We know that establishing good relationships are essential to a team’s overall success. It’s how we develop trust and influence. It’s what makes our work more enjoyable. So why does it sometimes seem so hard to develop solid relationships with our leaders or our teammates? Here are five of the most common relationship breakers we should all take care to avoid.
1. Limited connectivity
I hate it when I’m working in a Wi-Fi hot spot and I see a pop up on my laptop warn me that there’s “limited connectivity” because then I know I’m going to have a hard time getting online, which means I’m probably going to have a hard time getting my work done. The same is true in our work relationships! As a leader, you must have the desire and the determination to find common ground and connect with your teammates or you’re not going to achieve maximum productivity.
2. Above and beyond
When we tell someone at work that they went “above and beyond” on a project, it’s a good thing! However, when we as leaders act above and beyond the reach of our teammates, we’re not just putting distance between “us and them;” we’re putting up a wall. Avoid allowing politics and perception to influence your ability to remain a leader of the people. The more grounded you remain, the more respected you’ll be by the people serving on your team.
3. Mood swings
At some point in our careers we’ve all worked with a coworker whose moods fluctuate like a chaotic day of trading on the stock market. Don’t be that person! If your team is constantly tiptoeing around your volatile mood swings, your inability to mask your emotions will impede your team’s ability to build a relationship with you because they never know what to expect or how you’ll react. Over time, your teammates will spend more time discussing your moods than they will trying to connect with you.
4. Flip flops
In an election year, we’re sure to see plenty of this on both sides of the aisle! I’m talking about a leader’s inconsistent decision making. If you’re never consistent in how you make decisions, your teammates can’t begin making decisions on your behalf because they never know what you’re going to decide. This impacts your team’s ability to react to new situations and quickly take advantage of new opportunities because they always have to stop and ask and wait on you to make a decision.
5. Best Buds
Having friends at work is a wonderful thing. However, creating a “buddy” type of relationship with certain coworkers impedes your ability to build relationships with everyone on your team. I see work “buddies” as individuals we favor, and if we favor certain workers by awarding them with special treatment and extra privileges, we create an environment where our buddy relationship is more important than accountability. Your friendships with your teammates should never impact your responsibility as their leader to hold them accountable to their performance.
Strong work relationships take time and hard work to build. As a leader, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to remove the barriers that prevent you from connecting with the people on your team.