There is not a person in the world who wants to wake up each day dreading the many hours they will have to spend with their boss. At the same time, I haven’t met a sane leader who looks forward to having poor relationships with their team members. In this article we show you what to do to strengthen your relationship with your team.
So the real question now becomes, why is the most common reason people are unhappy at work due to their relationship with their boss?
The answer: Most people in a leadership role have the equation all wrong.
Most leaders think that team members are accountable for the rapport with their leader. This belief puts the trust, respect, ability, and work ethic on someone else’s shoulders.
The correct answer is: The leader is responsible for his/her relationship with every member of the team.
In this radically different approach, the leader knows they are the ones who are ultimately responsible for team building and ensure work ethic, respect, accountability, and trust. Leaders should model the behaviors they would like to see in their team, in order to allow every team member to decide if he/she wants to meet or exceed standards. This in no way means that the relationship isn’t a two-way street, however, it does mean that the leader has to take responsibility and ownership in it.
Knowing that the responsibility and ownership of a work relationship begins with the leader, the following 6 habits will give you leverage to strengthen your relationship with your team:
Get rid of your ego
“An unhealthy belief in our own importance. The Need to be better than, more than, recognized for far past any reasonable utility,” so says Ryan Holiday the man who wrote Ego is The Enemy. Ryan defines ego as the enemy, and if you have a big one, your team won’t want to work hard for you or follow your lead. It’s just that easy. Get rid of it!
Make trust a focal point with every member of your team
Who’s responsible for the bond that leads to trust between leader and team member? If you said team member, you’re wrong. Trust is built between team member and leader because of the behavior and actions of the leader, and not vice versa. Everyone will judge your dependability by your expertise, character, and how well you share your skills with every team member.
Be a good coach
One of the most crucial habits a leader can enhance is their ability to coach people on their team. Any leader could be a better trainer by simply “staying curious a little bit longer and rushing to advice-giving a little bit slower,” says Michael Bungay Stanier. Positive behaviors will impact your relationship with your team by training them to improve their own expertise.
Embrace every team member’s journey
It’s so easy for a leader to get into the bad habit of assuming that each professional’s life journey matches theirs. Just because a 30 and 40-year-old may have the same position at the job doesn’t mean they’re in the same place of their life journey. One of them could be single, while the other one is married with children. This absolutely matters! Start placing yourself in the shoes of where your team member is in their walk of life.
Exhibit what you want to see
If there is one thing you take away from this article, it should be this. Your team is watching everything you do whether you as the leader likes it or not. This is why it’s vital that you model the actions and behaviors that you want to get back from your team.
Ask for feedback about yourself
This one seems to be a popular habit to forget. Getting feedback from your team is so important because when everyone feels like their opinion matters, you increase competency. Having the capability to be vulnerable before your team will rapidly advance the relationship. One caution to keep in mind is that you must be humble when receiving feedback, instead of becoming defensive. Otherwise, the action of asking for feedback will put your relationship at a loss.
Following these habits will lead you on the correct path to strengthening your relationship as a leader to your team. Having a dedicated office team that is strong on work ethic and is happy to service clients each day will undoubtedly create a successful workplace.