An important part of the message I often share with teams and team leaders is the idea that you must have TWO vital connections to get energy from your people:
1. They must connect to a compelling common goal
2. They must connect to each other
It is true that connecting to the people you work with is a huge factor in how hard you work and how much pleasure you experience in being there…
And yes – relationships are the foundation of any collaborative conversations you and your team will have, and they often determine the morale and tone of your daily interactions.
But as important as relationships are, I have not yet before given a list of helpful ways to build relationships that will improve teamwork in your office.
It’s great advice to focus on them, but HOW can you do that effectively?
So… for those of you who sincerely WANT to create or strengthen those personal connections with the people in your office but are struggling to find ways to make it happen, here are 9 ways that you can be more intentional about successfully developing the relationships that drive a more positive and profitable team culture.
Here are 7 ways you can focus on, starting today!
- Ask about their hobbies and interests – “What do you do when you aren’t here?” or “What are you excited about this weekend?” can help you discover something you have n common. And commonalities help to inoculate us from our differences!
- Ask about their family. Regardless of the work you do, everyone has someone outside the office that they care about. By inquiring about that part of their life, you let them share something important to them.
- Ask for advice. People love to be asked for their perspective or opinion – and by requesting their advice, you allow them to share their ideas and feel respected for their experience. We like people who make us feel good about ourselves!
- Use their name and praise them in conversation. You will be surprised how often it will get back to them that you are praising them for their efforts – and “positive gossip” is a powerful glue – you’ll often find that they reciprocate by looking for what you are doing well.
- Take the initiative to do something helpful. Good teammates do what is required. Winning teammates anticipate what is going to be needed and take action to help address it. You build trust when you do things that show your concern for them and their role.
- Smile when you see them. In “perception cards,” one of the activities from my teambuilding events, we talk about the impact of how we see and treat others. You get to control how they feel when they see you greeting them!)
- Share your struggles. Often we build walls of defensiveness that keep others at a distance – but the best way to allow them to see you as human is to be more vulnerable and talk about times you failed.
Certainly, you realize that efficient is rarely effective when it comes to building relationships.
It takes an investment of curiosity and kindness and time… and applying the above list of ideas will not be difficult…
It will take effort, though – and the results you enjoy will be worth it.
If you can build relationships in your office, it will not only improve teamwork and productivity, but it will radically improve the morale and motivation that you and your teammates bring to work each day.
Teambuilding events are designed to help as a catalyst for that process – but your intentional and sincere desire to strengthen connections with the people in your office will have a tremendous positive impact on their interactions.
And it is those improved relationships that will ultimately improve the teamwork and results that you want to create!