Create mindful working relationships with the people important for your career, and your work life will not only be easier and more pleasant, but you'll also be able to achieve more. Form positive, strong relationships with the people you work with that are based on mindfulness and your career will benefit as you become less stressed and even find yourself having more fun at your place of work.

Follow these six mindfulness tips to create positive relationships with the people you work with.

  • 1. Work openly

Mindfulness naturally opens our mind-created closed doors and this gives us open access to our full range of life and working life opportunities, including our working relationship opportunities. When we are mindful we are fully aware and fully able to focus our awareness.

When we are mindful we have an open mind and an open heart, and therefore we are fully connected to other people, and the business and life opportunities that they continually offer us.

Modern medical knowledge suggests that our minds are located in our physical brain, and ancient medical knowledge suggested that our minds are located in our physical heart, but when we fully open our minds into mindfulness they transcend the limitations of locality, and this expanded awareness will help us to connect deeply and productively with others.

  • 2. Create working networks

Networking is a fashionable term these days, but what does it actually mean? Networking might sound like something that high-powered business executives do for fun or profit, and it is at one level, but as with most things that sound good and that people usually don’t understand there’s actually a deeper and more valuable meaning.

Networking essentially just means forming an inter-related system where each part of the system is integrally related to each other part of it, and each part of the network benefits from and contributes to the entire inter-related system.

We are all part of a network, whether we have heard of networking or not, and this network is called humanity. It might not seem like it sometimes but we all feed each other information and we all need each other, sometimes in obvious ways, sometimes in subtle ways.

We work best with other people when we realize that what we do affects them, no matter how large our working organization is. This realization doesn’t come from a thinking process, or from a networking propaganda poster placed on our staff notice board. This awareness of our functional connectivity — our working shared hard drive — comes automatically when we are mindful.

  • 3. Master working communication

There are two basic types of workplace interaction: social and task related. There actually isn’t a clear distinction between these types and what underlies good communication — unity — can’t be absolutely compartmentalized.

Social interactions can include activities that take place outside work, or outside activities that we might normally think of as work, and these are important in developing good working relationships. We can usefully encourage a breaking down of the barriers between working and non-working levels of relationship in our work activities.

Communication, like most things, can be mindful or it can be mindless. Mindful communication offers deep information exchange because it offers more than just what’s immediately obvious on the surface.

The mindful communication bottom line is listening. If we really listen to people this helps them to tell us what we both need to find out together. If we really listen to people then we won’t waste time working on what we think they want from us, but will know what they really want from us.

As an experiment in practical workplace relations — our workplace relations — try really listening to someone at your workplace whom you habitually don’t really listen to, and see what you both learn.

  • 4. Build trust in work and at work

We can’t have a good relationship of any kind with someone we don’t trust — especially with ourselves — and this phenomenon is especially true of our working relationships. Trust is based on respect, and respect is based on honesty.

When we are mindful we are honest because we are aware of and accept what is, warts and all. Honesty might not seem fashionable or glamorous, especially in a world teeming with individuals, but honesty is the keystone to good working relationships and therefore good work.

People will naturally respect us, and naturally trust us, when we are honest. Ultimately, a respectable and trustworthy organization is one that’s made up of respectable and honest individual team players, such as us.

When we trust our workplace and our fellow workers we will experiment, we will create, we will help each other experiment and create, and we will value diversity of opinion. The opposite to a trusting and trusted workplace is a fearing and feared one, where no one experiments, where no one helps others, and where diversity is feared.

  • 5. Work from the heart

A great working relationship is just like any other great relationship: essentially we are in it for love and not just for money. Our loving relationships might seem limited to those people we are seriously close to, or want to be, but they are actually universal and are what links us to the universal.

A working definition of love is that it’s simply the experience of our natural connectedness. One of love’s many positive spin-offs is that it motivates us to do stuff, and it’s our best motivation to do stuff.

If we are motivated to go to work each day by necessity — such as the necessity of making enough money to support us and our family’s lifestyle — is that going to be better for us and our family, as well as the people we work with and for, than if we are motivated by love of what we are doing and who we are doing it with and for?

We need to mindfully focus and expand on our connectedness, where it is and where we are, by examining our attitudes to the people we work with and for.

We need to work on ourselves before we can work successfully on anything else, and the best place to start this process is by going straight to the heart of the working matter and opening our own heart.

  • 6. Employ dialectic dialogues

Employing the dialectic communication method in our working relationships just means starting out with the realization that there is truth, and that this isn’t necessarily my truth.
Once we are genuinely looking for truth we can look for it with others, rather than in spite of them. This process is the opposite of the adversarial system that’s generally used in workplaces, and also in many other situations where people are often more interested in imposing their individual will than in working together to find a solution that will benefit everybody. Between us there’s an answer.

By Dr Stephen McKenzie, author of Mindfulness At Work - How to Avoid Stress, Achieve More and Enjoy Life. You can listen to a free interview with Stephen and get some great mindfulness tips for both work and home here - Mindfulness Interview.

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