Meaningful relationships are the oxygen to healthy living and healthy business.
Some businesses get this, many don’t. The innovative Buildoz Lead team above do get it. For three days they downed tools to spend time with Wayne and Bridgeworks to strengthen their relationships and build a culture of excellence. I don’t know of many carpentry businesses that do this.
How do you place a KPI on the quality of relationships in business?
Another loyal client of mine works in a highly task-driven environment. Since having a new CEO in place, the work had dried up… until now..
In meeting with him, his challenge to me was “Give me direct measures of how the quality of relationship impacts my bottom line – then I’ll be interested”. It’s a fair question, but a difficult one to answer. There are however solutions – Enter the “Bridgeworks Team Health check” and the “Interpersonal Flexibility & Trust instruments“. Both powerful tools in measuring team and leadership effectiveness.
After 25 years working with senior executive teams over the years, there are some basics that I have learnt about relationships:
1. Be thankful for your relationships.
We exist to build relationships, to build community, to be part of a tribe. OK, not all your relationships are constructive. The key message I impress on clients is that 98% of the success of any relationship comes back to you. The only person we are guaranteed to motivate is ourselves. If you have a “difficult” relationship, think about how you could change your approach to improve the effectiveness of that relationship.
Recently working with a client who was having difficulty getting a proposal across the line, I recognised that the proposal was too detailed, and the key people were not detail-minded at all. They just wanted the big picture and strategies in the proposal that immediately impacted the bottom line.
What was an 18-month process, with tweaking to the plan, was approved in just two weeks after changing the approach. This was a $3 million dollar deal. I’m still waiting for my 10% commission! (just joking!)
2. Cultivate relationships.
In other words, work to build trust into your interaction. Many of you know that I use the DISC system of profiling to help leaders understand their style of leadership – their natural strengths and weaknesses.
The key to effective leadership is to be both versatile and flexible. In other words, knowing what the best style is, to ensure you are on the same wavelength as others. Further if others have a different point of view, you could listen to their case before your ego takes over and rejects their perspective outright.
Over the past 20 years, Bridgeworks has collected data from thousands of leaders and found that 80% of conflict occurs simply because people have different behavioural styles, or you have two leaders who are strongly driven by the need for power and control. it becomes a battle of egos. As Stephen Covey says in Seven Habits of Highly Effective People “First seek to understand before being understood”.
3. Encourage relationships
Amazingly the loneliest people are those living in cities of millions of others. For many people, a simple greeting and ‘how are you?’ can make ions of difference.
A good friend of mine and founder of the Centre of Optimism, Victor Perton taught me a new greeting: Rather than the simple ‘how are you?’ (which often has an auto-response of ‘Not bad’ or ‘OK’), use “What is the best thing that has happened to you today?”. I have tried it, and it is encouraging to see people really think about their response. The result is that this can often become the start of a richer conversation.
Addressing Evolving Challenges To Cultivating Meaningful Relationships
The hybrid workplace is challenging how we encourage relationships. So much of workplace relationships happen in the lunchroom or over the water cooler! Unfortunately, the virtual workplace has minimised the ‘casual’ and informal interactions.
How do you deal with this emerging workplace trend? If this is topical for you or your business, come along to “The Hybrid Workplace. Enemy of High Performing Teams” at Crown in Melbourne for breakfast on Friday 28th April. Details in the following article.
Be thankful, cultivate and encourage your meaningful relationships.
If, as a leader, you are struggling with building high trust relationships and alignment with your people, give me a call or email me….
Wayne Dyson – 0402 300 999