Updated: Feb 28
Professional contacts can come in handy. Well, that’s possible only if you've managed to maintain a relationship with your colleagues. Now, this is where it gets tricky for many.
Do you remember how simple it was to make friends as a kid?
Taking turns on the slide or simply being assigned the same desk by your class teacher and that was it – you became friends.
In the professional scene, it isn't that easy. Building a strong professional relationship is about sharing a strong rapport and understanding. You can harness it to get access to opportunities, job vacancies, funding, and more.
Let's see dive into how you can build excellent professional relationships.
#1 Sharpen your communication skills
Effective communication isn’t about speaking and listening. When you’re communicating, the opposite person needs to know that you can understand him/her. It is only then that he/she will feel comfortable to open up to you.
Here’s a quick 5-point guide to keeping in mind
· Don’t talk too fast or too slow. Maintain appropriate momentum.
· Use words that the opposite person will understand.
· Repeat important points that you hear. This helps the opposite person feel assured.
· Ask questions if you're not clear. Leave no room for ambiguity.
· Make the other person feel respected by not interrupting them.
#2 Deal with conflict – Do not react
Conflicts can arise due to many reasons – inefficiency, misunderstanding, or simply circumstances.
It's common for people to react instantly. Hold that whip, please! Avoid abusing, losing your cool, and making personal comments. These acts tend to stay in the opposite person’s mind – let’s say – forever.
Think consciously whether react or respond. Take your time to study the matter rather than reacting instantly. Try to empathize with the people around you and put forth your point in a polite manner.
#3 Work on how you respond to feedback
You can be harping about growth, but if you can’t positively give and receive constructive feedback, you won’t be able to maintain relationships.
Backlashing and arguing will not set steady grounds for future successful networking.
Receiving constructive feedback needs to be seen as an opportunity to grow and improve. To be able to network, you need to be open to different perspectives from different people.
At the same time, giving feedback so that the other person gets your message without getting offended is an art of professional networking worth learning & practicing.
#4 Watch how you give feedback to your juniors
Everyone puts on their best behavior in front of bosses. But, what about juniors?
It’s equally important to maintain good relationships with your juniors.
Respect their work and share your perspective in a dignified manner. Don't attempt to pull anyone's morale down. They might just be junior in designation because they were born after you.
And it's not surprising to see youngsters climb the ladder faster than anyone from the previous generation. In the future, you might find yourself seeking their advice.
#5 Respect others’ time
In the professional world, people tend to take your disrespect for their time very seriously. Be it an online or offline meeting, don’t be the reason for delays. The general impression is that if you can’t be on time, how can you be trusted with timely project deliverables.
Showing up on time builds your credibility in your professional environment. So, whether you plan to ask for a salary raise or any professional favour, this one habit is a must.
#6 Appreciate the achievements of others
People love praises. Appreciating coworkers can do wonders and win you many friends. Ironically, it is very difficult for people to praise and appreciate others.
It’s human to feel envious of someone else’s win, especially when you’ve been burning the midnight oil. However, their victory doesn't say anything about you. Every accomplishment takes a different amount of time for every person. View it separately from your pursuits and appreciate their hard work. Congratulate them! It gives scope to seek their advice if and when required.
Genuine interest in the other person & appreciation goes a long way in creating fruitful professional relationships. Occasionally remind yourself of these points and you'll be off to developing strong, long-term connections.