Handling Workplace Relationship-Building Challenges

January 13, 2010 | By

All managers recognize that it is vital to create effective relationships with their employees. The hurdles in delivering the most productive interactions come thick and fast…

It’s a clear fact of life in the workplace, whatever the industry, when you work with individuals as their manager, supervisor or any other sort of leader, there are going to be some people on the team you get on well with and others with whom there is not quite the same relationship.

That said, no-one who has a team of valuable contributors can afford to make the best from only a proportion of their people – that’s simply an impractical and inefficient use of resources – so identifying what the biggest challenges to create the best return on people investment are for each manager, is a critical first step.

By making a reasoned (and of course unbiased!) assessment of those individuals where relationships are better than others and understanding why, behaviors can be adopted to make these interactions even richer.

Making the most of those where the returns are most effective and easiest is always the most efficient way forward.

Conversely, when there are people where it’s more difficult to create a close and viable business relationship, it is really important to understand what can be done to make this work better – sometimes there’s nothing wrong at all, just a misunderstanding or perception issue that can easily be rectified.

And when ‘push comes to shove’ – as they say – there is only one individual who can decide to be brave enough to take the steps to change the way they are with their people – and that is the role of the manager who is in charge themselves.

It just isn’t reasonable to expect change to readily come from the unenlightened individuals in the team.

Managers are much more able to take the stand back approach and consider the skills they already have that got them to this level of authority and then be smart enough to apply them to their interactions with their people that will create the outcomes that they want.

And challenges are not simply about understanding individuals and expecting that behavioral change is a one off.

People react differently in different circumstances. They act differently when under stress; when they are bored; when success is not quite achieved and even moreso, when they think that they have let someone down. They react differently in the myriad of business situations that get thrown at them.

So managers face an infinite number of circumstances where their perceptions and considered responses need to be flexed, to take account of how their people will react – and then decide appropriate ways to interact with them accordingly.

This is no mean feat for your average manager, supervisor or team leader. That’s why it requires very specific understanding of what relationship building is all about and how, with careful consideration, the very best ones are able to become very good indeed at their job, generating extraordinary results.

Relationship building has it’s challenges and once a manager is able to create a personal toolkit for how to manage themselves to get the best from everyone they have with them, success is there for the taking.

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Filed in: Leadership and Management, Personal Development, Team Building | Tags: , , , , ,

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