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How to Strengthen Relationships at the Office

by Craig Ross

As the head of an organization, you can either take the high road or the low road with your leadership. A leader who is concerned with fixing and resolving a situation in the present moment with little or no regard for developing people and relationships is taking the low road. High road leaders, on the other hand, consider people and relationships to be just as important as their responsibility to manage their team and achieve business goals.

By balancing these priorities and being a High Road leader, you can better create a productive and healthy work environment while still delivering results.

How to Take the High Road

Issues among team members, when not handled properly, can cause tension that has the potential to damage these work relationships. To avoid this, High Road leaders should ask themselves, “how can I best create strong short-term and long-term results and move the relationship with this colleague (or these colleagues) forward?”

How can you tell if you’re truly making the effort to be a High Road leader? These signs and actions can indicate that you are moving in the right direction. As a leader, you:

  • Assist others, regardless of what they have or have not done for you
  • Ask others on your team for ideas
  • Address tough issues directly
  • Remain non-defensive
  • Keep the team objective instead of prioritizing personal positioning or gain
  • Show true interest in your team members and tap into what is important to them
  • Give credit to your team when they deserve it
  • Develop people rather than try to “fix” them?

When these actions become the norm, the change in your work environment will be noticeable. Your colleagues will be more willing to share their ideas and speak up, your team will interact in a more open and accepting way, and personal growth among each individual will become more apparent. When a leader develops stronger relationships with his team and between team members, people will get things done more effectively, and will be happier while doing it.

For more on how to be a better leader, check out the book Stomp The Elephant In The Office.

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