GOOD working relationships are necessary to be happy and productive at work. To establish and maintain good relationships, it is important to adhere to the rules of work or workplace etiquette, which is the unwritten code that people should adhere to at work. The basic rules of etiquette are fairly simple. It is about common courtesy, good communication and control over our emotions. A healthy relationship is one that includes trust, respect and open communication. Friendships at work make working fun, but it is important to maintain professional boundaries.

To get on well with other people, follow the following simple rules:

Remember names
Names are important to people. Not making the effort to remember someone’s name indicates indifference.

Be positive
Think positively about yourself, then others will see you in that way too. Get others to feel good about themselves as well.

Take an interest
Pay attention to people. Take a genuine interest in what they say and always respond warmly.

Be open and honest always
Express your views openly. Make sure people know where you stand on a particular issue.

Show empathy
We understand people better when we put ourselves in their shoes. Consider how you would feel under the same circumstances.

Be supportive
Offer your support when it is needed. When you offer support, people will make every attempt to not let you down.

Be observant
Take particular note of non-verbal cues. Observe expressions, mannerisms, body language and tone of voice.

Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’
Bad manners are bad for business. It affects morale and productivity.

Forget ego
Admit when you are wrong and apologise sincerely. Don’t wait to be asked to apologise, but make your apology meaningful and unconditional.

Be self-aware
Know what is important to you and how you experience things, what you want, how you feel and how you come across to others.

Help others get what they want
We need to remember that we don’t work in isolation and that we get what we want when others co-operate. Always aim to help others get what they want so that you will consistently get what you want.

Tips to deal with problematic relationships: 

Keep the relationship formal but friendly
Confine your interest to work-related matters. That way you keep interactions to a minimum.

Handling conflict
If there is a problem, discuss it openly and maturely instead of playing games or avoiding the person.

Be flexible
If you learn to be flexible with difficult people, you will learn to deal with their unpleasantness. Think before responding and choose an appropriate response. Deal with it in private.

Don’t express hostility
If someone offends you, don’t stoop to their level. Simply smile and leave their company. Don’t wear your emotions on your sleeve

Be tolerant
Accept people’s difference and opinions. You can tolerate something without accepting it.

Be a people reader
Try to understand your office rival. Observe routines and habits so that you can predict their moves and respond appropriately.

Power struggles
Everyone is at risk of being replaced, so focus your attention on your work and not on power struggles, office politics and competitiveness. Instead, try to make yourself indispensable and keep your eye on the goal.

Play to the professional agenda
Know and understand what matters in the organisation and reflect it in your strategy when dealing with a power struggle.

Offer solutions
Employers love solutions. Instead of taking problems to your manager, offer possible solutions or you could end up being given a solution that makes the problem worse. Office politics exist in all workplaces. The majority of people who fail in their jobs do so because of workplace politics and not a lack of skills. Use your values to make the right decision and always remember that good interpersonal skills are as essential as hard-core skills.

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