Importance of building relationships | Sunday Observer

Importance of building relationships

30 August, 2020

When you grow up to be young men and women some of you will go for higher education and others will seek employment. Once you are employed you will have to interact with various levels of staff. They may be your bosses, managers, supervisors, colleagues and co-workers. In any organization you will have to liaise constantly with internal and external customers. Apart from paper qualifications, success in your profession will depend largely on your ability to develop relationships.

In order to develop harmonious relationships, you will need excellent communication skills. You have to remember that most of us have not been born with communication skills. The more you write, the more you will become a better writer. Similarly, the more you speak, the more you will become a better speaker. Good communication skills are necessary even to get a job. While on the job you will have to develop your communication skills further. That is the foundation for successful relationships. The biggest challenge you will face in life is probably not the technical side of your job but interacting with other people.

If you do not assiduously work towards improving your communication skills, you will face many problems. Lack of good communication skills will lead to certain misunderstandings. Very often others will lose trust when they do not understand what you say. As a result of poor communication you will get more and more confused as to what should or should not be done. One day you will realize that you are unable to work in such a tense atmosphere. Therefore as soon as you start working in an organization, make it an on-going process to work on your communication skills.


When you start working, you will meet dozens of people face-to-face, along the corridor, in the lift, in group discussions, meeting or at the canteen. Sometimes some people will try to avoid you as you are a new recruit. When this happens you will find it difficult to get any work done by them. Your success in any organization will largely depend on your capacity to interact with them.

Successful relationships are not a means to an end. For instance, to get a job done well strong relationships are necessary to create loyalty, build trust and instill confidence. They are the keys to success. Therefore from day one make relationship building your first priority. The quality of the relationship will determine the quality of the product or service.

There are key factors you need to work on in order to build good relationships. In the first place, be extremely courteous to others whether they are above or below your status. In the Digital Age young office workers come to their work places with headphones in their ears. They do not greet anyone as they do not see them properly. They go straight to their cubicles or desks and start their daily routine. This type of abrupt and disrespectful behaviour will be a roadblock to building relationships. Pressure of work is no excuse to ignore your colleagues. Everybody wants to do a job in a cordial environment. If everyone is keeping to themselves, you will not be able to work however much you try.

Common interests

Like children, even young workers have to find common interests with others. Sometimes they do not even know the names of their co-workers. Without knowing their names you will find it difficult to communicate with them. Even if you have no time to talk, acknowledge them, nod your head or just say ‘hi.’ While I was working in a private media organization, some seniors did not even acknowledge my presence. Even if I stood before them for a long time to draw their attention, they would completely ignore me. I found it unbearable because all of us were supposed to be communicators!

Loss of credibility can be a great hindrance to communication. If you cannot convince others with your point of view, they will have no respect for you. When your credibility is not in question, everything will become plain sailing. Make it a point to arrive at your workplace on time. Employers have no respect for late-comers. Even if you give one thousand excuses, they will not believe you. If you happen to come late to office, always inform somebody in authority. Credibility comes with transparency, engagement and honest hard work.

However much you are educated or professionally qualified, make others feel important. During my long career in the government service and the private sector, I found to my surprise that some bosses did not even say ‘thank you’ for a job well done. When you feel unimportant and unappreciated, you feel extremely demotivating. Even very strict managers find time to talk to their staff members to inquire about their family matters. Do not forget that all of us should have human qualities whatever the titles we hold.


Very often we find employees who brag and boast about themselves. They do not know that by doing so they become a laughing stock. From day one, cultivate humility which involves maintaining your pride about who you are and about your achievements. However, this should be done without arrogance. Those who are humble have a quiet confidence. They let others discover their talents without bragging about themselves. Always remember that humility is a strong point not a weakness.

All in all, you must try to be a good listener. Listen to tales of achievement or frustration of your co-workers. Everybody wants somebody to listen to them. If you find someone’s likes and dislikes, you will find such information very useful to build relationships. Congratulate people on their happy occasions. If you want to flatter someone, listen to them attentively.

Finally, get to know the people around you and how they feel. This is called empathy. But many people do not want to know how you feel. Maybe some people have a lot of difficulty with empathy or expressing their real feelings. If you have no feelings for others, you will never build good relationships.

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