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6 Ways to Fix a Relationship at Work



Maintaining professional relationships is of vital importance to every organization. Optimal social conditions in the office help businesses stay productive. However, personalities may clash and finding peace requires effort. You may disagree with a coworker or suffer an unfortunate miscommunication. All is not lost! There are several ways to mend office fences.


1. Reduce Stress


Conflicts arise when people are stretched thin or worried about that next project. Look for catalysts to clashes at the office. Are folks irritated by elements of the physical space? Make adjustments to facilitate comfort, accessibility, and flow. If people are stressed about the prospect of a major project or new account then commercial umbrella insurance can reassure individuals that the organization is protected from risks. The workplace runs more smoothly when people are relieved of defensive positions.

2. Communicate Effectively


Work relationships are formed when people from a variety of backgrounds unite around shared goals. Those varied backgrounds can lead to conflicting communication practices. Start by letting go of assumptions and clarifying expectations. Address signs of friction as soon as possible! If you are open about your preferences and accept responsibility for mistakes then your coworker may see this as a sign of renewed respect. Listen and provide extra support when your co-worker’s plate is full. Make sure to establish the first line of communication such as speaking face-to-face or writing details in an email.

3. Set Healthy Boundaries


The office is a place to pursue a central purpose rather than dissect current events that are unrelated to professional duties. Boundaries around topics like politics, religion, personal relationships, and sensitive issues can be beneficial for everyone. Your conflict may have been sparked by one of these topics. Was such a conversation necessary for either of your roles at work? If not then seek out a calm, brief, and private conversation about setting boundaries for each party. You may want to consider involving the human resources department if genuine efforts to reach a mutual resolution are rejected and the circumstances impact other relationships.

4. Be Empathetic


Pay attention to how your words or actions may sway the other person’s emotions. They might already be in a vulnerable and sensitive state before you interact. Show that you care about factors that cause their distress. Simply being present and not passing by a co-worker in need of support can dispel perceptions of unfair judgment. People in managerial positions need to place special focus on checking in with employees who may feel inundated by assignments. People who feel seen and heard are more likely to reciprocate the consideration and move forward in a positive manner.


5. Celebrate Success


Acknowledge your co-worker’s contributions! Lifting the banner to celebrate others signals that you have their back in the office. Drop off a handwritten note or mention being impressed at a meeting. Devote at least as much energy to expressing positive thoughts towards your co-workers as you might put toward expressing annoyance. Don’t sweat the small irritations. Try to shine a light on any amount of success and show that you are building toward the same goal.


6. Demonstrate Trust


Trust can be challenging to restore but you can get there. Reflect on the events that precipitated a loss of trust with your co-worker. Did trust really exist in the first place? Allow your co-worker to do their best without unnecessary interruptions and consider asking for their input on relevant items. Build trust by communicating confidence and respecting appropriate levels of confidentiality.


You can construct a bridge to a better working relationship after conflict. Remain open to the possibility that you could even end in a better place than you began!


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