Leadership is about relationships! I suppose if you frequent this blog you could begin to get tired of seeing me type that phrase, but that phrase is the key to any Leader’s sustained career! Nothing can overcome the most difficult of situations in a workplace environment like a strong relationship based Team. Everyone in the office can still be uniques, have differences and even a few simple confrontations, but it will be the strong relationship that will help everyone understand each other better and will aid in a much quicker resolution to any and all problems in the office!
So, I guess you might be wondering what makes up the foundation of a good relationship in the workplace. There are several characteristics that make up healthy working relationships:
- Trust – This is the foundation of every good relationship. When you trust your team and colleagues, you form a powerful bond that helps you work and communicate more effectively. If you trust the people you work with, you can be open and honest in your thoughts and actions, and you don’t have to waste time and energy “watching your back.” Trust is something that often is the hardest part of a relationship. Realize that to trust, one has to allow themselves to be vulnerable and that is a risky move. However, if you do not extend that trust, that open door to your emotions and feelings, you will never have any synergy, cohesiveness or support in your workplace. Yes, you might get hurt a time or two, but pain is a part of learning, learning is a part of growing and growing is a part of success. If you want to be a success as a Leader, you will have to endure a bit of pain along the way. Take heart though, if you allow it to, it can make you a much stronger and better person because of the journey you will take with it!
- Mutual Respect – When you respect the people whom you work with, you value their input and ideas, and they value yours. Working together, you can develop solutions based on your collective insight, wisdom and creativity. Mutual Respect is a huge part of Synergy, (the process of two or more minds coming together to create a solution that is greater than any one person could come up with on their own), which every working environment needs to have. Without respect or synergy in the workplace, you and your Team are going nowhere fast!
- Diversity – People with good relationships not only accept diverse people and opinions, but they welcome them. Any workplace that respects, invites and encourages diversity will be the a workplace that experiences frequent success and will be a pool of idea generation! It is paramount for the Leader to instill in all Team Members that each and every one of us were created with a unique skill set and valuable insight. As everyone seeks to include all thought processes and viewpoints, collaboration and projects soar to new heights!
- Open Communication – Whether we’re sending emails, text and IM’s, or meeting face-to-face it is crucial that we stay positive, constructive, open and honest The better and more effectively you communicate with those around you, the richer your relationships will be. All good relationships depend on open, honest communication. As a Leader you should only want the very best for your Team Members and often that will involve some very frank conversations. Even thought it is tempting to avoid the hard talks, it is detrimental to the Team as a whole. Just as in a personal friendship, if you are a true friend you will be honest, even with the hard stuff. The same holds true for your work relationships. If you have established the trust and respect with those around you, it opens the door for honest, open communication. However, if you have not established trust and respect, you in no way can have open communication. It is the trust and respect that will help you approach the other person with the hard subjects in a way that they know you are only trying to help them. It is also the key elements that will allow them to receive it in the manner you truly intend it to be.
If a Leader will utilize this recipe above, model it and instill it in his/her people, they can revolutionize the workplace environment. Until next time, keep building strong relationships!!