Not-Your-Average Valentine's Post: 5 Tips to Keep Your Relationships Healthy

With Valentine’s Day still in the air (and all of February being Relationship Wellness Month), it’s hard not to focus on the good, the bad, and the ugly of relationships. Let’s face it—good relationships take work to build and even more work to maintain, but the results can be quite rewarding. Though you may be tired of reading about “Top 10 Ways to Get Him/Her to Like You” or other sappy dating insights posts, relationships can be much broader than the romantic kind. In particular, developing positive relationships in your workspace is essential to cultivating a healthy office culture and uniting coworkers around a common mission. Here are five tips to keep your relationships (whatever type they may be) healthy and positive!

1. Accept differences – you may learn from them!

Different ways of thinking help us think of new perspectives and approaches to tackle problems. Sure, we may feel more comfortable with other people who understand our point of view, but the novelty of sameness soon fades. Life would be so dull if we all saw situations the same way. Some of the best relationships and greatest discoveries come from a little friendly challenging and acceptance of difference.

2. Listen effectively.

What did I just say? I said, listening is a crucial skill in building a relationship because it shows that we understand and care. Active or reflective listening is challenging, but some helpful techniques can make the job easier: Restate or rephrase your understanding of the message Verify the speaker’s message and ask for feedback Ask questions! These tips may seem obvious, but these distinguish active listening and make a conversation effective.

3. Give people time.

We’re all in a rush, but giving someone the time to ask questions or collaborate is essential to building a positive relationship. Giving someone time means not only listening, but also being present and appreciating that person’s company or opinion in the moment. Not only will they feel valued, but you might gain something quite positive from the interaction.

4. Develop your communication skills.

One of the biggest dangers in the workplace is when we assume someone understands what we mean, but in fact they believe something quite different. Poor communication in the workplace can lead to a culture of blame and stress. It’s never fun to feel like we don’t understand something or we’ve been misled, so asking many questions to understand goals and communicating goals effectively is essential to a positive workplace.

5. Learn to give and take feedback.

Providing constructive feedback is the heart and soul of effective work and achieving goals. Often, we can’t complete large tasks alone! Learning to provide feedback and receive feedback will help others recognize their own personal potential and will help you forge beneficial relationships. Receiving feedback will help you recognize your blind spots through a different perspective.

Every relationship teaches us something new and building healthy, positive relationships will help make us feel happy, fulfilled, and supported. OpenSesame offers a wide variety of relationship building and relationship management courses which will help you maximize your potential and ensure that individuals within your organization feel united towards a common mission build on trust.