Jeff Comer, CEO, on How to Develop Strong Relationships for Career Development

Forming and maintaining relationships in the workplace is an invaluable, yet often overlooked aspect of a prospering career that boosts your spirit, output, and long-term success.

These lasting, mutually beneficial bonds are established through trust, respect, acceptance, honesty, responsibility, inclusion, and an open line of communication. Any worthwhile association requires a significant commitment on one’s part and a professional relationship is not an exception.

Jeff Comer, a hospital CEO, from Cave Creek, Arizona, who has served as a CEO for multiple hospitals in a span of 20 years, outlines a few tips that will help you develop excellent relationships in your work environment.

Make Time

You won’t build a meaningful relationship overnight; you will have to carve out time that is dedicated towards interacting with colleagues, CEO Jeff Comer observes. Schedule a few casual meetings to get the ball rolling, whether it is during lunch, a coffee break, or even after work. Be receptive when someone engages in chatter and don’t shy away from taking that first step yourself. For those who are introverts or timid about approaching a co-worker to arrange that initial get-together, many companies hold team gatherings or employee events that simplify matters.

Listen Intently

Rather than being a chatterbox who doesn’t allow a single syllable to be uttered from the person sitting at the other end of the table, ask questions and listen to your colleague’s responses, Jeff Comer, CEO, advises. You can discover details about their personal life, professional ambitions, and hobbies or interests, which will strengthen the overall relationship. Although it might be full of awkward exchanges at the start, it should also show signs of a budding relationship that will only grow with time. Showing an ability to patiently listen assures you that your fellow employee will knock on your door when they have concerns, contributions, or ideas to express.

Honor Your Promises

Keeping your word, regardless if it relates to you offering to lend a hand or punctually showing up to a meeting, is crucial in creating a healthy work relationship, CEO Jeff Comer says. Trust, one of those key elements in a good relationship, is only achievable when you follow through on your commitments and demonstrate how much a colleague can depend upon you. To ensure that you don’t overextend yourself and earn a reputation for absenteeism, complete your own work duties, check your calendar, and realistically determine your availability.

Be Present and Positive

The workday comes with various assignments and responsibilities, a fact that might compel you to multi-task endlessly. While that may not appear to be a problematic pattern, your co-workers will quickly realize how distracted and disconnected you constantly are from the present. Your lack of attentiveness will derail the likelihood of an exceptional relationship occurring, so be aware and alert when others are in your company. And maintain a positive outlook consistently around your colleagues because nobody is raring to converse with a downbeat individual.

20+ years of experience as CEO of multiple medical organizations & facilities. Located in Sitka, Alaska

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