How good are your relationships with work colleagues?

This is a question that I personally struggle with and would also say is a huge developmental area for me. I have always termed relationships to be categorized in the same manner with the kind of relationship you have with your spouse, your siblings and very close Knitted friends. When you get into the workspace – most of us want to set boundaries due to lack of trust and our inability to be as opened and honest with our work colleagues are we would with our families and friends. 

However, the irony of life is that people who have very close friends and best friends at work are more than likely to be more engaged in their jobs than those who don’t have friends at work. 

Friendship and relationships at work don’t have to be exactly the same as those with your family and friends. However, a good working relationship is critical for us to establish in our workplaces. Good work relationships are linked to better individual engagement, amazing teamwork outcomes and increased performance of many organizations. 

Defining a Good Relationship 

We need to fully acknowledge that a good work relationship requires the following characteristics: 

1. Trust 

2. Respect 

3. Self-Awareness 

4. Inclusion 

5. Open Communication. 

We would be exploring each of these characteristics over the course of the month. 


For any relationship to be termed as “Good” – there as to be a huge level of trust in that relationship. Relationships must be built on Trust. 

Trust is a firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something. 

This is one area that really stops a lot of us from establishing relationships. We sometimes bring our past experiences of when someone has let us down in this area. We must understand that trust is an abstract mental attitude towards a proposition that someone is dependable. It is also a feeling of confidence and 

security that a partner, friend, or someone cares. Trust is a complex neutral process that binds diverse representations into a semantic pointer that includes emotions. 

There are 4 conditions of trust – which are critical to building a relationship which is built on trust. 

1. Consistency – Each individual needs to be consistent in their approach to the relationship. They also need to be themselves and let each party understand you for who you are. Sometimes when we are trying to build relationships, we somethings only what to show the good side of ourselves. My advice is that from the start of any relationship please let the other person know the good, the bad and ugly and let them make the decision on whether they would like to build a relationship with you then. Don’t unveil yourself in bits!!!! 

2. Compassion – You need to have sympathetic pity and concern for each other. You must be kind to each other, motivate each other, know when the other party needs to be encouraged or needs your support. 

3. Communication – Learn how to communicate effectively with others 

4. Competency – You must be able to show the ability to play your own part in relationships. Every individual would have a role to play and must be able to show that they are competent in playing that role to gain the trust of the other person. 

Trust is very important in relationships as it does allow relationships to flourish and the absence of trust can cause fragmentation. This is also very true in relationships at work and personal relationships.

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