Having a healthy relationship with male colleagues is a long and effortful process. Why? It needs a balance of comfortability and mutual respect. You have to adjust to them, but they also have to adjust to your needs. Without these two elements, there could be conflicts in between.
Some women have experienced harassment from men in the workplace. For this reason, it is not surprising that some ladies are not comfortable being surrounded by male officemates. Meanwhile, the more liberated women at ease being with men are sometimes branded with different names, such as “immoral” or “flirt”. That is why many are confused about how they should really behave around men in the office.
Achieving a Healthy Relationship with Male Colleagues
However, it is still possible for women to enjoy a healthy relationship with male colleagues. Women just need to find the right balance. Whether you are a single lady or a working mom, you need to ensure a safe work environment for yourself. You can check out these five tips:
1. Be Professional.
Since it is about dealing with workmates, always be mindful of your actions inside the office. Whether you are talking to a man or a woman, it is important to show professionalism. Moreover, if you want men to treat you professionally, you need to show them that you mean business at work.
Professionalism includes being courteous. Do not forget to smile and greet your male colleagues whenever you meet them. If they have ideas you disagree with, you can voice your thoughts respectfully.
2. Acknowledge Their Success.
Congratulate your male colleagues after every job well done. They usually feel good when someone appreciates their work. Always acknowledge their contributions in meetings or projects. You do not only build their image, but you build a solid, professional relationship as well.
Any person who is appreciated is more likely to compliment back. So expect your men workmates to praise you in return whenever you have done an excellent job too.
3. Engage in Small Talks with Them.
A healthy relationship with male colleagues will also involve open communication. Therefore, do not be afraid to talk with them once in a while. For example, you can engage in casual conversations with them during lunch break or when you happen to be on the same elevator.
Talking about the weather, families, and even hobbies is harmless. However, if you are not comfortable talking with a man alone, you can do it within a group setting.
4. Set Boundaries.
While talking with your men officemates is encouraged, you must do it with limitations. This is very important, especially if both or either one of you is married or in a relationship. First, avoid prolonged conversations, especially outside work. For instance, do not entertain chats, texts, or calls, that are not work-related.
Also, do not allow yourself to be alone with a male colleague behind closed doors. You must not let men touch you without your consent as well.
5. Do Not Be Silent When They Make You Uncomfortable.
A healthy relationship with male colleagues is free from harassment and abuse. Just because you want a harmonious work environment does not mean you will tolerate abuse. You must be ready to protect yourself from any form of harassment.
For example, you must speak up whenever your men officemates make sexist remarks or jokes against you. You must let them know that you are not comfortable with those. Or whenever someone tries to touch some parts of your body, be brave to confront them and escalate the issue if necessary.
A Healthy Relationship with Male Colleagues Needs Mutual Respect
Like in any kind of relationship, mutual respect is essential in creating harmony. For this reason, if you aim for a healthy relationship with male colleagues, you must respect them, and they must respect you too.