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Building Positive Relationships: A Manager's Guide

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Building positive relationhips can boost happiness, trust, and engagement in the workplace. This not only improves productivity but also enhances the key KPIs you are no doubt interested in. As a manager, you play a crucial role in developing, nurturing, and role-modeling these relationships. We'll explore six key strategies to help you cultivate strong relationships as an effective manager.

1. Get to Know Your Team Members

To establish connections, take the time to understand the individuals involved. Show genuine interest in their lives, interests, and dreams – both professionally and personally. Ask questions and actively listen to their responses. To support your team members effectively, invest time in discovering who they are and what makes them tick.

2. Share Yourself with Your Team

As you learn about your team members, share aspects of your own life with them. Great management is about forming honest, genuine connections based on mutual understanding. It's important for people to know about your interests and motivations. Remember that loyalty stems from genuine connections with others.

3. Implement an Open-Door Policy

Ensure that you're accessible, visible, and present for your team members as much as possible. Offer quality time beyond scheduled one-on-one sessions, so they know they can rely on you when needed. Be there as a supportive figure for them – this will foster trust and understanding.

4. Embrace Diversity within Your Team

Celebrate the unique strengths, ideas, thoughts, and opinions each team member brings to the table. Encourage them to use their strengths for problem-solving, creative thinking, and adding value to tasks and projects. Adapt to individual styles, preferences, and needs for a more personalized approach.

5. Value Your Team's Contributions

Recognize and appreciate your team members' achievements with gestures like thank-you notes or small tokens of appreciation. Show your gratitude in various ways, such as bringing treats to the office, organizing a team lunch or anything else you think may lift their spirits. These actions will strengthen your connections and give rise to more conversational opportunities to learn about them and who they are.

6. Maintain Professional Boundaries

It can be a tricky balance to form meaningful connections while maintaining professional boundaries. Although it's essential to create supportive relationships, remember to keep a degree of separation between work and personal life. This boundary helps you remain objective during formal processes.

Reflecting on Your Relationships

Take some time to reflect on your relationships with your team members:

  • Do you have positive relationships with them?
  • What do these relationships look like?
  • What aspects are working well?
  • What could be improved?
  • What actions can you take to enhance these relationships?

Take action! Commit to two actions this week that will improve at least one relationship.

Building positive relationships is an essential skill for managers. The tips above are a starting point, but there are countless strategies to explore. Don't be afraid to try new things and learn from your experiences.

Stay tuned for Part Two of this blog series, where we'll cover six more tips for building positive relationships as a manager.

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