Values of a Great Team: RELATIONSHIPS
In the context of a team, relationships are vital. As with the other values I have shared, in order to create the biggest impact, it is important that these principles are practiced across the organization with team members, customers, and other leaders. Here are three keys to developing meaningful relationships among your team.
Build Teams by Building Relationships
One-on-one relationships are what bonds a team together. It is not the group huddle, clever team activities, or even the team’s accomplishments that truly cement a team together. Those can definitely help. But it is the deep connection each person feels with one another as individuals that really unite people together and cause them to accomplish amazing things. If I begin to see the one-on-one relationships eroding on my team, I know it is a matter of time before all sorts of problems will occur.
Go Beyond Professionalism
Here is the key to strong relationships. We must go beyond professionalism into the personal dimensions of relating and connecting. It is a fact in business and in life, that the more you know someone personally, the better the relationship will be. All of a sudden, you see each other as people—not just another client, team member, boss, or employee. When you know someone on a personal level, you are more likely to help them, love them, forgive them, and empower them. And isn’t that what we want for our teams?
Think of your relationships as friendships. I consider myself friends with everyone I work with. Does that mean I spend time with them outside of work? Not necessarily. But I can, and sometimes I do.
Put People First
People before profit. People before projects. People before tasks. People before the mission. When I started living by this maxim, my leadership soared. I try to live by that in all areas of my life.
When we take care of relationships, relationships will carry us forward. Caring for people and relationships must come before anything else we do on our teams. This is easier said than done. But as leaders, we must practice this value and teach others to do the same.
Like the other values we espouse, building relationships must be intentional. Relationships are not built and maintained automatically. When relationships are left to automatic growth, automatic destruction happens instead. Insist on deep, healthy relationships on the teams you lead.
Make It Practical
As leaders, valuing relationships is not something we accomplish and move past. It is something we continue to model and perfect as we grow ourselves and our teams. Even now, as I write this article, I have sensed a slight rift in the relationships on the team since we recently almost doubled in size and divided the team into two internal groups. So I am asking myself, “How can I encourage one-on-one relationships during our next staff meeting?”
I’m not sure yet what approach I will take. I may have us break up into pairs and ask each other some personal questions, which we can then share with the group. But regardless of what we do, as the leader, I will take personal responsibility to be proactive to make our relationships healthy and positive. I want to encourage you to be intentional as well, to promote relationship-building on your team.
Actionable step: Share this value with your team. Bring each of them on board. Challenge them, “Would you join me in building strong relationships between each other?”
About me: One of the most beautiful places I have ever traveled to is Queenstown, New Zealand. If you love traveling and the outdoors, you might consider adding it to your bucket list.
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