Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Building rapport with your colleagues

Having the ability to get along with your colleagues – and create long-lasting professional relationships with them – is essential for any tax professional.

Whether you are new to the numbers game or a seasoned accountant, fostering positive relationships with co-workers creates a richer work environment and can help your future within the industry. While it's par for the course that some personalities may clash, garnering the skills to cope in such situations is key for any career-driven individual. Here are four great ways to build rapport with your colleagues and show your team your good side.

1. Communicate effectively

Things can go awry when there is miscommunication, especially when office stress and multiple deadlines are added to the mix. Learning to be clear when communicating with colleagues about collaborative projects, your workload or the expectations of your role will help you avoid any unnecessary conflict. If you are ever in doubt about a task or project, following up with questions is the best way to side-step confusion. Professional relationships thrive on open and honest communication.

2. Be positive

No one likes a Negative Nancy. So even if you think you are innocently venting about problems, if you do so too often people will peg you as a pessimist.

Having a positive, can-do attitude puts other people at ease and also shows that you are capable and interested in your work. Next time you feel the urge to complain about something work related, take a step back and look on the bright side. Positivity is infectious, so your vibe will rub off on your colleagues, leading to a more positive work environment for everyone.

3. Learn to listen

Often when we have conversations with colleagues, our minds are focused on the long list of other things we need to get done, meaning you miss important information. Making a conscious effort to focus on what the other person is saying is called active listening.

To be successful with active listening:
  • Pay attention to what the other person is saying.
  • Show them you are engaged in the conversation with signals like nodding and eye contact.
  • Provide feedback on what they have said by paraphrasing.
  • Try not to interrupt them while they are speaking.

Practising this type of listening can really help you understand your co-worker's needs and build trust with them.

4. Be reliable

To make your colleagues trust and admire your work, make sure you are a reliable employee. Get to the office on time, produce high-quality work and be there for your team when they need you. Later down the track when your superiors are determining who best to promote or entrust with the next big project, your hard work will pay off.

These four tips are great ways to improve rapport with your co-workers, but they work best when combined. Create a positive work attitude built on effective skills and you will be the go-to worker in the office.


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