How to Build Strong Relationships at Work

Not too long ago Carole King was awarded the prestigious George Gershwin prize for lifetime achievement in popular music, recognizing her achievements in music spanning the last six decades.   This award is presented by the Library of Congress. She is the first woman to receive this honor.

The show was taped at the White House. President and Mrs. Obama were there, along with Vice President Biden. Several artists, including James Taylor, sang Carole King songs. I am a big Carole King fan. I played the Tapestry album so much when it first came out that it wore out and I had to buy a second one. I was thinking about Carole King today because I heard one of the songs from Tapestry, “You’ve Got a Friend” on the radio.

Carole King was extremely gracious in her Gershwin Award acceptance speech. She said that while she had written the songs that were being performed that evening, she had a lot of help from co-writers who she went on to name.

By giving credit to her co-writers Carole King embodied the advice on relationship building in Tweet 137 in my career advice book Success Tweets: 140 Bits of Common Sense Career Success Advice, All in 140 Characters or Less. “Do your job; give credit to others for doing theirs. Everyone likes to work with people who share the credit for a job well done.” You can download a free copy of Success Tweets at

This is important career success advice. You have to build effective relationships at work. Here are seven actions you can take to build strong work relationships.

Share credit for accomplishments, ideas, and contributions. It’s rare to accomplish a goal or complete a project with no help from others. Take the time to thank and recognize the people who help you succeed.

Suggest solutions to the problems you identify. Identifying problems is easy. People who provide thoughtful solutions to the problems and challenges they raise earn the respect and admiration of their coworkers and bosses.

Never play the blame game. When you don’t take responsibility for problems you create and then publicly identify and blame others you create enemies. These enemies are likely to help you to fail. You need allies, not enemies, at work.

Be polite and considerate of others. Treat everybody with respect and dignity. Avoid being condescending and sarcastic. Never raise your voice to a coworker

Keep your colleagues in the loop. Never blind side or ambush them. Discuss problems with the people directly involved before discussing them with others. Keep your commitments. When you fail to meet deadlines and commitments, you affect the work of other people.

Always keep commitments. If you can’t, make sure the affected people know quickly. Provide a new due date and honor the new deadline.

Help other people succeed. Every person has talents, skills, and experience. If you help people harness their best abilities, you benefit both them and your organization. Compliment, recognize, praise, and notice contributions. You don’t have to be a formal leader to help create a positive, motivating environment.

If you follow these seven pieces of career advice – especially the first one, “Share credit for accomplishments, ideas and contributions,” you will become known as a positive, constructive person, someone who everyone wants on their team. You’ll develop effective work relationships. Your colleagues will value you. Your bosses will see you as a team player. And you’ll be on the road to accomplishing your career success goals.

Your career mentor,


PS: You can download a copy of my latest bestselling career advice book, Climbing the Corporate Ladder here. When you do, you’ll start receiving my daily success quotes and a free membership in my career mentor site.

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