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Building a lasting relationship with your team

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“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win championships.” – Michael Jordan

Nowadays, people tend to frequently change careers and employers as naturally as buying a new piece of furniture. Although we may say that life is unpredictable most of the time, this tendency has become more and more popular among organizations.

This shared thought, found among both employees and employers, that at the appropriate time people will leave or retire from their current employer may not be 100% realistic, but is quite obvious that it happens very often these days.

Therefore, the right approach should be to start a relationship with the concept of long-term in mind. Of course that the difference frequently consists in mentality: if you believe that you are going to work in the same office, with the same colleagues for a long period of time, you will certainly pay more attention on building strong and fruitful relationships with them.

As such, it’s pretty accurate that the same way you felt when you broke up with a very special friend, will be felt when dealing with the difficulties and frustrations that are to be found in a professional setting.

Very often, letting an employee leave is an internal problem that happens quite often and damages many dedicated teams, especially in small businesses or startups. This internal problem entails numerous changes which can be rather stressful and costly, starting with a build of emotional tension and ending with the time and effort to find and train another person.

Of course, every employer or project manager wants to ensure that every employee is happy and content at the workplace, despite individual differences and they also wish for the best people on the team to work together and share both successes and failures.

An ideal situation would be to finish a project with the same people you’ve started it and built relationships with. Keeping these ideas in mind when starting a business or when engaging with a new organizational culture is vital for building strong and lasting relationships at the workplace.

Stef Gonzaga, from TeamGantt, identified 5 secrets to a long-lasting relationship with your team, starting with the following question: “What can you do to ensure that everyone feels right at home when working with you?”. This is one of the most challenging aspects to be considered when striving to build strong relationships at work.

The 5 secrets Stef Gonzaga identified are:

  1. Laughter – one of the best ways to encourage and engage with your team is a good sense of humor. Laughter has always been considered one of life’s best medicine, which cures both the mind and the heart.
  2. Honesty – truth is another key element in building healthy and strong relationships. Cultivating honesty and the free expression of opinions requires one to eliminate resentments, fears and complexes.
  3. A listening ear – this aspect deals with the same point of freely expressing opinions and creates a caring company culture, led by a role-model leader.
  4. An open mind – consider and implement some of your team’s best ideas and inputs in order to build trust and respect.
  5. Empathy – it is very important to show empathy to your team, to encourage, engage and approach. A good leader has to be able to manage the needs, wants and expectations of those he leads.

Great long-term relationships don’t happen overnight. They are the result of getting to know your team over the course of time.

Constantly spending quality time with each member of your team, through special occasions, social activities, sport events, lunch breaks etc., working on developing your communication skills and demonstrating that you care by offering support during adversity – these are the most challenging and important aspects to be considered when developing long-term relationships.

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