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5 ways leaders can maintain positive relationships at work

Foster a healthy work environment with good workplace etiquette. By Satyaki Sarkar

When it comes to workplace relationships, the kind of rapport a leader shares with his/her employees directly affects the kind of work they do, as well as their attitude towards the work, and their involvement with it. After all work is where everyone spends the largest chunk of their day. And negative, unhealthy relationships between employees and their leaders can not only cause friction in the work process, but offset the smooth operation of teams, resulting in poor productivity and results. Sometimes in bad cases it can even cause companies to lose good employees. Here are five ways to stop that from happening.

1. Respect your employees’ workspace
This applies to physical as well as mental space. Don’t set out to monitor everything that your employees do, dictating how and when they do it. Trust them to do their tasks without constant supervision and helpful nudges. If you don’t, you’ll only make yourself into a nuisance and earn their resentment. They’ll also quickly lose interest in their work and be reluctant to take ownership of any tasks. Neither situation is something you want.

2. Don’t be quick to judge
If an employee is paying less attention to work, not following instructions, is unable to finish tasks or making mistakes, take the time to find out if it’s something more than disinterest or slacking off. Don’t be quick to judge and reprimand without listening to them. Have the patience to actually listen to what they have to say, without interruption, questions or insights. Many a time, you’ll find that your concerns or questions have actually been answered by the time they are done. If it is a matter of disinterest or a lackadaisical attitude then the person won’t be able to conceal it in a one-on-one interaction.

3. Carry out your duties faithfully
Being a boss doesn’t mean you live by another set of rules when it comes to getting your work done. Employees look to their leader for clues as to how to behave. So the first step is to ensure you’re walking the talk. A leader who uses power and position to shirk responsibilities while nit-picking what employees do, quickly loses any faith or respect he/she could have had. Choose to lead by example so that your team is inspired by you, which will be reflected in their work.

4. Do not let emotions rule your behaviour
Being a leader is not an easy task, especially during difficult circumstances and crisis situations. When that happens, you need to be able to maintain your cool and calmly assess the situation to come up with a solution, without giving in and having an emotional outburst. When your employees see you getting stressed and taking it out on them, not only does it make them feel that you are not in control of the situation, it also makes them lose any respect and confidence they had in you as a leader.

5. Be appreciative and pleasant
People spend a minimum of eight hours in a day at office, which basically is more than half of the hours they spend awake. As such, their interactions and relationships with people in office form a large chunk of their lives. How you behave with them as a person, not a leader, also has a significant impact. Maintain a pleasant demeanour, be appreciative of efforts, provide positive reinforcements. These small but important acts make employees feel happier and more relaxed. It makes them enjoy the time they spend at work, making them further invested in their job and interested in giving it their best.

Photograph: Freepik 

Categories:   Lifestyle, Work Buzz

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