Improving Your Work Relationships in 2020

Relationships and Management

Having the experience for the past six years of working in a non-mandated sourcing or procurement environment, I’ve learned a lot about building relationships.

Especially when it’s with my darling marketing business partners.

So in looking towards the new year, I thought I’d give a few relationship-building tips. These aren’t for the faint of heart, so if you’re not a fan of being brutally honest, turn around now and flee for your life!

Because as my slogan says, I believe in the a naked truth.  (And in providing some entertainment along the way!).

For more ‘professional’ ways: click here (I googled it for you).

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Always try to be the bigger person. Getting revenge or doing anything to retaliate if someone starts something, always makes you look bad. Even if the person on the other end looks stupid. You’ll get more respect if you keep your mouth shut, then if you point out their failures.

So don’t do it. Focus on making yourself better instead; it will help your career more than any revenge plot can.


Show up to events when you say you are going to. Please don’t flake at the last minute, either. Just show up, even if it’s for 5 minutes. As my boss says, there are some events you ‘have to’ show up to, and there are others that are nice too.

Know the difference. And, when you do, put down your technology. It can wait for five minutes, I promise.


Listen. No, listen and acknowledge what was said. Even if you don’t agree with it, acknowledgment is key. It shows you are paying attention and not just nodding your head. Listening is key to improving all relationships.

I’ve seen too many times where you could tell the other party is thinking of what they are going to say next, so there’s no way they can hear what you’ve said. It’s more than frustrating, and it’s infuriating. So please, clean the wax out of your ears and hear what the other person is trying to say.


Have empathy for others (or at least cut them some slack if they have a lot going on at home). Nothing is worse then having Darth Vader for your boss. Especially if you value both of your hands.

Business partners and coworkers are included in this. If you’re genuinely trying to build relationships, you have to let part of a cold heart melt because nothing says self-entitled jerk, more than someone who lacks sympathy and empathy.


For the love of God, have a sense of humor. People love to be around other’s that can make them laugh or in the least enjoy themselves. Life is just too short, and it’s just too taxing to be around someone serious all the time.

So do yourself a favor, and learn a bad joke or two. It will lighten the mood and it will make others feel more at ease when you’re with them.


Take someone out for lunch, or a drink. In this technology age we forget how much human interaction can make a difference. Small gestures of friendship have been completely underrated when working on relationships.


When you find someone you trust, hold on to them and the friendship for dear life. Don’t take the relationship for granted. Is a promotion, position, movement up the ladder or gaining someone’s trust at the expense of another really worth it? (this is a rhetorical question!)

Not to mention, people see, hear, and can figure out pretty quickly how you treat others. And if they perceive you are ready to hamstring your bestie, what chance would they have? They’ll make sure to steer clear of you at all costs.


Integrity and honesty. I don’t even feel like I need to explain this one! It’s too simple (just don’t be an a-hole!).

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