The recent State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement Insights for US Business Leaders report notes that workers are happier (and possibly more successful) in their jobs when they have friends at work. Yet, the workplace can be a very competitive and stressful environment. With this being so, we don’t normally think of work as a place to develop and to foster friendships. However, the friends (or “acquaintances”) that we make at work can help us to move up the career ladder, and can also support us through turbulent periods (work and personal). For those interested in fostering effective relationships at work, the following two tips provide a good starting place.
1) Cultivating Peer Support: A Good Strategy and Boundaries Matters
When developing friendships (or fostering existing ones) it is important for employees to remember that appropriate boundaries support good friendships — especially in the workplace. Further, while friendships are important at work, they must also be strategically made and managed.
2) Building Soft Skills: Emotional Intelligence Matters
In addition to good boundaries, emotional intelligence is a very important skill. According to Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A. “if you have high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others, and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life”.
Some follow-up reading related to this article/topics are listed below:
- State of the American Workplace Report (Gallup,Inc.)
- Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Key Skills for Raising Emotional Intelligence (Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A)
- Science based tips for making friends (Eric Barker)