For so many, work is a haven to feel accomplished, to get things done, and to develop relationships. You can be the facilitator and demonstrator of what it means to connect, relate, mentor, coach, and help others to feel a sense of stability, inclusion and relationship in the workplace in service to your organizational mission.
Gather up your courage and do something other leaders aren’t doing at your workplace by setting an intention to unite people through the simple act of showing that you need them. Next, set your sights on those who depend on you for leadership by finding new ways to help them to connect and work together.
Its not that hard, but it requires you to step up in a way that you haven’t before. And I’m sure that when you do, you’ll find stakeholders around you who are engaged and excited about what lies ahead for the rest of the year and beyond.
Reach out to let your direct reports know of your intent, and ask for their help (you are clearly modelling interdependence in this way). Ask them, “What will help us to work more closely together in order to achieve our organizational mission with greater quality and timeliness?”. Listen, ask questions, and find bits of wisdom that you all can start using right now.
Widen your reach beyond your own organization to those that have a shared stake in your work as you lead the way toward greater connection. Your team is important, but so are peers, customers, contractors, and your manager. Ask them “How can we work together even more effectively?”, and take their suggestions seriously, using those that will move you further along in your relationship building.
Stay optimistic while verbally commending those who are working more closely together. Let them know that you approve of their efforts, and use their hard work as examples for others who may be struggling with this new emphasis on working together. Coach those who struggle and support them when you can.
Measure results of your efforts to lead those around you in closer working relationships. Can you track the efforts in business results? How about polls indicating employee engagement or satisfaction? You might find that you are losing fewer good employees to rival organizations, or that you are surprised that there is an unexpected uptick in new leaders stepping up to support your new relationship initiative.
Don’t rest on your accomplishments. Although relationship building may get easier once you’ve set the foundations, you need to ever vigilant that it continues, recognize those who are participating well, and intervene with those who require your help.
This could be the year that you make a difference through facilitating the relationship-building that will make your organization strong. Stand out, and get going because leadership is truly all about relationships.