At the core of leadership is the ability to build relationships. It is why it is essential that a leader should never underestimate the importance of what it takes build healthy relationships. Healthy relationships can have ripple effects from increased productivity to ensuring that whatever situation may arise in the workplace they will know their employees intimately to know how well they will respond when called into action.
All strong and healthy relationships are based on mutual trust, respect and understanding and these are equally true for relationships within the work place. Studies have shown that good relationships are great for our health too since strong relationships empower us to be less overwhelmed by stressful situations.
Building any relationship cannot take place over night. It is a journey. It is worth the time and effort to make the investment in developing good workplace relationships for a variety of reasons. Good workplace relationships help to build a healthy morale and encourages engagement with our co-workers so that we are more inclined to share ideas and seek advice and also it significantly enhances a pleasant work environment.
There are a few keys to creating healthy workplace relationships that leaders can put in place:
- Earn trust: You can gain the trust of your co-workers by always being true to your word and actions. Make it a habit to keep your promises. Consistently keep to your timelines and deliverables. Never over commit yourself. This builds trust over time.
- Communication: Effectively and honestly communicate your concerns or requests with your team. Be yourself, but not to the point where you push others down. Communication is not just about talking; it’s about listening as well. Become a good listener.
- Be merciful: We all make mistakes, we are human. Show compassion when someone makes a mistake. Put yourself in their shoes and remember the golden rule “Do unto other” You will find that mercy will let you have greater grace as well.
- Validate people: Be respectful of the views and opinions of others. We all come from different walks of life and we each want to feel that we are heard and validated for differences.
- Be helpful: If you are not willing to help another, it’s not really fair to expect others to help you. Go the extra mile. Give and take is a two-way street.
- Defensiveness: Being defensive will kill relationships. Make the effort to avoid trying to defend yourself to others. Try to understand where someone is coming from first before you attack.
- Get Interactive: Make a point of spending time with your co-workers on a regular basis within and outside the office environment goes a long way to keeping the relationships strong and healthy.
- Be likable: You are not likable; it’s going to make it an uphill battle to create a relationship. Don’t fake, be yourself. Find ways you can connect with your teams on common ground.
- Giving credit: Share the credit, don’t take it for yourself. It’s not a manipulation tool; rather you sincerely want to do this consistently. Your team wants to know that you are not just an ego maniac to take credit for their hard work. You gain trust, you earn respect and that goes a long way to bond with your team.
- Healthy distance: There is a balance to be kept with relationship. Too far, it does can be crossed and you lose professional respect. Too tight and you can be seen as distant. You have know your team and find the right balance to being approachable, professional and keeping your line.