How to Create a More Positive Workplace: Connecting With Coworkers

I conducted a virtual workshop this past fall on creating a more positive workplace. The insights of the thoughtful and engaged participants were so phenomenal that I have been sharing highlights from the program through a series of blogs. There was one detailing what contributes to an ideal workplace, and another on building connections

We then advanced to handling disagreements, discussing some helpful phrases to use in conversations, how to respond appropriately to difficult situations, and how to reduce conflict before it happens. Throughout the program we noted the power of appreciation.

The final session of the workshop focused on implementing what was learned. One discussion group concentrated on connecting with coworkers. Here are some of the highlights of that group’s conversation:

  • It is beneficial to reach out and get to know a variety of different people in your workplace, extending yourself beyond those you normally interact with during your work day. 
  • When we talk to our colleagues about how their work impacts us, we build trust because all of us would prefer to hear from out colleagues directly. If we go straight to our bosses with issues or concerns, we chip away at trust little by little.  
  • It is more powerful to look at how negative behavior is impacting the person you are speaking with, rather than how it is impacting yourself. Identify what is motivating the other person and try speaking their language, which means getting to know them and thinking about what matters to them. Try to learn what the other person cares about and use that as part of the discussion. 
  • Our language influences and impacts the way we think about things. A helpful mindset is “We are each other’s customers.” It is a strong statement and changes the way we interact with one another. Consider if you treat your coworkers with the same love, patience, kindness, and respect that you treat your customers.

How do you improve your connections with coworkers?

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