Peer-to-Peer Coworker Relationships

You can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family… or co-workers!

How can we have fulfilling, meaningful, appropriate relationships with these people we didn’t select for ourselves?

It can be tricky to navigate the nuances of relationships where the only thing you may have in common is working for the same company.

But here is a list of ways you can tend and foster to those relationships in a healthy way:

  • Check in from time to time on non work-related topics

    How’s your dog? I remember it had surgery last month

    Did you end up growing broccoli in your garden at home? Your tomatoes last year looked delicious

    I saw this mug and thought of you because you love rainbows!

  • Grab coffee one-on-one outside the office

    The way this can affect your interpersonal relationship is huge if you step outside your normal environment and hear about their life, hobbies, interests, passions and background.

  • Make time to call out the good in someone

    Hey I noticed you were so well-prepared for that meeting with all the updated metrics, thanks so much for taking the time to have that on hand.

    You are so good with people, I learn a lot from you every time you lead a meeting

This may be easier for some than others. You may be intrinsically shy or prefer to keep your work/home life separate. But, I think everyone can benefit from a little kindness and intentionality working alongside others especially when you think about how many hours you spend with these people during the week. It can be worth it to look into small tweaks that can help bond you with the people you rub shoulders with everyday.