The Daily Challenge: Invest in Work Relationships


Slow down. Build relationships. 

Work Relationships.jpeg

Social Currency.

Time to Read: 4 Mins

Ever wonder how some people seem to get along with just about everyone?

These people seem to have endless amounts of "social currency." They're able to move mountains when things seem impossible, they're identified as team players, and they can get often even get their job done more effectively. 

This person doesn't have to be outgoing or overly social. They simply make time to build relationships with their coworkers. Put differently, they invest in creating "social currency". 

Social currency (what we sometimes refer to as "social capital") is about building authentic relationships with the people around you and investing in those relationships often.

While it may appear that we're suggesting you should be nice to others so you can get something in the end, the reality is that social currency isn't tit-for-tat. It's long-term, and it's reciprocal. 

There are many reasons to invest in relationships at work. For starters, it really makes your job more enjoyable! When you get along with coworkers, the day seems to move more quickly. 

Teams who have strong, authentic bonds are able to move through difficult periods more seamlessly. When everyone trusts each other and is free to speak candidly, potentially complicated situations have a way of getting solved faster. 

Today, take a few minutes to begin forming good habits to invest in your work relationships.

Tip 1: Form a habit of unsolicited kindness. During the first hour of your day, complete an unsolicited act of kindness for someone at work. It doesn't have to cost money and it probably won't even take up very much time. What can you do in this first hour? 

Tip 2: Place a premium on defaulting to kindness and respect. To default to kindness and respect, we often have to give the other person the benefit of the doubt when something doesn't go as planned. Your reactions can make or break your relationships with your coworkers. 

Tip 3: Give people the benefit of the doubt. Go out of your way to understand where they are coming from. 

Tip 4: Be honest. Humans have endless reasons for lying (this is a pretty fun read). Lies are a quick and fast way to destroy trust and kill respect. 

Tip 5: Make time for interaction! Work has a way of taking over our days (as it should!) but a bit of social interaction with your coworkers is actually in your company's best interest. Try to spend 10 to 20 minutes a day together (even if these are broken down into 5 minute chats). If you can't interact as much as you would like, make time for off-site interaction with a group of coworkers. Not able to stay late? Maybe people would be up for meeting early for breakfast. 

Pro Tip:  Not everyone is going to be best buds, but if you treat your coworkers the way you would treat a good friend, you might be surprised by how much progress you can make together. The time and energy you invest will pay off in myriad ways. 

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