Building positive workplace relationships

This page includes guidance and support on how to build positive relationships in the workplace, with a short self-study module to help you cement learnings. 

All good relationships are built on trust.

Trust is built up by keeping up with work commitments, doing all work to the highest standard and resisting the temptation to gossip. People who can demonstrate that they can get the job done will gain trust from both patients and colleagues.

Defining a good workplace relationship

There are many important characteristics that make up good, healthy working relationships. These include:

  • mutual respect
  • open communication
  • empathy
  • trust
  • interpersonal skills
  • building rapport with every member of the team
  • assertiveness.

This short self-study module below covers how to build a positive relationship in the workplace. 

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Building positive workplace relationships
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Before you begin.
Before you begin, remember to:

• Be honest and open with yourself
• Treat yourself with kindness and respect
• Be present
• Enjoy!

Reflect on a positive relationship
Take a moment to think of a positive relationship in your life. Can you think of the reasons why this relationship works so well?
Positive relationships are different to each of us.
Positive relationships are different to each of us.

What do the below five factors that create a healthy working relationship mean to you?

• Mutual respect
• Open communication
• Empathy
• Trust
• Building rapport with every member of the team.

Mutual Respect.
Mutual Respect.

A simple and effective way of showing respect to someone else is to encourage their input and suggestions. While we may feel more comfortable in the presence of like-minded people, we often meet people from diverse backgrounds and it’s important to listen to views that may differ from your own.

Mutual Respect task.
Can you recall a time you noticed someone demonstrating respect at work? Take a moment to try and remember what they did.
Demonstrating respect.
Demonstrating respect.

• Treat others with empathy
• Treat all people equally
• Never use insults
• Be aware of your body language
• Don’t criticize over the little things.

Open Communication.
Open Communication.

Strong communication skills mean we can connect with others effectively, build trust and respect, and feel understood. Open communication means we encourage others to express ideas freely without fear of constructive criticism because we know how to listen and learn from it.

Open Communication Task.
Think of a recent conversation you have had at work. Do you remember what the other person said as much as what you did?
Empathy.
Empathy.

Empathy is an awareness of the feelings and emotions of others. It should not be confused with sympathy; which is the ability to ‘feel’ for somebody, rather it is the state of mind that allows people to feel ‘with’ another person. Compassion, selflessness and being non-judgemental are key factors to developing empathy.

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Trust.
Trust.

All good relationships are built on trust. Trust is built up by keeping up with work commitments, doing all work to the highest standard and resisting the temptation to gossip. People who can demonstrate that they can get the job done will gain trust from both patients and colleagues.

Interpersonal skills.
Interpersonal skills.

Interpersonal skills at work relate to our ability to get along with others while getting the job done.

• Verbal and non-verbal communication
• Listening skills
• Negotiation
• Problem-solving and decision-making
• Assertiveness.

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Final task.
Mindfulness can help to reduce stress, anxiety and conflict.

It can be helpful to consider the following questions when deciding whether you are mindful.

• Do you ever dwell on past events and catch yourself dreading what the future holds?
• Are you able to recollect your morning routine or daily commute?
• How often do you eat at your work-space without tasting your food?

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End Slide with Button
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