A working relationship can be complicated as these might not be the people one would typically go out for a drink with. However, colleagues need to have a particular level of understanding for the success of the organization. This means there are some characteristics, one has to build to be able to make this relationship work, especially if such a relationship is key to the success of your work. The following characteristics are necessary to build a healthy, working relationship.

  1. Trust: This is the foundation of any good working relationship. You need to trust that your colleague will fill your lapses when you are not in form. You need to trust that when you send that report for review, your colleague will give you his honest opinion. You also need to trust that when there is a joint project, he will roll up his sleeves and get to work instead of being lazy and holding you back. This kind of trust is more on your colleague’s competence and his commitment to work and you should inspire such level of trust as well.
  2. Mutual Respect: You do not have to be close friends with someone to respect them. This is common among professional fighters. They might not like each other, but they respect the skill they put in and when they get in the ring, that respect keeps them from underrating each other. When you respect your colleague and the work they do, you will value their input and contributions and when they value yours as well, insight and creativity will flow.
  3. Being Mindful: One has to be mindful of the things they say to and about their colleagues. Note that you are not working with robots but with people that have feelings and emotions which can have a huge effect on their output. You should not let your negative emotions affect the kind of words you say to and about them. No matter how professional one is, it is difficult to work with someone that has hurt you in the past with his words.
  4. Know that you are Different: Diversity should not just be tolerated but should be welcomed. It can be a person of a different tribe, race, gender, etc. They should be respected and made to feel comfortable with you. Most importantly, people with different ideas should be welcomed, no matter how unusual this idea might seem.
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With all these, the chances of having a smooth working relationship with your colleague will be very high, especially when these characteristics are reciprocated.

Samuel Ejedegba.