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How to Manage Work Relationships Effectively

How to Manage Work Relationships Effectively

In the eyes of employers, how well you work with your colleagues is equally as important as your experience and education. Managing effective work relationships can not only make your job easier, but can help you succeed in your role. Here are some ways to ensure you are successfully working well with others:

come up with solutions

If you have a problem that you need to address with your boss or a co-worker, ensure that you also have a solution. Even if it’s not the final chosen solution, going this extra mile shows that you’ve taken initiative. Remember that it’s human nature to make mistakes and it’s better to solve a problem than unsuccessfully try to cover it up.

Don’t place blame

If you make a mistake that you don’t believe is your fault, don’t place the blame on somebody else right away. If a coworker has negatively impacted you, address it one-on-one with them before bringing it up with a manager. They might not even be aware that they’ve impacted you, and if they find out you’ve blamed them for something without addressing it with them first, this can take a negative toll on your relationship.

However, if someone is bullying you—physically or verbally—it’s important to bring it up with your human resources department, especially if you’ve already addressed the issue with them and they refuse to change their behaviour. Reporting harassment or abuse does not count as placing blame.


Ensure you always give credit where it’s due. If a coworker helped you out on a project or gave you an idea, thank them and give them recognition. It’ll do a lot more to strengthen your relationship with your coworker than pretending to have done something on your own if you haven’t.

HONOR your commitments

Never say you’ll do something without meaning it. Know that when you miss deadlines or make promises you can’t keep, you’re not only affecting your work, but the work of others. This step also ties into problem solving—if you’ve committed to something that you can no longer honour, make sure everyone who will be affected knows and suggest a reasonable way to alleviate the situation. For example, if you can’t make a deadline, come up a with a new one, or if you can no longer come to a meeting, offer to provide a coworker with all of the talking points you would have brought up.

Managing effective relationships at work can not only help you accomplish your goals, it can also affect your personal life. By positively communicating with your coworkers, you may discover that you have a lot in common and create bonds that exist outside of the workplace. Interacting well with the people you work with will make coming to work a much better experience.

WorkBC Vancouver City Centre operated by FSGV offers a variety of workshops related to workplace success—check them out on our workshops calendar.