I have spoken to hundreds of people with broad scopes of influence from many different organizations throughout my career. A common theme consistently emerges that is related to their effectiveness as a leader: It is their ability to develop and maintain quality relationships.
“We Pursue Quality Relationships!” is the fourth guiding principle to building a performance culture.
This is the fourth blog in a five-part series focused on this topic. Quality relationships are the foundation for successful work cultures. There are two aspects of building quality relationships: Connect and Confront. I will start with some reminders about building strong connections.
Making connections is about each person in the organization intentionally getting to know one another. This relationship building and maintaining process is the groundwork for trust. As an influencer working to create a positive performance culture, it is your responsibility to model relationship building by getting to know your colleagues, understanding what they do, and connecting what they do to what you do.
It is also your responsibility to create opportunities for people within your team to establish quality relationships. Practically, this means taking time during team meetings to invite people to share aspects about themselves. This means introducing associates to one another and encouraging them to understand each other’s work. This means having meaningful conversations during team meetings about each person’s responsibilities and how they interconnect to achieve the broader goals of the organization.
Next, we will explore the importance of confronting team issues. The festering sores of interpersonal conflict, unresolved issues, and lingering problems are infectious diseases that will ruin a team. In a positive performance culture, each person addresses issues respectfully and quickly. There are three aspects to doing this well:
- First, one must address the issue without attacking anyone. It is your responsibility to bring an issue out into the open so that a resolution can be discovered. Resist attacking a person and focus on tackling the problem.
- Second, an issue must be addressed in a respectful manner. Respect is about giving special attention (listening well) to all involved and owning your perspectives (I see, think, believe….).
- The third aspect of confronting issues is to do it quickly. The longer a problem, concern, or misunderstanding lingers in the dark basement of a team culture, the greater chance it has of growing into a beast that will crash into the team’s living room with vengeance. Do not feed the beast! Promptly bring it into the open when it is small so it can be tamed, destroyed, or kicked out of the house.
Confronting issues is about pursuing quality relationships.
As you build a positive performance culture, remember to intentionally build quality relationships, and address issues quickly. By doing these two things, you will have a more positive performance culture. Consider these questions as you put this into action.
- What do you need to do to enhance the relationships within your scope of influence?
- What issues need to be addressed in your area of responsibility?