Building Better Relationships (For Your Own Health)
“No one can take away your pain so don’t let anyone take away your happiness.” This unknown quote was the first thing I thought of when considering this topic on building relationships with coworkers. Yesterday, we wrapped up the first week of this 21-day series and are now shifting from focusing on the relationships with ourselves to boosting our happiness by improving the relationships around us.
Over the years, I can recall many challenging coworkers and have employed a number of individuals with incredibly complex personalities. Building better relationships with our coworkers can be tough. But those relationship are needed because if you work full-time, you’re likely spending more waking hours with your coworkers than with your own family.
As a new GM of a hotel, I remember having some difficult times in the beginning. I wanted to be able to say, “My way or the high way,” but unfortunately (or rather, fortunately), that only works in the movies. The frustration I was experiencing with various personalities would come home from work with me and become a large topic around the dinner table each night.
One day, I decided to change my outlook. Rather than inserting my will, I’d pull back and get to know each member of the staff and how I could better serve them. I began asking about their families and got to know what was most important to each one of them. If someone came in my office, rather than telling them how busy I was, I paused. I posted a note over my desk that said “POP: People Over Paperwork.” This note was my daily reminder that in order to be an effective boss and to enjoy my time at work each day, I needed to create better relationships with each of my colleagues.
Those in the workplace can truly be a happiness suck if you allow them. They can drain you of your optimism and love for life. You’ll likely find (if you haven’t already found) yourself spending much too much time talking about the people who should have the least amount of influence over the happiness in your life.
We need those around us. Our family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, community, church family, etcetera. None of us live on an island and whether we want to admit it or not, all of these people matter. Making a decision to build great relationships with your coworkers is imperative to your overall happiness. And more importantly, it’ll help reduce your stress triggers at work which will also improve your health.
Look for the good in each of your coworkers. Discover what things you have in common. It could be something as ostensibly simple as a coffee latte or frozen yogurt. You will be surprised at how much you have in common with every person around you. Maybe it’s your faith, your love of family, the hobby you’re passionate about. Whatever it is, take the time to find a commonality and invest in those relationship.
If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll find your happiness throughout your workday improving immediately. Don’t settle for only being happy at home. Set yourself up daily to enjoy every moment of every day. Even at work.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
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