5 ways to improve your work relationships

by Betty Lochner on October 22, 2012

It takes two to quarrel, but one to end it. – Spanish Proverb

Work_relationshipsDo you have people at work that you have trouble connecting with? Do you wish you could improve some of those relationships?

It’s easy to get in a rut at work and find yourself unhappy with the behavior of others, or maybe even the way you react to it.

Here are 5 strategies to help you improve your work relationships.  And, by the way, these work pretty well at home too!


1. Encourage open communication.

This is the absolute best way to connect and also to reduce potential conflict at work. Deal with issues when they arise and be open, honest and forthcoming when you communicate with your co-workers. Always.

2. Clarify expectations.

Make sure that you communicate with clarity. Don’t make people make assumptions about what you want. And don’t expect something from someone that you haven’t specifically asked for.  What do you expect to have happen? By when? What will the result look like? Make sure that requests are as specific as possible, and, please don’t make people guess at your undisclosed expectations.

3. Set an example.

Model the behaviors that you expect from others.  For example, if you want to have people be open with you, then be open with them. If you want people to be nice, then be nice first.

4. Reinforce desired behaviors.

Recognize and reward team members who work well with others. When you catch someone doing something right, tell them. Acknowledge what you see that you appreciate and more will fall.

5. If someone picks a fight, end it.

PAUSE FIRST.  Don’t make a situation worse by joining in the problem. Think about the best way to handle the situation before you react.


Take the initiative to improve relationships by trying some of these strategies. They make take some practice, so be patient! If you keep working at your behaviors and responses, you really will see a difference.

Those who are interested in ways to improve their work relationships might consider bringing training to work or individual coaching.  Small changes make a huge difference!

Do you have a success story of improving a relationship at work? Please share it!


Betty Lochner_trainerBetty Lochner is the Owner 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.
And, it’s now available on Kindle! Check it out.

To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit our website:




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