ATLANTA, GA – NOVEMBER 10th, 2022 – Relationship-building is a crucial–and often underrated–skill in the workplace that can have a significant impact on creating a collaborative and positive work environment. Not only can it lead to higher levels of employee satisfaction, for leaders and employees alike, but it can also be a powerful tool to aid in career growth. Fostering these kinds of relationships is the foundation for building equity or your reputation as a valuable team member that is valued by your colleagues.
Deepak “Dee” Agarwal, an experienced business leader and entrepreneur in the e-commerce space, breaks down the relationship skills that employers and employees have in common, and why it’s important for everyone in the workforce to build these skills, regardless of their level.
“Self-awareness doesn’t just mean awareness of one’s strengths and weaknesses, but also how one’s actions and behavior affect other stakeholders in the organization. It serves as a tool for building relationships that begins with analyzing how your actions affect those around you in the workplace,” Deepak Agarwal explains.
For example, if someone consistently is bulldozing their teammates by taking over projects and writing off the ideas of their colleagues without allowing them the opportunity to contribute, it can have a substantial impact, not only on how the individual is perceived but also on the willingness of others to work with them on projects in the future. In this situation, as the employee notices that their colleagues are getting frustrated with them during projects and no longer want to collaborate as frequently, they need the self-awareness to reflect on their working style and why this could be happening. Once the problem is identified, it’s up to them to shift their behavior and rebuild their professional relationships and perception in the process.
“Being aware of how your actions and language affect others is the key to forming relationships, and these interactions are not limited to immediate colleagues. Word travels fast in an organization on how others perceive you, so being cognizant of how you are viewed by others will enable you to build connections and stronger relationships across all levels of an organization,” Deepak Agarwal says.
Delegating important tasks and decisions is a critical way for leaders and mid-level employees to demonstrate trust and build a sense of team with employees. As a lower or entry-level employee, being assigned new or challenging tasks demonstrates management’s belief in their ability to succeed.
“Delegating is an important relationship-building skill because it inspires trust and confidence. It’s also a great way for leaders to give feedback in a constructive way that motivates and rewards employees,” Dee Agarwal says.
Additionally, delegation can be used as a tool to foster an environment of openness and collaboration. When employees are given the opportunity to work together on a challenge or project, this adds depth to their professional relationships.
“Constant communication and partnership among many different people in the organization can establish trust and respect, which are good foundations upon which to build relationships. On top of that, it increases the number of interactions among colleagues, which naturally leads to relationship growth,” Deepak Agarwal says.
An important part of relationship building is maintaining a positive demeanor toward the work and colleagues in an organization. This holds true for employees across all levels. Bringing a positive attitude to work makes it more likely that others will want to collaborate and work together toward a common goal.
“People function better when they work among managers and colleagues who exude positivity. This can be done simply by congratulating or complementing a fellow employee whenever they’ve finished a project or reached a goal,” Dee Agarwal says. Positive gestures like these help cultivate a working environment that can pave the way for better, stronger relationships at the workplace.
Regardless of the methods to improve relationship-building skills, it is critical to keep in mind that building relationships requires better communication skills, more time spent with colleagues and employees, and a stronger commitment to respecting and appreciating others.