Building a connection with your co-workers

busfriends30396999-1.jpgTo build solid relationships with your co-workers practice four principles: commonalities, connectivity, communication and collaboration. Each of these principles needs to be practiced to create a strong solid connection. While there is not a specific order (i.e. commonalities do not necessary need to come before communication), each of the principles is vital to creating a successful connection, and pleasant work environment.

To build solid relationships with your co-workers practice four principles: commonalities, connectivity, communication and collaboration. Each of these principles needs to be practiced to create a strong solid connection. While there is not a specific order (i.e. commonalities do not necessary need to come before communication), each of the principles is vital to creating a successful connection, and pleasant work environment.
1. Commonalities. By finding commonalities, traits, ideas, interests, or values, you will develop a relationship that is grounded on similar understanding. In order to identify commonalities you will have to ask questions of your coworkers to get to know them. Start with finding out what your coworkers do for entertainment and recreation. Ask them if they have a family, do you have children that are the same age, maybe they play in the same soccer league. Any commonality you have with a coworker will build a relationship that is grounded in similar interests.
2. Connectivity. Once you have identified commonalities with your coworkers this should lead to a bond with them. This connectivity will lead to stronger communication and greater understanding of your coworkers. By forming this connection you will also be able to more freely exchange ideas with your coworkers. These ideas are typically free from judgment which can lead to open discussion which may allow you and your coworkers to achieve your companies' goals. Once you have connected with your coworkers you may find that some of your commonalties are outside of the work environment. This could lead to time being spent together outside of the work setting.
3. Communication. When thinking of communicating with coworkers remember there is verbal communication and non-verbal communication. While verbal communication is the act of speaking non-verbal communication is how your posture, gesture, vocal pitch and rhythm. The other side to communication is being an active listener. A good communicator not only speaks, they take time to listen while others are speaking rather than just waiting for their turn to talk. While listening to your coworkers also look for the non-verbal communicators, these communicators could reveal more information about your coworkers then the act of speaking.
4. Collaboration. This is the final principle to successfully connecting with your coworkers. If you have identified commonalities created some connectivity and spend time communicating you will begin collaborating with your coworkers. The heart of a good team is one that collaborates and works together. When team members are collaborating they:
a. Only share a problem with the team when they also offer a solution
b. Never blame another coworker for their mistake
c. Never ambush or surprise another co-worker
d. Share credit and recognition for accomplishments and ideas
e. Help others to succeed
Building a solid working relationship with your coworkers all begins with you approaching them and asking questions. Once you have found the commonalities that you have with your coworkers you will be able to create a connected bond with them. This could mean that you spend time with your coworkers outside of the work setting. Creating a connection with your coworkers allows you to understand one another and draw out the best in each of you.

Always remember that you must communicate both verbally and non-verbally, and the other half of communication is listening. Practice listening to your coworkers, they will appreciate it and you might learn something about them that you could have overlooked. Finally, the output of creating a solid connection with your coworkers is the strength of collaboration when in a team setting. Remember seeking commonalities in order to make a connection starts with well-honed communication skills and ends in collaboration.

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