Strong working relationships lie at the heart of a successful work life. Here are ways to form effective work relationships:

Value the relationship

You need to invest time and effort to understand your colleagues’ needs and to deal with obstacles. Even if you try and fail, at least you’ve given it your best shot.

Communicate effectively

This forms the foundation for a positive working relationship. Open lines of communication keep information, opinions and support flowing. Put yourself in your colleagues’ shoes and respect their points of view that may be different from your own.

Provide solutions

Some employees spend a disproportionate amount of time identifying problems. Thoughtful solutions take more effort and will earn you respect and admiration.

Don’t blame people

You alienate your colleagues when you play the blame game. Focus on the process and issues that caused an employee to fail. Publicly identifying and blaming others for failures will only earn you enemies.

Be reliable

In an organisation, work is interrelated. If you fail to meet deadlines and commitments, you affect the work of others. Always keep commitments. If you can’t, make sure the affected employees are kept up-to-date. Provide a new deadline and make every possible effort to honour it.

Be professional

Never participate in gossip or discuss your colleagues’ business behind their backs. People will trust you and know that what they tell you is safe in your hands. Relationships thrive only when trust is present.

Always give your best

When working on a project together, always be the person who is willing to do extra to strengthen the collaboration and the outcome or product.

Treat everyone equally

No matter their position within your organisation, all people are equal; they just have different jobs. Believe this. Act as if you believe this every single day. You will attract strong and successful alliances.

Resolve any conflicts quickly

Unresolved conflict festers under the surface in organisations. Unresolved conflict undermines relationships and mutual, purposeful progress towards accomplishing personal and organisational missions.

Have informal meetings

When meeting with someone with the specific purpose of developing your relationship with that person, think about holding the meeting in a setting in which he will feel comfortable. When people are relaxed, they tend to share what is important to them more openly.

Share credit

Take the time to thank, reward, recognise and specify the contributions of the people who help you succeed. This is a sure-win method to build effective work relationships.

Pick your battles wisely

Sometimes letting a colleague’s differing opinion prevail to gain support on other more important issues may be the best thing to do. Give in on the little decisions, or those that appear to be more important to the colleague. You’ll easily gain support for the decisions that are important to you.

If you practise these tips, you will be valued as a colleague. You will accomplish your work goals, and you may even have fun, get recognition and increase your personal motivation.