don’t beat around the bush or use fancy words just to sound impressive. No one has time for that, and you’ll only end up confusing people. Instead, get straight to the point like a well-aimed arrow.

Be a good listener

When a coworker is speaking to you, resist the urge to mentally check out and instead, give them your full attention. Show them that you care about what they’re saying by nodding along, maintaining eye contact, and responding appropriately. And for goodness sake, don’t interrupt them! Interrupting is the equivalent of pressing pause on a song someone is really into. It’s just plain rude.

Instead, let them finish their thoughts and then show interest in their perspective. Ask questions, seek clarification, and engage with what they’re saying. People love feeling heard and understood, so give them that gift. Plus, you never know what you might learn from someone else’s perspective.

So remember,  be a good listener. It’s not just polite, it’s an investment in your workplace relationships. And who knows, you might just make a new friend or two along the way.

Be mindful of your tone

Being aware of the tone we use, we can create a more positive and supportive atmosphere in the workplace. We should always strive to avoid coming across as condescending or dismissive, as this can hinder collaboration and teamwork.

You know, sometimes just a simple shift in our tone can make all the difference. When we communicate with a friendly and positive attitude, it can help open up the channels for more effective conversations. This way, we create a better understanding among colleagues and foster a work environment that encourages growth, productivity, and, most importantly, mutual respect.

Be polite and respectful

The golden rule of workplace diplomacy: be polite and respectful! It’s astonishing how these simple words of wisdom, handed down through generations, can so easily slip one’s mind when entering the office battleground. Yet, it is the key to office harmony and the ladder to professional success.

First up, “please” and “thank you” – the dynamic duo of common courtesy. These simple, five-letter words are like honey to the ears of your colleagues. With a mere utterance, you can charm even the grumpiest coworker into submitting to your wishes (within reason, of course) or at least, brightening their day.

Respecting your coworkers’ opinions and ideas, even if they appear highly improbable or imaginative, is essential. After all, we’re not all blessed with identical brains, and that’s a good thing! Encouraging a diverse array of thoughts and perspectives is the secret sauce to innovation and growth.

Show appreciation

Everyone likes to feel appreciated, and your coworkers are no exception. Take the time to show your appreciation for their hard work, their contributions, and their support. A simple “thank you” or a note of appreciation can go a long way in building good relationships with your colleagues. Show them some appreciation with these clever ideas.

  • Verbal praise: A simple “thank you” or “great job” can go a long way in making someone feel appreciated. Be specific about what you’re thanking them for to make the praise more meaningful.
  • Written notes: Leave a handwritten note or send an email expressing your gratitude for their help, support, or hard work. A personalized message can have a lasting impact.
  • Public recognition: Acknowledge your coworker’s achievements or contributions during team meetings, or through internal communications channels. This not only shows your appreciation but also helps boost their reputation among peers.
  • Be genuine: When expressing appreciation, be sincere and genuine. People can sense insincerity, so it’s important to truly mean what you say.

Respect boundaries

It is imperative to understand and acknowledge that each person has their own unique way of working and managing their personal life. Some individuals enjoy the social aspect of the workplace and like to engage in conversations during the workday, while others prefer to work in a quiet and serene environment, free of distractions.

Similarly, some individuals like to keep their personal life separate from their work life and prefer to maintain privacy, while others are more open about their personal experiences and are willing to share details with their colleagues.

It is crucial to respect these boundaries and preferences of your coworkers. If someone does not want to engage in conversation, it is important not to force them. If someone does not want to share personal information, it is not appropriate to pry or ask intrusive questions.

By respecting the boundaries and preferences of your colleagues, you are demonstrating that you value and appreciate them as individuals. This can lead to a more harmonious and productive work environment, where everyone feels comfortable and respected.

Avoid gossip

The sweet, sweet nectar of the office grapevine. I mean, who doesn’t love a juicy bit of rumor and speculation, right? Well, let me tell you, as tempting as it may be to engage in a little bit of workplace chatter, it’s just not worth it. It’s like taking a bite out of a rotten apple – sure, it might taste good for a moment, but eventually, you’re going to regret it.

For starters, gossip can be incredibly harmful and damaging to workplace relationships. You never know how your words might be misinterpreted, and before you know it, you’ve caused a rift between coworkers that may never be repaired. And let’s be real, nobody wants to be known as the office troublemaker.

But even more than that, gossip is just plain unprofessional. It’s like showing up to a job interview in your pajamas – sure, you might be comfortable, but it’s not the best look. When you participate in gossip, you’re essentially saying to your coworkers and superiors that you’re not mature enough to handle professional conversations and relationships. 

Take initiative

It’s always great to see someone eager to take on new challenges and opportunities. One thing that can really set you apart in the workplace is taking the initiative to offer your skills and talents to help the company grow.

Instead of waiting for your boss to assign you a task, why not take the initiative and approach them with ideas for new projects or responsibilities? By doing so, you’re not only demonstrating your proactive attitude but also your commitment to the success of the company.

Remember, being proactive and taking on new challenges can help you grow both personally and professionally. So don’t be afraid to step up and take on new tasks – you might just surprise yourself with what you’re capable of!

Practice empathy

Empathy means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and understanding their feelings, perspectives, and experiences. It’s like saying, “Hey, I see you and I understand what you’re going through.” And in today’s fast-paced world, a little bit of understanding can go a long way. 

When we practice empathy at work, it’s like creating a fortress of positivity, where everyone feels safe, valued, and heard. Imagine walking into a workplace where everyone is actually interested in how your day is going, and where disagreements are resolved through understanding and compromise, instead of arguments and hostility. That’s the kind of utopia that empathy can create!

So, the next time you’re feeling frustrated with a colleague or feeling unheard, try putting yourself in their shoes. You may just find that a little empathy goes a long way in creating a work environment that’s not only productive, but also a joy to be a part of.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

It’s completely normal to need a helping hand every now and then, and that’s why it’s great to have coworkers around us. They bring a diverse set of skills and experiences to the table that can help us overcome obstacles and achieve our goals with ease.

So, if you’re feeling stuck or need some support, don’t hesitate to reach out to your coworkers. They’ll be happy to lend a hand.

Have a sense of humor

Let’s be real, work can be stressful sometimes. Deadlines, meetings, and that one coworker who insists on microwaving fish every day. It’s enough to drive anyone crazy. But that’s where a good sense of humor comes in. Laughter can be the perfect antidote to a tense situation or a difficult day at work.

Of course, there is a fine line between appropriate and inappropriate humor. We’re not saying you should turn your workplace into a comedy club, complete with a two-drink minimum. But a well-timed joke or witty remark can help lighten the mood and bring people together.

Just remember to use common sense and avoid jokes that could be considered offensive or inappropriate. You don’t want to be that person who makes everyone uncomfortable or lands themselves in hot water with HR.

So, keep it light, keep it friendly, and keep it appropriate. And who knows, maybe your hilarious puns and clever one-liners will make you the office comedian. 


Building positive workplace relationships is an essential aspect of fostering a healthy, enjoyable, and productive work environment. By embracing open communication, showing empathy, and offering support, we can cultivate genuine connections that enrich our professional lives. Team-building activities, shared celebrations, and simple acts of kindness can go a long way in strengthening these bonds. Let’s not forget the value of laughter and humor, which can bring lightness and joy to the workplace, making it a place we look forward to every day.

So let’s continue to invest in our relationships with our coworkers, knowing that these connections form the foundation for a happier, more successful professional journey.