How To Build Better Work Relationships

How To Build Better Work Relationships

Episode 66

Feeling disconnected? As the restrictions that Covid so lovingly enforced begin dissipating, some of us might be eager to get back out there. To enjoy that office atmosphere and happy hour. But what about those of us that are a little reticent? What can we do to build better work relationships?

Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Show Highlights

Whether you are back in the office or working remotely, our connection with our team is a crucial piece of our career puzzle. We are in the people business and therefore need to nurture these relationships. What steps can you take if you are a little hesitant to reengage on an in-person level? Conversely, what if you can’t wait to dive back into all the social aspects of our industry? How can you encourage fellow team members to do the same?

Key Questions/Topics Covered

Happy hour is back! – Are you coming?

Many of us probably found ourselves overworking during the height of Covid. It was too easy to just do one more thing, and let’s face it: What else did we have to do? But yet again, times are changing. Happy hour is back! So are the many in-person workshops and seminars that we have missed. If you find that you are struggling with the idea of any of these functions, here are a few things that can help you get going:

  • Seek out the support of your network
  • Find what interests you most and expand on that
  • Create small attainable goals that foster continued growth

Our work relationships need to be nurtured if we are going to be productive and successful team members. At the end of the day, nobody can force us, but we all need to take a hard look at our goals and career path and honestly ask if these would suffer if we don’t reengage socially.

Be a workplace relationship ambassador

Okay, you are at happy hour, and your crowd is looking thin. Or perhaps, you have noticed a lack of enthusiasm from your team regarding an upcoming event. What can you do? Be an ambassador for change. Find ways to motivate your team and help those struggling to set and reach their goals for better interpersonal relationships.

Again, you can start small for those that are really struggling to find their social groove again and build from there. The point is to keep it positive and keep moving forward. If you are in a leadership position, why not sit down individually with each team member and see what they need? Once you know what motivates them, you are better positioned to help them.

It has been a very long two years or so. We may all be dealing with a Covid hangover, so to speak. Regardless, it’s time to get out of our pjs and get back out there. It may be challenging at first, but you and your fellow workmates will quickly see the benefits.

Class dismissed!

Jonathan (00:15): Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Juvohub podcast, episode 66. I am your host, Jonathan Saar, and we are going to have a good time talking about building relationships with Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts, how are you Mark?

Mark (00:32): I'm good, man. How are you doing today?

Jonathan (00:34): Good, good. Yeah, I think this is such a good topic, you know, as you and I were reading over some of these, these resources and different articles on this subject, it's been amazing to see you know, what COVID has done to people, you know, we've been so disconnected. So the purpose of today's episode really is to, you know, good create good awareness about how we need each other. We need each other in the office environment and to have a good balance between working remotely versus working in the office. And no matter what the situation, the importance of working with with your team, you know?

Mark (01:13): Yeah. I love that, you know, you just said working remotely or working in the office. It's so funny now that COVID is over. I don't even know. I don't know what to say anymore these days. But so many offices that I know they've shut those, the brick and mortars down or downsized their office. And so this everything that did happen during COVID, you've got 50% of people who want you back in the office. And the other 50% of the people that I know that I've spoken to, they don't wanna be back in the office and their organizations don't care if they're back in the office. So, very interesting topic we have here. What did happen to, you know, maybe happy hour in the COVID world or what happened to our let's say relationships during COVID that's been a fascinating topic from some of my friends in the industry, how they've gotten through COVID the last few years.

Jonathan (02:15): Yeah, yeah, for sure. So great objectives to kind of talk about, and, you know, and as I was reading this over, I was thinking of like, how do I apply this to me? Like, what did I do? How did it change? And yeah, like, I mean, there's no doubt things changed. It was hesitant to go to events and kind of still a little bit hesitant to go to events. It's still kind of in the back of my mind. But it, one of the other negative things and maybe you and the audience listen and share your comments on this. My wife got on me for overworking. Like I was just like trying to be so focused on the business and building the business and what are we doing next? And I wind up working through the weekends and you know, that just was not healthy. So, and it disconnected me from our, even within our small team and we're a family owned business and it was and I saw some negative things that were coming because we couldn't see each other in person and so on. What did you experience? Any comments on that Mark?

Mark (03:31): Yeah, you know, so for me I had just started my own business right before COVID. So I had already become a little accustomed to not working around a team. I did find that as I had conversations with some of my other friends in the industry, how they handled COVID it was a mix of reviews. Many people felt very disconnected from not only the world, but just from their original corporate teams or the onsite teams though communication was still present. There was this lack of connection. And you're right. I wanna go back to something that when you, we got some of us got to work from home or had to work from home, we ended up overworking. So that's the downfall sometimes of either owning your own business or working from home is that you can overwork yourself. You can skip lunch breaks, you can work later into the evening.

Mark (04:28): You're taking away time from your family yourself. The fun part of you, right? You're filling that back with just more work because you're like, ah, well, I'm already sitting here. I can knock out a few more things. And then before you know it at seven, eight o'clock, so your happy hour is way been gone? What I did find a friend of mine told me she said, you know, I'm having a really hard time wanting to go back into some of the social activities of our industry. And I was like, really? I said, why I kind of missed it. I missed seeing people. But what that, what I realized is that emotionally we are all very, very different. And so where I may have missed that interaction and, you know, the friendliness, the talkative, you know, kind of interaction, this person was telling me, no, I enjoyed it a little too much where I don't even care if we go back to it, you know?

Mark (05:20): And I was like, you have got to be more social. You can't fall into this trap, you know, because that's a very dangerous slippery slope, especially if you are leading people, people organically need to feel your presence to feel your guidance. And yeah, they need time in front of you. They need time with you. And so for leaders, that can be a very scary place to be in where you have become okay with, you know, Hey, let's shut it down. We don't need to go to the office. We don't need to do happy hour. We don't need to go to that event, that dinner, whatever. I mean, you just have to realize and remember that not everyone feels that way. Some people I did learn got very depressed during COVID and felt very saddened and, you know, look at the weight gain that many of us saw over COVID , I'm like, wow, you were really depressed. But you know, it's true. It, affected all of us very, very differently.

Jonathan (06:19): Absolutely. Yeah. And we are so sympathetic and empathetic to everyone who listens to our show. Like, it's just, I'm glad you brought that out, Mark, because it did, it affected all of us differently. And so that's, again, the objective for today's show today's episode is like, what can we do? Or what are the baby steps that we need to take to try and get back into that social climate? You know, that's who we are, whether we're an introvert or an extrovert that's right. There's no doubt that there is always a place for people in our life, you know, that's just, that's how we're made and how, what can we do to to, you know, and I think, like you said, Mark, like, it's there, isn't just like you know, because there's been tons of articles out there on how to get over COVID fatigue and how to combat you know, like you mentioned, one of the, one of the effects is like, oh, wow. I've gained a few pounds. All right. So how do you, how do you get back into the exercise routine after, you know, there's so many of those articles that are out there, but fundamentally it's you and what's in the mirror.

Mark (07:37): That's right.

Jonathan (07:38): And you have to, and again, your close network is also gonna be there to help you and give you that support like you do for them. But that's what it comes down to is being able to figure out, all right, what do I have to do to get, you know, my problem was work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work, just work, work, work, work. Sure. And now I'm mountain bike, and I'm hoping to kind of start a little personal blog about mountain biking. I'm no expert at it, but I love it. And it has helped me it's helped me tremendously. That was a decision knowing that this being away from people, how it was affecting me mentally and how it was affecting, you know, my work and my family relationships. And so I, it, it worked for me. So that's my message to you, our fantastic audience, like what, what are you doing? Please share whatever tips that you have, because this is a community. And we wanna be able to help each other kind of get back into that, back into that social space. For sure.

Mark (08:49): Yeah. I love that, you know, and I think you're right, Jonathan, we, like you said, there's so many articles and so many, there's so much research that you can do about COVID fatigue, but I feel like it's an individual issue. You are the only person that can understand why you're doing the things that you're doing. If you are withdrawn or are you withdrawn because you put on a little extra weight, what would encourage you to, you know, maybe do the mountain biking or the exercising to get you back into shape mentally or physically. But I love that. And I wanted to say something about your mountain bike blog is, or is it gonna be a podcast where we can see you doing it?

Jonathan (09:34): Oh, I don't know. Haven't gotten that far yet. Okay. the ideas here. The execution has not taken place, but we'll, we'll see.

Mark (09:40): Look, I think be determined if that's incredible. I think I would rather watch an amateur do it and, and learn from your mistakes or watch along and see if we're both at the same place than watching a professional do it because I'm not at that place. Like I also myself, I love to try new recipes and cook, and I thought, you know, there's so many cooking shows and cooking blogs and all that kind of stuff, but I love it, you know? And if I needed to encourage myself to become more social, I would take one interest that I have. So my advice to anyone listening would be, yes, like Jonathan find an interest that you have and expand on that. If you're having a hard time kind of getting back into the swing of the happy hour find little baby step ways to introduce it back into your world, back into your organization, go to the apartment association dinner, or the functions, the trade show, whatever it is.

Mark (10:35): If it's an organizational thing, create a happy hour for your organization, you need to maybe be that sort of sponsor that person that changes the, the path, the tide. And sometimes that's hard for people. If your company has gotten in that rut where no one's doing it, then maybe you should be the ambassador to say, you know what, let's try to break this pattern. And what is it that could tempt people out of- I'm imagining a little rabbit and a little hole, like dangling the carrot, trying to get the rabbit out of the hole. Like what's the carrot, what's your carrot. Right,

Jonathan (11:12): Right, right. Yeah, for sure. For sure. So good reminders, you know, and it fundamentally, it comes down to the relationships that we need at work and how we continue along in our career path. And how we build our business. It's a people business. We say that over and over again, we need to be able to work with each other work with, I'm glad you mentioned the apartment association, you know, so we have our apartment associations and instituted real estate management, and, you know, we've missed those. It's and I'm, this is the advice I'm saying this on our show that I've had an issue with getting back on the horse, so to speak and getting back to the events it's been now, my wife's been kind of like nudging me.

Jonathan (12:03): She goes, it's like, cause that was part of what I did. And I've been a little bit hesitant. So I know I have, I know I need to improve too. And to be able to get back involved in a much broader way in our industry, like I was prior to COVID and so we can all do better. So I guess that's, I'm glad we got a chance to talk about this on the show today, Mark. So thanks so much for your insights and adding to the conversation.

Mark (12:35): Hey, if you need me to come to your house and dangle some what's your favorite food may not be a carrot, but what can I use ice cream? What kind?

Jonathan (12:45): Oh, but I, you know, that's really hard to say maybe if you came up with like four or five kinds

Mark (12:53): Or, well, anyone listening, if you're trying to encourage Jonathan out of his home, come with four, four different flavors of ice cream

Jonathan (13:03): I might come out, I might come out. That's that's too kind of you. Yeah, but I mean, that's where we're at and it's gonna get better. It's gonna keep getting better. So, you know, for all of our listeners, keep patting each other in the back, give each other a hug. You know, it's gonna take some time. We were in this for a couple of years and you know, it's not an easy thing to come out of. So make sure we're there for each other for sure. Well, that will conclude this episode. So thanks Mark. How can people connect with you? My friend,

Mark (13:38): Yes, absolutely. You can reach me at Howl is spelled H O W L or you can find me on LinkedIn at Mark Howell, which is H O W E L L. And either way, look me up, let's talk, let's chat. If you have any ideas of some topics that you would like to talk about with me or on our show, let me know.

Jonathan (13:59): Yeah. Awesome. My name is Jonathan Saar from Juvohub. And thank you for tuning into this show until next time.

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