June 2014
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TD Magazine

Three Ways to Strengthen Work Relationships

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Managers can help foster positive relationships and broaden capacity in their teams through communication, genuine understanding, and cooperation, authors Kim Rowe and Patrick Howell write in "The Positive Workplace," the June 2014 Infoline.

Rowe and Howell offer several tips on how both managers and others can build greater rapport in the workplace, which lowers stress levels, decreases work absences, and increases job satisfaction and engagement.


Use active constructive responses. Active constructive responses are verbal and nonverbal responses that we give to others when they have shared positive news that is important to them. Such responses could mean asking questions that encourage the sharer to provide more details, or verbal or nonverbal expressions that show genuine interest in what the sharer is relating.

Use language that primes others for success. "Priming through language involves the use of sensory-specific words that help others share your vision of success," write Rowe and Howell. This should not be mistaken for misleading statements or false optimism, however.

Smile. It sounds rather simplistic, but smiles really are contagious. You can generate smiles by smiling yourself, beginning a meeting by inviting someone to share a piece of good news, or asking your employees to commit to performing at least one random act of kindness aimed at a colleague each day for a workweek.

These tips were adapted from the June 2014 Infoline, "The Positive Workplace." For more information, go online to www.astd.org/Infoline.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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