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How to build meaningful relationships with colleagues across different ranks

Good relationships with colleagues are essential. Besides making life in the workplace easy and enjoyable, colleagues can turn into business partners or act as referees if you consider a job change.

But how can you build a lasting relationship with colleagues in different ranks, especially when you seem to be living on different planets?

Here are few tips on building lasting relationships with them, regardless of the levels:

1. Know their personality

There are numerous personalities in the workplace. To get along with your colleagues, you should understand each person individually and approach accordingly. While at it, you should also avoid grouping the individuals and assuming that one person’s behavior speaks for the others.

2. Respect personal boundaries

Each person has a way of doing things. Each person also has lanes that they prefer to keep untouched. Whether in terms of physical space or nature of discussions presented, understanding the boundaries and respecting prevents conflicts.

3. Respect opinions

When discussing specific workplace topics, it is common for parties involved to understand and interpret issues differently. Some base their judgments on what they have seen, heard, learned, experienced, or believe. Rather than assuming that a differing opinion is an unmistakable sign of low knowledge levels, learn how to respect different opinions. If you cannot keep up with the conversations for whatever reason, keep your distance.

4. Build trust

Trust is the heart of lasting relationships. Whether that means meeting project deadlines or keeping insider information within the stated boundaries, strive to be a trustworthy person.

5. Give room for expression

Talking about other colleagues in the workplace is common. And sometimes, if you are the person under discussion, you may receive a twisted version of a story. Instead of taking it to heart and jumping to a conclusion, get to the bottom of the matter to understand the nature of the discussion. Sometimes it can be an honest discussion that was misunderstood by others.

6. Avoid being judgmental

There is a reason why humans behave the way they do. Although this is not an excuse for appalling behavior, strive to be empathetic at all times. For instance, a colleague avoiding after-work meetings could be a sign of personal responsibilities or struggles. Rather than joining others in making fun of the situation or criticizing, it is best to establish a communication ground and help where possible.

7. Communicate effectively

Effective communication is a necessity when working towards lasting relationships. Effective communication will help you to be mindful of your language, speak in a way that others understand and to resolve issues at their infancy in the best way possible. A course offered by Fuzu on how to communicate can be of great help.

8. Be authentic

Quite a number of relationships with colleagues collapse due to one person leading a false life to fit in the groups. In such cases, trust is broken, and future communication becomes a challenge. The best option is to be authentic and let the colleagues see you as you are.

9. Be ethical

Which image do you reflect in the workplace? Are you the type of person who curses at everyone and everything?

If your image is not something that others would like to be associated with, building a lasting relationship can be a challenge. While you have to be authentic, being unethical can affect relationships with colleagues.

10. Control your emotions

How do you respond to stressful situations? How do you handle conflicts?

Once in a while, we are caught up in situations that cause an outburst of emotions. Whether they arise from personal or professional problems, mastering emotions helps in building lasting connections. If you need help, a course on conflict resolution would be resourceful.

11. Help where necessary

Lending a hand to a colleague when he/she is struggling is a wonderful way of building a relationship. Whether physical or intellectual, it sets a different perspective about you and establishes a friendship.

12. Appreciate every person

The success of an organization is the collection of the tasks handled by each person every day. This means that seeing the value made by each person and appreciating will change how you relate to them.

13. Be mindful of what you speak of others

As mentioned earlier, every person has a way of handling things. Sometimes this approach irks others and they find themselves speaking negatively. As caution, be mindful of what you speak of others. Speak positively of them and if you can’t find anything worth praising, be silent. How you speak of others affects how the listeners view you and relate with you.

14. Spend time together

Spending time with colleagues is an excellent way of getting to know each other and creating a bond. Something as simple as meeting during coffee breaks for a friendly chat can greatly impact the relationship.

15. Focus on those who want friendships

Even at your best, your personality will not appeal to all. Make peace with it. Rather than spending all your time and energy trying to get the attention of those who show little to no interest in connection with you, focus on those who want and appreciate it.


Good relationships with colleagues are far beneficial. Therefore, if you desire to lasting friends, some of the listed tips can help.

This article was first posted on Fuzu.

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