Use Your Strengths to Reach Others in Your Workplace

When you look around your workplace, what do you see? Or rather, whom do you see?

You probably see people with various backgrounds and personalities. Some you may identify with and others you may find quite different from you. But do you see your workplace as brimming with outreach opportunities? After all, your workplace is probably where you spend most of your time second only to your home.

So how do you build relationships with people at work? There are nuances involved in work relationships such as trust and support. The key to navigating these nuances is to know your strengths and understand others’ strengths.

Start by taking a test to determine your strengths and different aspects of your personality. Think on each of your strengths and traits and take some time to write out ways you can use your strengths to build relationships with others. You don’t have to have almost all relationship-building strengths in order to accomplish that. All you have to do is work through different nuances with your co-workers by combining your strengths with theirs.

Once you’ve got ideas in mind, be intentional about your interactions at work. Treat others with fairness, kindness, and professionalism. But don’t be afraid to open up in certain ways when the opportunity presents itself. Lend a listening ear, offer to collaborate on a project, extend an invite to lunch (if appropriate), and be a vessel for extending God’s love to someone else.

With the New Year upon us, now is a great time to begin humanizing the people around you in your mind. If there’s someone at work you just can’t seem to agree with or get along with, try to understand what makes him or her human. Identify ways you are similar or things you have in common. Build off of these shared interests to create a bridge that could be the difference between a lost co-worker and a saved co-worker.

It’s also worth noting to be aware of your company’s culture and policies. Don’t put yourself in a situation that could cause trouble or be deemed inappropriate. It is possible to build friendships at work while maintaining the professionalism expected by your company. Some businesses might not even approve of religious conversations, but that doesn't mean you’re shut off from showing the love of Jesus in all situations and explaining where that love comes from if the question is asked.

Don’t miss your many opportunities to share His love among all people just because you’re in the workplace. Everywhere you go is a missions field, and with the Great Commission ever present and ever important, building relationships in the workplace is the perfect place to start.

Jessica Graham is a copy editor at WMU. She values the importance of relationships and being “the glue” and considers it a blessing to help women her age discover the meaning of faith, community, and missions.

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