Maintaining a Positive Work Relationship

Joe Weinlick
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It can be difficult to be successful in business without strong professional relationships with your co-workers and your clients. Make sure that you get along with the people you interact with on a daily basis, even if you do not always agree. Practicing proper workplace etiquette is essential for a great professional reputation.

Be Respectful

As you start to build professional relationships, it is crucial to be respectful. Address your emails with a greeting and the person’s name, and give thanks or show gratitude when needed. Even if you do not agree with the person, or you have to work with the person because there is a problem, be polite and professional to avoid any additional conflict and tension in the workplace. It does not matter whether the person is your superior or the janitor where you work. Showing respect goes a long way towards creating a harmonious working environment.

Be Punctual

If you have to be at work for a meeting at a specific time, or you need to have something completed for someone in the office, get it done in a timely fashion. Being late, unprepared or slow at what you do can cause delays for the people who work with you. That can cause friction and can negatively affect the professional relationships that you have with co-workers and clients.


You need to communicate with your co-workers and business associates to develop strong professional relationships. Reply promptly when they ask you a question, and interact with them on a personal level. Ask about their family, home life and other interests to learn more about them while you are at lunch, in the break room or when it is appropriate. This helps you develop friendship and trust, establishing a more cordial professional relationship.

Manage your email and social media sites so you know when to send someone a birthday message, to gather addresses to send out holiday cards and other social communications to enhance your professional relationships.

Be Honest

Honesty in your work environment is imperative, especially with those with whom you want to create a strong professional relationship. A lie can get exposed, and it can come back to make you look dishonest and disloyal to the company and your co-workers. If you lie on a project, about a sales projection or about where you were when you were supposed to be working, others may find out and never trust you again. This could potentially destroy your working relationships.

The professional relationships that you have are important for you to maintain and grow in your career, so you can continue to enjoy going to work each day. Practice these tactics to make the right impression when you interact with others in your work environment.


Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at



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