10 Tips to Build Strong Healthy Relationships

Strong, healthy personal relationships are built on strong foundation of communication, trust and mutual understanding.  So how do you build those qualities and relationships with your service team?

Here are 10 suggestions:   

  1. Recognize that successful relationships take work. Trusting relationships don’t happen overnight.  They take time to develop; there needs to be a desire to develop a successful relationship and a commitment to dedicating time and effort to make it happen.
  2. Understand and celebrate differences. Strong service teams are made up of individuals with unique skills, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and personalities.  Recognize and acknowledge the unique contribution each person brings to your business
  3. Acknowledge each person in some way every day.  Start off each morning with a smile and a brief check-in.  Find something positive to share every day, either to individuals on the team or to the entire team.
  4. Don’t speak while angry. Reacting to annoyances, missed opportunities or poor performance with anger shuts down communication.  It also means you are focusing on your frustration instead of the problem or the solution.  The next time you are frustrated or angry, take a moment to calm down before addressing the situation.
  5. Get regular tune-ups.  Molehills, small frustrations and annoyances, turn into mountains if they are not addressed early on.  Set aside time to meet with your team members on a regular basis.  Find out what is going well and where they need additional support.
  6. Be responsible for your own behaviour.  If there is conflict, don’t assume it’s entirely the other person’s fault.  Instead of focusing on their behaviour, make sure you are not contributing to any negativity.  Find out what changes you can make in your behaviour and then make them.
  7. Give what you want to get. Treat your service team the way you want them to treat their customers. Be the example.
  8. Set goals together.  You expect your service team to work in such a way that goals are met. Invite them into the process of setting the goals, the strategies and tactics on how to achieve those goals.  That makes your goals, their goals.
  9. Stop talking and listen. Don’t provide all the answers. Ask questions and then wait for your team to come up with ideas. Ask for feedback, comments and suggestions and then stop talking. Give your team the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas freely.
  10. Be willing to compromise.  There are some things that can’t be compromised. Honesty, safety, integrity and service standards are just some examples.  But there are times when compromise is very possible. Don’t get hung up on “my way” instead of the end objective.  Rigid schedules that don’t recognize a full life outside of work can kill a relationship. Rigid adherence to outdated, unnecessary policies damage morale.  Look for common ground wherever possible.

People in strong,healthy personal relationships feel better about themselves and life in general.  People in strong, healthy service teams also feel better about themselves, their customers and the company they work for.  Building strong, healthy relationships is hard work, but worth the effort.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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What are some things you do to build a strong foundation of communication, trust and mutual understanding at your company?

Resources for Leaders

I’ve been thinking a lot about leadership lately.  What works, what doesn’t?  What makes some people so good at it? Why do some people struggle?  Have we turned the topic of leadership, the idea of leadership, into something much more complicated, difficult or elitist than it needs to be?

Perhaps in some way we have. We hold in awe people who have changed the world.  We dissect, study and analyze their words, their phrases, their style in an effort to understand what made them so great, so that we too can be great.  That is not necessarily a bad thing, but what about the everyday leaders? The ones who show up everyday, without a grandiose vision of changing the world, but instead a focus on changing their world and making it just a little bit better?

For those of you also taking a look at leadership, who ask some of the same questions, here are four resources / links you may find interesting.

  1. David Dye, at Trailblaze with his blog “7 Warning Signs you Should Not Lead“.  The ability to lead well starts with the reason or motivation behind wanting to lead.  If the motivation to achieve a leadership position is based solely on personal benefits such as power or prestige or to satisfy someone else’s expectations, then chances are pretty good the leader and the team are feeling unfulfilled and results will not be as strong as they could be.
  2. Nan Russells’ book The Titleless Leader,is an excellent resource for leaders, those with or without a title, business card or office with a door. Students, interns, new hires, supervisors, company head honchos … all have the opportunity to challenge assumptions, explore new ideas and work towards positive change within their environment.
  3. Dan Rockwell’s blog, Leadership Freak.  Every day, Dan provides his insights on what successful leadership looks like, sounds like and acts like, usually in 350 words or less.
  4. And last but not least, Drew Dudley’s TedX talk – Everyday Leadership.  What is your Lollipop moment?