New Rules for Building Support with Your Colleagues

by Apr 11, 2019

How are you building support with your colleagues?


Providing emotional and social support is a skill that gets better with practice and makes your workplace a better environment.


One of the best ways to alleviate tension in an environment with heavy workloads and a lot of pressure is to have a support network that connects you and your colleagues. The good news is that providing emotional and social support is a skill that gets better with practice and makes your workplace a better environment.

Building support is important for all elements of our professional lives.

Developing supportive relationships with your colleagues is good for your health, working environment and career. All organisations love employees who are great in the workplace and make it a place where people want to work.

Support of Colleagues

5 Benefits of Building Support in the Workplace


1. You’ll experience more happiness. Getting along with your colleagues has a significant impact on your job satisfaction. You’ll feel more content and secure knowing you can count on each other.

2. You enhance your health and well-being. Medical experts now know that many health issues are associated with stress and the chronic inflammation that it causes. Your headaches and sore joints may disappear when you feel more relaxed at the office.

3. You boost your productivity. Teamwork requires empathy and trust. Challenging projects become less intimidating when everyone works together effectively.

4. You can advance your career. Professional success depends on emotional intelligence and social skills as much as technical knowledge. Cover all your bases. Work on your communication skills along with your software certifications.

5. Make new friends. Many find it more difficult to make friends after they finish school and grow older. If you enjoy having lunch with your office mates, invite them out for dinner. Reach out to the newest employee to see if they want to join you at the gym before work.


How to go about building support in the workplace


1. Acknowledge your colleagues. Start with saying good morning to your colleagues as they come into the office and smiling at them. Say goodbye as they leave for the day and make appropriate small talk as you wait for the elevator or in the reception area.

2. Share your feelings. Express your emotions, when appropriate of course! Being authentic in the workplace helps others to feel more comfortable around you, and when you share the delight at someone refilling the water at the cooler, or a colleague adding extra paper to the copier, others will start to do the same.

3. Show interest. Ask the receptionist how her daughter’s tennis match went. Welcome others back from their holidays or sick leave. When you show a genuine interest in others, you’ll discover they’ll have an interest in you and show their support in small and unexpected ways.

How we cultivate empathy in the workplace can be learned and in this 3Plus Free Podcast

4. Listen actively. Being a good listener is the most effective way to show you care. When you give your full attention to your colleagues instead of rehearsing what you’re going to say next, they’ll feel appreciated and heard. This is a great workplace skill and one you should cultivate. Clarify what your colleagues are saying and offer thoughtful comments to show that you’ve heard what they’ve said. Don’t provide a solution or try to “fix” something unless that’s specifically asked for.

5. Tell stories about your life experiences. Encourage your colleagues to share theirs. You can bond over a mutual love of  mountain climbing or a shared passion for gardening. You won’t know until you start the conversation, and if you think these conversations are unprofessional, remember that your colleagues (like you) have transferable skills, and these come to light in this kind of conversation.

6. Pay genuine compliments. Praise others for their talents and accomplishments. Encourage them to talk about their achievements in their career, not only do you get to know them better, you also help remind them of how good they are in their role.

7. Slow down. None of the tips here have to be implemented immediately, in fact, they’re more impactful if you take the time to get to know your colleagues. Friendship should be allowed to develop gradually and not be forced.

8. Be flexible. Sometimes you need to keep a meeting on track and other times you can go with the flow. Postpone your filing for the moment if an intern wants to share a great idea with you. Being heard and listened to is a powerful skill in the workplace.

9. Let go of expectations. You probably have colleagues who will remember your birthday, but occasionally make comments that seem to undermine you. Accept both the strengths and weaknesses. Focus on treating others well, and consider it a bonus if they reciprocate.

10. Lend a hand. If another account manager is struggling to close an important sale, ask them if you can pitch in. Maybe you can do some background research for them or monitor their calls until they’re free.

Bonus tip: Fulfill your responsibilities. Excelling at your own job is one of the best ways to be there for your colleagues. Think about those who depend on your performance and how you can make things smoother/easier for all of you.

Work is about personal relationships as well as tasks.

Creating a supportive workplace may not be in your job description but it could be the most important part of your job.

By making it a priority you and your colleagues will achieve more and feel less stressed in the workplace, and that can only be a good thing.


3Plus International offers a portfolio of solutions for corporate clients who seek to strengthen their female talent pipeline in four main areas! Partner with us for coaching, workshops, mentoring, and executive search … Contact us right away!

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