Building Positive Working Relationships is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry!
What & Why
Building Positive Working Relationships is about using appropriate methods and interpersonal styles to influence and build effective relationships with key individuals to facilitate mutual business success. It is about using your interpersonal and communication skills to work effectively and efficiently with key individuals both inside and outside your organisation.
Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ was quoted as saying: “Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships”. This competency is about bringing together disparate parties to achieve mutually beneficial business results.
Here are some practical principles you can follow for Building Positive Working Relationships:
- Take stock of your interpersonal skills and impact. What are the personal skills and characteristics you will need to demonstrate to create a positive impression with your stakeholders? Make a list and do an honest self-assessment. Trust should be on your list. What else? I have 15 more on my list.
- Identify your key relationship priorities. Not all working relationships are equal. You will need to ration and prioritise how you spend your discretionary leadership time building working relationships with others. Map your key stakeholders against key relationship priority criteria – for example, by level of interest and impact.
- Look for common purpose. Use verbal communication time – for example, face-to-face or by telephone – to create an open dialogue with each key stakeholder to explore common goals and shared ideas.
- Planned and purposeful engagement. Plan specific time in your schedule to get out there and establish and cultivate purposeful and mutually beneficial relationships.
- Reflect and review. At regular intervals complete an audit of each key working relationship. Is this working for me and is this working for him or her? What evidence do I have? What is the future potential of this working relationship?
Leadership Learning Modules This article is an executive summary of the LARA Leadership Learning Module ‘Building Positive Working Relationships’. The set of ten modules will be available soon on Amazon Kindle. Use the ‘Follow Us’ box below to get updates.