Professional Working Relationship

The relationship you have with your boss, employee or co-worker is critical for your work success and career progression. Far too often if two team members find it difficult to get along with each other one will end up leaving, possibly to the determent of the organisation. An alternative is to sit down with the other party and discuss an agreement on how each party can work together i.e. have a Professional Working Relationship.

Here are some ideas that could form the skeleton of that agreement:

TRUST: Do what you say you’ll do. Keep timeline commitments. Never blind side someone with surprises that could have been predicted or prevented. Admit when you’ve made an error or mistake. Cover-ups don’t contribute to an effective relationship. Lies or efforts to mislead always result in further stress.

COMMUNICATION: Think in terms of the overall success of the company, not just personal goals. If relevant share personal career goals so all parties can grow and benefit. Importantly don’t make assumptions!

PREFERRED WORKING STYLE: Get to know each other’s preferred working style, do they like: frequent communication, working autonomously, particular processes, informal or formal meeting preferences, preferred communication channels, informal conversation as you pass in the hallway, etc.

LEARN FROM EACH OTHER: No one is brilliant at everything (or perfect), we all have different strengths & weaknesses so it makes sense to identify areas of weakness and if others can help ask for assistance. Let those with particular strengths utilise their skills.

FEEDBACK: Any verbal feedback needs to be consistent with your actions and body language. Also any negative feedback needs to be measured and consistent with the issue.

ETHICS: To contact oneself in an open, honest manner while working toward the goals of the business and without inflicting harm on others.

DIFFERENCES IN OPINION: On occasion there will be differing opinions. It should never be personal and it doesn’t benefit anyone holding grudges. Different viewpoints should be seen as an opportunity to reach a better result.

COMMITMENT: To always treat colleagues as you would like to be treated yourself. Avoid engaging in slander, office gossiping or office politics.

DEFINED ROLES: If tasks or roles overlap discuss who is responsible and keep each other informed and honour any commitments made.

PERSONALITY TYPES: Be tolerant of each other’s individual differences. Identify each others’ personality traits for a better understanding as to why we act in certain ways.

If you take the time to develop an effective work relationship your co-workers will value you, you’ll be on the right team, you’ll achieve more and hopefully have more fun along the way.


Richard Kemp – Watts Price Accountants

The advice provided on this Article is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs.