Each strong company, strong army, strong country and a strong sports team is a reflection of a strong professional leadership and team work of individuals. In order to maintain good working environment, it is important to nurture good relationships within the group and support communication. Organizations look for employees who can relate effectively to other people (Beebe, Redmond, 2011).
According to DeVito (2009), there are three types of relationships in the workplace: romance, mentoring and networking. The context of workplace relationships is influenced by culture of the organization and some already established rules. Romantic relationships pertain to office romances, which can lead to greater work satisfaction among the other benefits (DeVito, 2009). However, generally, this type of relations is perceived negatively by management, because it causes conflicts within the group. On contrary, mentoring relationships provide an ideal working environment, where people exchange their knowledge and skills. The third type, networking is the most common and can be formal or informal. Networking contributes to mutual understanding, accessing information easier and increase in productivity.
Relationships are built on trust and respect. Respect is the foundation for strong relationships, because primarily, a person needs to listen and understand other people’s views (Heap, 2001). Every person represents a set of different ideas, views and opinions, and it is important to show respect to them. The most important start for relationship is communication and socialization, so one should have an interest towards the other person. On the other hand, trust is a very important component of team work. When working together you should support each other and do not be afraid to trust, because the group has one mutual goal to achieve. We must strive to encourage a positive working atmosphere that will only benefit all the parties.
Team building is a very useful tool to start relationship process. A positive working environment can be achieved through socialization, informal and formal meetings, and regular meeting to get to know each other. The main objectives of such events are to get acquainted and break the ice between co-workers. People should be encouraged to interact, share knowledge and show commitment to relationships.
DeVito described a series of stages of relationship building: contact, involvement, intimacy, deterioration, repair and dissolution (Changinminds). The first stage of relationship is contact, when people come together and become aware of one of another’s existence. After a brief meeting or an introduction comes involvement. On this stage people engage more with each other and develop sense of connectedness.
The most committed connection occurs on the stage of intimacy. People experience personal, interpersonal commitment and social bonding. Anxiety is one of the characteristics of this stage too, because people can feel disappointment, anxiety of abandonment and other forms. However, with the progression of relationship problems may start arising. The stage of weakening bonds and relational damage is called deterioration. It often happens that after quite close contact, people lose interest in each other and separate. Nevertheless, the damage in relationships can be repaired on the next stage through involvement and communication. The final stage on relationships comes during dissolution, because of intrapersonal, interpersonal or social separation. This stage characterizes with psychological and physical distance along with absence of communication.
Self-disclosure is necessary, yet risky part of building and maintaining relationships. Moments when a person can feel a need to share own personalities usually come on the stage of intimacy. Since trust and respect are key components of healthy relationships, self-disclosure is a natural way to achieve it. Advantages of self-disclosure in a group can lead to higher level of trust, more comfortable and open environment. However, excess of self-disclosure can increase risk of interpersonal conflicts.
Feedback is the process by which one person presents his views or feelings about the behavior of another person. Effective feedback can correct the following aspects of work: the relationship – how well you interact with other people; the work process – how well you are doing it; and the results – your measurement of success. Effective feedback helps direct the activities in a more efficient way, to strengthen the line of behavior, which works most effectively, to hold coaching for the best completion of tasks. According to Buhler (1991), managers should always remember the importance of feedback and its possible influence on the future, so as to approach this process with maximum attention. Negative effects of feedback happen only because of improper formulation and will cause conflicts inside of the group.
DeVito J. (2009), The Interpersonal Communication Book, 12th Edition, Pearson Education
Buhler, P. (1991). Evaluating an Employee's Performance. Retrieved from
Beebe S., Redmond M., (2011), Interpersonal Communication. Relating to Others, 6 ed., Pearson Education
Heap N. (2001), Building effective relationships that work, Retrieved from < http://homepage.ntlworld.com/nick.heap/Effectiverelatwork.htm>
Devito's Relationship Stages, ChangingMinds, Retrieved from