Do They Bring You Joy? How to Marie Kondo Your Work Relationships

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Most of us have to work, and that can mean interacting with people who we wouldn’t typically choose to spend time with in other areas of our life. Do you have good work relationships? If the answer is no, it may be time to reevaluate what you need from your working life and how to make your relationships with your colleagues better and more efficient for everyone. Here are some of the ways you can “Marie Kondo” your working relationships, so that they bring you more joy.

(Incase you missed the reference, Marie Kondo is a bestselling author who is known for her KonMari method of tidying your life little by little and only keeping things that spark joy.)

How to Manage Your Relationship With Your Manager

Work relationships can, at best, be empowering and, at worst, be detrimental to your efficiency. That’s especially true with the relationship you have with your manager. Decluttering that relationship first, and then working on the others with teammates and colleagues can be highly beneficial to your workplace happiness and success.

If your relationship with your manager is already good, great! If not, identify the pain points and actively work on ways you and your manager can smooth out your relationship. You can’t really avoid each other, so you need to find good ways to get along on a professional level. Sometimes, that might mean talking out the personal stuff or agreeing to disagree, so you can both move on with what’s important for working together.

How to Manage Your Relationship With Your Teammates

Similar to what you have to do with your manager, you’ll also need to manage and improve your relationship with your teammates. You might get along great with some members of your team on a personal level, but you’ll also need to be professional with all of them — whether you like them as people, or not.

If you can’t get along with teammates personally, draw clear lines and boundaries for your working relationship. Then, do your best to stick to them. Sometimes you can get transferred to another team, or have someone else transferred if you’re in control of the team, but there are times when you simply have to work with people. Finding the best ways to do that effectively makes work easier.

How to Manage Your Relationship With Other Coworkers

The relationships you have with your other coworkers aren’t as important, in a lot of cases, because you’re not working as closely with them. But it’s still good to be able to get along. You probably won’t need to make as much small talk, and don’t need to focus on developing close friendships unless you both want to.

But you’ll want to be able to go to coworkers with questions or concerns, and it helps if you’ve gotten to know them at least a bit. Be social, but don’t let yourself get puled into office drama and other issues. Don’t be afraid to set strong boundaries for things like office gossip, and hold those boundaries if people try to push back against them. It can be great to have personal relationships with your coworkers, but only if those relationships work for you and aren’t distractions.

Work Relationships Do Require Work

When you find ways to have good, happy relationships with your coworkers, you can focus on work more easily and accomplish your tasks without drama and other problems. You want to have a good career, and avoid toxic work environments that make things more stressful. Focusing on relationships with the people you work with goes a long way toward a better working experience.


About the Author: Michelle Dakota Beck has worked as a professional freelance writer since the 1990s. During that time she has written everything from product descriptions to full-length books. Her areas of specialization include real estate, home services, legal topics, relationships, family life, and mental health issues. You can find her on WriterAccess.

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