Relationship Management Skills for Work/Life Balance, Part 3: Work Relationships

Elissa Teal Watson
3 min readSep 24, 2021

Managing your relationships at work will help you to have better work/life balance because good work relationships are characterized by trust, respect, and good communication.

Having good work relationships means that you can concentrate on being productive instead of dealing with the time-wasting, emotional drain of dealing with unresolved conflict.

The 3 Keys are: trust, respect, and good communication

1. Developing trust in your work relationships means that each party anticipates that what was said will be done will be done. In other words, they can rely on each other. Trust is built up over time after repeated demonstrations of reliability. Here is where the Q2 planning and execution comes in. When you reduce the Q3 activities and eliminate the Q4 activities that are unimportant, you have more time to tend to the Q1 and Q2 activities that are important.

Trustworthy people can gain more power and influence in their schedule because they are known to deliver on their promises and responsibilities in the ways that work for them.

2. Developing respect in your work relationships also means that you will have greater control of your schedule. Being respected in the workplace flows from having a reputation of trustworthiness and also competence.

Of course, being respected means that you also give respect to others. Mutual respect in your work relationships means valuing each other. Truly valuing each other will build loyalty in the relationship. Loyalty in relationships will help you in the workplace because we need each other at work to get the important things done.

3. The foundation of all healthy relationships is good communication which involves both listening and conveying information. Developing good communication means that you will have more time in your schedule because you won’t be wasting time with misunderstandings.

Seeking to understand others (their needs and desires) is crucial in relationship management. We need to be great listeners. We need to stop the chatter in our own minds while others are communicating with us. We need to be present.

How can we be more present? When we have built the habit of Q2 planning and action, we will worry less about the things we have to do. Things that we worry about consume so much energy and attention that we have a hard time really listening to others because our mental attention is diminished.

Being a more present listener means that you will have more time in your schedule because time will not be wasted on miscommunication.

As for conveying information to others, you will want to have clarity in what you are expressing, your needs, desires, and opinions while taking into consideration the other person’s perspective of the situation.

Control your tone and body language while communicating so that you also convey respect to the other person.

If needed, express how what you are communicating is a win/win for both of you.

If someone is requesting your time, energy, and attention, first use your listening skills to make sure that you understand what it is that they want. Then, if need be, ask clarifying questions to determine if what is being asked for is truly important and, if it is, when it needs to be done by (the level of urgency).

So, you are determining if it is a Q1, Q2, Q3 or Q4 request so that you can respond with the appropriate answer.

If you need more time to determine your answer, then do not say yes right away. Ask for more time to give them an answer. If you agree, then figure out when in your schedule you can complete the request. If you must refuse the request, then you can have a conversation about why you cannot do the request.

To improve your relationship management skills, identify your key work or business relationships and ask yourself questions about how to improve those relationships.

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Elissa Teal Watson

I write about mindset, emotional intelligence, self-care, productivity, habits, career, and relationship management.