January 11, 2010

Workplace Relationship Building – Getting Out Of Your Own Way

Effective relationships with team members is vital for managers to deliver the very best results. Yet one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is quite close to home.

As managers need their people to be fully productive, it is vital that they nurture the strongest of working relationships with them. Every individual has particular skills to offer and to make the most of this, their full commitment to the cause is vital.

This can be challenging for some managers to work through, with them believing that as manager, their role is superior to their people and they will lead the way – and deliver it – at all times, even when it’s almost impossible to carry the workload output required.

Good managers overcome the challenge that their own high level of self-importance can present. By being able to see the bigger picture of the needs of the team to create results, the best managers recognize that rather than them being the most important in the team, the contrary is true. Their people are where the vital energy and competence needs to lie.

Appreciation of their role as a facilitator, managers who get the best results simply know that they will only deliver strongly when they get the best from every individual they have as a colleague. So they will focus on working much harder at building motivation and collaboration with their people than by trying to show their higher level of authority.

Managers who cannot get past their own ego, pride and ‘position’, will always find the going tough, because their role is never to be the ‘doers’, whatever their personal drive is.

The best managers see their role purely as leveraging the great skills of their people. Indeed really good managers recruit people who are even more capable than they are, without any concerns about doing so.

They have been able to get over their own self-doubt and moved past that, knowing that the better they are at being a humble partner in their team, the more likelihood there is of success. Employees relate to the manager who is on a par with them and are more productive in that situation.

So many managers struggle to get beyond their own self-importance to take the time to create the valuable working relationships where they are as equal partners as possible, yet this is precisely the requirement of the role.

By investing some time building relationships with individuals in a carefully structured way, the more successful managers set their stall out to be doing everything possible to squeeze the best performance from the capable people they have.

This only comes from intimate working relationships that create trust and a following that is hard to pin down, yet is so very powerful and ultimately fruitful.

And the biggest challenge to overcome is so often the manager themselves.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Focus on Results, Managing Me by Martin

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