Home / Resources / Cultivating Effective Work Relationships

Cultivating Effective Work Relationships

When it comes to cultivating effective working relationships, winning teams measure their success by looking at the overall health of their team’s relationships.

The primary reason for this is we all work with people. The relationships we form with others are important in making our job interesting and motivating. But when teams are filled with conflict, ambiguity, and poor communication everybody in the team will become negatively impacted.

The working relationships on the team form the basis of promotion, goal accomplishment and job satisfaction. People on teams need each other.  Therefore, it is worthwhile investing time into thinking about the best ways to develop a healthy working relationship with colleagues. There are two ways to do this. One is to focus on looking at how you can help your team apply a win-win approach to working relationships over a win-lose strategy.

Win-win is approaching issues from the perspective that everyone wins, from work colleagues and managers to clients and customers. Win-lose strategies pursue individual interests and goals over team objectives.  Promoting win-win efforts is a primary way you can cultivate effective working relationships.

The second way you can contribute to a healthy working environment is to examine how your team and management are able to deal with conflict. It is often the case that unhealthy teams focus more on problems than devising solutions. Focusing on problems can lead to win-lose approaches, as team energy is concentrated on blame and finger pointing versus support, assertive communication and active listening.

Dealing with conflict is one of the most difficult things for a team to manage as behaviours can easily become passive-aggressive.  In other words instead of being assertive about a situation or with a person anger is shown in a much more covert way.  The first step of managing any type of conflict on a team is to offer support. Ask yourself how can I be supportive to the team effort?

Next is to listen fully, without interruption or judgment to colleagues and managers. This opens the door to good communication. Doing so leads to win-win scenarios, and paves the way for a healthy working environment

Then be assertive. Take action. This avoids certain negative behaviours such as being passive aggressive. For example, if you have a problem with a person don’t ambush them by directing emails to the manager or announcing the problem you have in a meeting. Contact the person directly before sending the email or making announcements in your meeting.  In fact, if you do have an issue with an individual it is much better to let the person know what the issue is, how you feel about it and be specific about what you want from the person in the future.  This type of assertive behaviour avoids simmering resentment which can at times lead to work rage.

Contributed by Angela Smith

Recent articles on our blog....

A black and white keyboard with the word newsletter and an envelope image replacing the enter key

Spring 2024 newsletter includes a movement tip & other resources

May 28, 2024

The latest edition of our quarterly workplace wellbeing newsletter includes a movement tip for working hours and many other resources.

Read More →
A row of well thumbed cream coloured paper folders

Workplace wellbeing resources – some helpful recent additions

May 16, 2024

Our latest collection of external resources to help workplace wellbeing includes guidance and recommendations relating to a range of topics – autism employment, ensuring EDI is for everyone, information sharing in mental health emergencies at work, menopause in the workplace and women at work.

Read More →
Group of people working around a desk beside a cork board with coloured notes

Why we should focus on minimising employee illbeing to aid workplace wellbeing

May 16, 2024

This post begins with some research which concludes that efforts to improve wellbeing at work are directed too narrowly. It then goes on to highlight some courses that can help employers looking to minimise employee illbeing in the workplace. They present opportunities to explore strategies that can enhance a culture of psychological safety and trust.

Read More →



Our purpose is to provide training and consultancy services to enhance resilience, health and wellbeing in the workplace.


Differentiation is one of the most strategic and tactical activities in which companies most constantly engage


It's natural to have questions about training and how it fits with your organisation. Our FAQs can help you find out more.


View case studies for some of the in-house training courses we have delivered to different types of organisations across the UK.