Improving your relationship with peers can be vital for making friends, working together effectively and gaining more influence over future projects and activities together. Better peer relationships also create more opportunities, as peers will feel more comfortable trusting you and introducing you to other useful associates. Improving these relationships isn’t necessarily difficult, but simply requires a little forethought and willingness to invest some enthusiasm into future interactions.
Use the Golden Rule. In every important situation with a peer, consider putting yourself in his shoes. Think about how you’d want to be treated if the tables were reversed; this can help you remain empathetic about giving your peers enough respect and attention, ensuring that they feel positive after your interactions.
Demonstrate trust. Even when the situation doesn’t call for it, find the occasional gesture to demonstrate that you have trust in a peer. For example, ask their opinion on projects which they aren’t directly involved in and taking time to consider whatever views were expressed. To supplement this, make an effort to refer positively to the suggestions a peer gave you previously and anecdotally give indications of how you took this on board.
Take an interest in your peers’ lives. Although you’re not required to be friends with all your peers, it can still go a long way towards creating a situation of mutual respect and consideration if you occasionally take an interest in a peer’s hobbies and interests. This can create additional conversation and can help alleviate stress in particularly tense projects.
Admit your mistakes. One important way to earn your peers’ respect is to demonstrate resolve and understanding when you make a mistake; if you can show that you learn from your failures, you can be viewed as adaptable and willing to learn. These are both important character elements for producing an effective working relationship.