How to generate a positive work ethic's Lama Ataya shares her cheat sheet for building positive relationships in the workplace to enhance your career.

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Building positive relationships at work is vital for career success. Relationships can positively or negatively affect your satisfaction with the job as well as your ability to advance and gain recognition. For many people, relationship-building is difficult; it doesn’t come naturally and needs to be taught. Others refuse to admit that this is a concern because it is supposed to be a basic, common-sense concept. They assume that they already know how to do it. Don’t fall into that trap. Everyone – even the ones with the most outgoing, engaging personalities – can improve. Below is a cheat sheet to use if you want to build positive workplace relationships:

1. Be true to your values

Sooner or later, people will see right through you. Ask yourself what your core values are and ensure you are consistently true to them. Be known as an honest professional with an upstanding character and real integrity if you want to succeed.

2. Respect company resources

Ensure your company’s time, assets and reputation are respected and nurtured. Tardiness, a sloppy work ethic and a lukewarm attitude towards the company’s employees and brand are not only potentially contagious, they will fail to endear you to the more serious and focused professionals around you. The “Absenteeism in the Mena Workplace” poll showed that 58 per cent of the region’s professionals regard absenteeism as being harmful to a company’s productivity and overall performance, so don’t be a cog in the wheel of mediocrity.

3. Be pleasantly professional

By all means join the weddings, baby showers, sports teams and after-work gatherings, and seek to be part of creating a joyful office spirit and sincere winning camaraderie. However, it is best to clearly delineate between your personal emotions and professional priorities by making sure your professional self is as focused and productive as can be. Aim to walk in every morning with a pleasant can-do attitude and professionalism.

4. Avoid workplace gossip

We all know them, the gossips and rift-makers who thrive on office politics and seek to amplify differences, escalate problems and create general discord. Steer clear of their troublemaking and make it clear you have no desire to magnify issues that can easily be resolved. Maintaining a pleasant demeanour and refusing to engage with their misplaced opinions, stealth tactics and improper conversation should win you kudos.

5. Strive for excellence

Nothing beats the awe inspired by a job well done. Aim to be an expert and top practitioner in your field so you are actively sought and highly regarded for your advice and input. Don’t take mediocrity for an answer and your name will soon be synonymous with a passion for excellence. Be generous in imparting your knowledge and experience with your peers so you build a pool of admirers.

6. Put yourself in your manager's shoes

Your boss is not the enemy. If you cannot bring yourself to like and admire your immediate manager, or even respect their experience and authority, then you are most likely in the wrong role. Do some soul- searching. If you have always had problems with your managers, maybe it’s your own style, priorities and outlook you need to work on. It helps to imagine yourself in your manager’s shoes and situation to understand how your role, behaviour and attitude can best be modified. If you think that your manager’s expectations are not making sense it may be time to sit down with them and have an honest conversation about your role and responsibilities.

7. Smile from your heart

Sincerity goes a long way, as does good energy and a sincerely positive and amiable demeanour in the workplace. Deliver your “good morning”, “please” and “thank you” with a generous smile felt from your very core. Watch your positivity resonate with all around you and be recognised and remembered as your trademark.

Lama Ataya heads the marketing department at the Middle East’s leading jobs site