Building Workplace Relationships - Being the Model
When a manager recognizes that there is work to do on taking up the responsibility for making better use of workplace relationships, that's a great start. Simply noticing that the way they interact with their people is not as productive as it might be, is a huge step, because that awareness so often leads to an understanding of the situations they face.
With awareness comes a decision. Whilst the responsibility for moving relationships up to a new level does not entirely fall on a manager or supervisor, there is an opportunity for them to make the first step.
Recognizing that relationships are not working as positively as they might is one thing, the next step is the logical progression to appreciating that a responsibility for moving them forward is the first step.
Now, it's possible that everyone on the team understands that there is more to come, but the management focus needs to be on leading from the front and grasping personally the responsibility for improving relations.
Sometimes, there can be hurdles to overcome. Past history, personal preferences and, yes, prejudices can get in the way. There can even be a bit of 'Why should I?' in the pot as well.
Managers need to see past this, because the rewards are clear. By taking the responsibility for moving forward relationships that aren't working to their best, managers start to model for their people a broadening of attitudes that they will replicate.
When there's a brick wall, someone needs to be prepared to take the first swing at it, because until someone does, there will be no progress. Once a chink of light is seem, others will become much more able to get involved themselves.
Where managers show that they will take responsibility themselves to improve the working environment by engaging better with their people, the relationships will all start to grow, with gathering pace, so that the value from everyone getting on better, with trust, support and encouragement, begins to be realized.
As you people notice those small changes, they too will embrace the needs for change. they will notice how improved relationships begin to make a positive contribution to their lives as well. They will begin to see that they have some responsibilities in this area themselves.
Where you take responsibility for the first steps and show them they way, your personal modeling at this stage will be the catalyst for significant shifts for each one of your team as well.
Have a question for Martin? Ask or leave a comment below!