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2nd December 2018

How To Get The Most From Your Working Relationships

How much is your unproductive team costing you? How much energy is spent on internal disputes? What are the best workplace training methods to get your people connected and working productively together?

The relationships we form with others are the most important things in our lives.

We have relationships with our friends, family, colleagues and pets. Some of these relationships last days, some months, some years and others last a life time.

We also have relationships that are fleeting.

For example, a person you pass in the street, the person who drives your bus or someone who works in a shop you frequent every day.

Today we are going to focus on those relationships that are, to a degree, imposed on us.

By this I mean our relationships with our colleagues and customers.

Why is it that amazing teambuilding activities can improve working relationships so much? And what are the best workplace training methods to get your people connected and working productively together?

1. Understanding & Communication

At the heart of any disagreement is a breakdown of understanding and communication.

In our personal lives we tend to naturally align with people that are similar to us.

If you are a positive person, it is highly likely that your circle of friends with be equally as positive.

If you are creative you probably spend time with other creatives. However, in work, we can be thrown in the mix with people who are energetically opposed to us.

It seems logical therefore that this causes problems.

If we naturally align with people who are similar to us, it is unsurprising that when we face difference, we can really struggle!

What value based teambuilding can do, is get people in the same emotional state, and take them on a journey creating a shared experience.

This helps colleagues understand that our differences don’t stand in the way of us working effectively together.

Don’t underestimate the power of a positive shared experience! In our personal lives, these are the foundations of a large proportion of our relationships.

2. Difference vs Attitude

So, we have established that difference isn’t the cause of unhappy working relationships.

The issue is our attitude towards those differences. Now, changing a person’s attitude is no mean feat.

It can take years of soul searching and personal development, especially if someone is reluctant to change. So, as a leader or employer, what can you do?

My suggestion would be some intense employee training and development.

At Inspire Me, I have seen the power of our Training workshops, and they are the perfect way to help people understand their role in improving colleague relations.

Try asking yourself and your team the following questions…

Have you ever considered the fact that some people think completely differently to you?

Do you appreciate that your view of a situation is purely your perception of it, and nothing more?

Are you aware that the way you process information is completely different to others?

3. Personal Relationships

Let’s look at what is normally the most important relationship in your life.

The relationship between you and your partner.

I have recently been watching a program called ‘Married at First Sight’. As someone who is fascinated by humans and the way they interact, this experiment is extremely enlightening.

The premise of the program is that two strangers are matched by a panel of relationship experts, and meet for the first time on their wedding day. They are, in that moment, legally married and have 6 weeks to then decide whether or not to stay together, or get a divorce.

These brave individuals enter their relationships under extreme pressure.

They are often obsessed by their perception of marriage and whether or not their new relationship will match up to it.

Somewhere along the line, unsurprisingly, they leave their rational selves behind. Sometimes for only moments, sometimes for the whole 6 weeks.

The program is great for demonstrating the amount of work and compromise that goes into making a relationship happy and stable.

What strikes me about ‘Married at First Sight’ is how often they pair two people together that communicate in completely different ways.

They say that this is done to complement each individual and ensure they can learn from one another.

It therefore seems that an important part of any relationship is growth.

It is worth recognising that we all have an ego! We also all have completely different ways of thinking.

It amazes me how many people manage to live their lives without realising that just because they think in a certain way, it doesn’t mean other people do.

I firmly believe that the most enriched relationships are those in which two very different thinkers come together and find new ways to communicate.

People in relationships like these tend to be far more forgiving and understanding of others, as they have excepted that there are many ways to respond to a situation.

They have accepted that black and white simply doesn’t exist.

4. Your Happy Team

Making any relationship happy and healthy requires communication, perseverance and understanding.

You are extremely lucky if your team work smoothly together through thick and thin without additional investment.

Ask yourself this… how much is your unproductive team costing you? How much energy is spent on internal disputes? How many sick days can be attributed to an unpleasant working environment?

Your team are your most worthwhile investment! Cherish them, appreciate them, and help them develop as people!

Philippa Atkins | Inspire Me Team Member
Written by

Philippa Atkins

Relationship Manifestor & Creator of Joy

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