10 easy ways to improve office relationships

by Betty Lochner on October 8, 2010

Do you wish you had better relationships at work?

Not sure how to do that?

Well, it’s your lucky day!  I’m here to tell you that there is a very simple way to transform office relationships. It’s call APPRECIATION and it is one of the easiest and most powerful communication tools you can have.

Appreciation is something we all need and seldom get. When was the last time you made an effort to go out of your way to show appreciation for a co-worker?

Here are 10 easy ways to improve your relationships – at work and at home – simply by offering appreciation!

1. Always say “please” and “thank you”.

Often overlooked in our busyness, these three words show respect and have a powerful  impact.  And watch your tone – be genuine or it just doesn’t work.

2. Catch someone doing something right.

Notice when someone is doing something well and identify the specific action.  Tell them that you enjoyed their presentation, you noticed they finished the project early,  they are always so friendly to you, or you love to hear them laugh.  Catch them doing something you appreciate about them and tell them!

3. Show an  interest.

Connect with those around you. Ask about family, hobbies, a special event, their pets.  Notice a new picture or clothing you like.

4. Go to lunch or take a break together.

Offer to run to the local deli together or go for a walk on a break.  It demonstrates you care enough to spend a bit of your own time with them.  Time is a great appreciation gift that you can give anyone!

5. Give a small gift.

Find out what someone likes and give a small gift once in a while — a favorite candy bar, a flower, a card and simply say “I’m glad you’re my co-worker, (or boss, friend, neighbor)”.

6. One word: food.

Bring in some brownies or other goodies to share in the break room with a note that says “Happy Monday” or “You guys rock”!

7. Create traditions.

Pass around a silly award at staff meetings for the funniest work story of the week. Or draw a name from a hat and say something you appreciate about that person.

8. Celebrate successes.

When a goal is met, or a event is over, take a minute to celebrate with a gathering, a note, a poster, or an email to all involved that says  something like: “Hey – congratulations!”, or “Way to go”!

9. Say it out loud.

Send an email or announce in a staff meeting something specific you appreciate about your work group, or someone in particular.  Do this regularly and rotate who you acknowledge.

10. Tell their boss.

Probably the most powerful way to appreciate someone at work is to send an email to their boss about something you appreciate about someone who works for them. Don’t forget to send the person a copy!  You can bet they’ll save it!

Betty Lochner is the Owner and President of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home.

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