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Work Life Coaching

Strengthen Connections at Work

4 Minute Read

Although communication is a key part of any relationship, it can be especially important at work. You want to be seen as a team player and an individual who can be trusted. 

Here are some tips for strengthening connections at work:

Reflect on how you want to be perceived

It will be easier to communicate with others if you know what you want to achieve and how you want to be perceived. Think about the last time a meeting didn’t go well. How could it have gone better? Did something happen that surprised or annoyed everyone? Did someone say something that offended another person in the room? Was one team member trying to take over the presentation while others were still talking, which made people feel ignored or left out of the discussion?

When we understand why certain things happened at work, we’re more likely to not only avoid making those mistakes again but also create better solutions for future problems (like how best to deal with an aggressive colleague).

Set the tone for communication with colleagues

When you’re collaborating with colleagues, it's important to set the tone for communication. This means being clear about your expectations and open to feedback, respecting others' time, and being polite and professional.

Some tips for doing this:

  • Don't be afraid to say what you mean! This might seem like a no-brainer, but when we're stressed out or feeling anxious about something, we often find ourselves avoiding difficult conversations. Instead of being vague or passive-aggressive (like with sarcasm), try asking questions directly in order to get clarification—and avoid misunderstandings down the road.
  • Be specific about what you expect from people who work on projects with you—whether it's meeting deadlines or answering emails within 24 hours—and be patient if they don't meet these expectations right away. A good rule of thumb is that if someone hasn't responded after two days (or whatever length of time works best for everyone involved), check in again via email or text message just so they know that their input is still needed and appreciated. 

Use positive reinforcement to communicate

For the best results, remember that positive reinforcement is more effective than negative reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is a better way to communicate, is more effective in the long run, and is more likely to be remembered. It will also make people feel better about themselves.

Give feedback constructively

Giving feedback can be difficult, but it's important to do so in a constructive way. You don't want to give your colleague a blank stare and say, “I’m not sure what you mean there.” Instead, try using these tips:

  • Be specific. When giving someone feedback on their work, be clear about what they did wrong and how they can improve it. It's tempting to say things like “your presentation was boring” or “you need to take initiative more often." However, this kind of vague criticism may make the person feel defensive or confused about what exactly you expect from them next time around (and also makes for awkward small talk at the water cooler).
  • Be honest with yourself as well as others when giving feedback—if something isn't working out in your relationship/job/life then address those issues head-on instead of sweeping them under the rug! This will help build trust between both parties involved.

Take a break and make quality time for each other

You've worked hard to build strong, healthy relationships at work. Now it's time to put them into practice by taking a break and making quality time for each other.

Let's start with what we mean by taking a break. We don't just mean going out for coffee once in a while--we're talking about regularly creating an environment where employees can relax, recharge their batteries, and refocus their attention on their work. You can do this by scheduling formal breaks during your workday or simply allowing people to take a break for lunch if they have something pressing that needs their attention.

We recommend setting aside time every day for your staffers to get away from the office—even if just for 20 minutes--where they can walk around outside or indulge in some sort of activity unrelated to their jobs (dancing? singing?). These activities help release tension and stress so people are ready when it's time for them to jump back into high gear again!

Give thanks for a job well done

For example, if you want to thank your boss for something he or she did, try something like:

Thanks for getting us that new coffee machine. I really appreciate it! Or Your presentation on the new product launch was really inspiring!

Something we also like to use is Thnks.com to send both staff and clients a little something when we want them to feel appreciated.

Communication is key, both in your personal life and at work

Communication is the key to success in both your personal life and at work. It’s a two-way street, which means that you need to be open to hearing what others are saying, but also give consideration as well. Communication is not just about talking or listening—it’s about listening and talking with purpose, intent, and attention paid to the emotions behind what is being said by yourself or others around you.

Communication is a skill that can be improved through training and practice (like any other skill). There are many different ways one can approach improving their ability to communicate better--one could take an online class, where they learn how effective communication works at work through videos of real people discussing their experiences in business situations; one could attend seminars held by corporate trainers on leadership skills, such as public speaking or writing emails professionally; one could read articles online specifically geared towards enhancing interpersonal relations skills, featuring tips about what today's workplace requires from its employees.


I hope these tips have given you some insight into how to improve your communication skills. Remember that it’s not just the words we say, but also the way we say them that can make all the difference. The right tone can help your message be heard in a productive way and create positive reactions from others. So take stock of where you are now, identify any weak points in your style, then try out some of these suggestions as practice!

Michelle Cormier

Michelle Cormier

Lead Project Manager at Torro Media