Series on Emotional Intelligence: Building relationships

Workplace relationships are unique interpersonal relationships with important implications for the individuals in those relationships, and the organizations in which the relationships exist and develop. Studies show that workplace relationships directly affect a worker’s ability to succeed.

building relationships

Workers spend on average 50 hours a week in the workplace, these long work hours result in the formation of workplace friendships. These connections can be both positive, and have the potential to become harmful. Career advancement is easier and you will accomplish more if you can count on the support of coworkers and managers. It’s up to you to actively build relationships with others in the workplace. Don’t approach relationship-building in a selfish manner. Work at building strong workplace relationships for greater job satisfaction and because you value a healthy workplace culture.

Take the example of Melburn McBroom. He was a domineering boss, with a temper that intimidated those who worked with him. That fact might have passed unremarked had McBroom worked in an office or factory. But McBroom was an airline pilot.

One day in 1978 McBroom’s plane was approaching Portland, Oregon, when he noticed a problem with the landing gear. So McBroom went into a holding pattern, circling the field at a high altitude while he fiddled with the mechanism.

As McBroom obsessed about the landing gear, the plane’s fuel gauges steadily approached the empty level. But his copilots were so fearful of McBroom’s wrath that they said nothing even as disaster loomed. The plane crashed, killing ten people.

Today the story of that crash is told as a cautionary tale in the safety training of airline pilots. In 80 percent of airline crashes, pilots make mistakes that could have been prevented, particularly if the crew worked together more harmoniously. Teamwork, open lines of communication, cooperation, listening, and speaking one’s mind. The cockpit is a microcosm of any working organization. The dramatic impact of an airplane crash aside, the effects of having poor workplace relationships and cooperation can have a dramatic impact on both the organization and the individual.

Emotional Intelligence. Why it can matter more than IQ, by Daniel Goleman