Life is easier when you get along with other people. Particularly when those people are your co-workers.
Improving your relationship with a boss, staff member, client, vendor, or any other person that you work is usually a wise investment.
The simplest way I know to improve those relationships is to be helpful.
When you’re helpful, people appreciate it.
When you’re helpful, you feel like you’re making a contribution.
When you’re helpful, it creates a bond. It strengthens a bond. Because helping each other works in good times and in bad times.
When someone is struggling, that’s a good time to help.
Maybe they made a mistake. Or they are running late. Or they just need an extra pair of hands.
That’s an obvious opportunity for you to jump in and lend a hand. Which might be time and energy, expertise, or advice.
Sometimes a sympathetic ear is one of the most helpful things that you can offer.
Sometimes people need to talk things through. They need to figure out a strategy for dealing with an unexpected problem or a unique political circumstance.
Maybe it’s something more “mechanical” with their project or operation.
Whatever it is, you an offer a helpful attitude.
If you can’t do something directly, your empathy will go a long way. And who knows? What you have to offer might just be the key to turning things around or fixing the situation.
Less obvious, but maybe more important, are the times when things are going well. You can help here too.
You can maintain a helpful attitude and be on the lookout for ways to contribute all the time.
When things are going well, you might be able to help make them better.
You might be able to help things go more smoothly.
You might be able to help one of your colleagues to reach a higher level of success in whatever it is that they are doing.
And you can certainly help them to feel better about it.
Because it’s always nice when people acknowledge someone’s effort, cheers them on, or helps them along.
Your efforts at helpfulness will probably cause you to be liked more by others. People tend to like helpful people, even if they aren’t directly being helped by those people.
It makes a statement when someone is a little bit selfless and working toward the greater good for everyone.
What’s more, this type of behavior tends to cause others to behave similarly. Reciprocation may not always be clear and direct, but your helpful attitude is probably going to become magnified as it starts to rub off on others.
Over time, that grows. It can become part of the group culture.
There’s another secret, too, that you might not be aware of: When you help others, you will grow to like them more too. So you’re not only influencing others with this helpful attitude, you’re influencing yourself too!
The Invisible Hand of Good Relations
All of this helping contributes to better relationships. Because it creates an strengthens emotional connections.
If we’re all transaction minded all the time, we might be very efficient. But people aren’t about transactions. They’re about relationships.
The funny thing is, better relationships yield better transactions. And probably more of them, with better quality (and more fun).