Good Work Relationships are our Currency and Another Competitive Advantage

If there’s one thing I have to reflect on lately about business it’s the people and the work relationships that we have, both with ourselves and with each other. Often our success or our failure in a situation at work and in life has to do with our own confidence, competency, and our ability to judge with a clear head and avoid self-sabotage. In addition, it’s always essential to reconcile differences of opinion with our team members.

In today’s world where everyone is a salesperson and a marketer with their own personal brand, relationships and experiences are of a premium. In this climate we can’t afford to relegate the relationship business to the professional relationship managers, client success partners or user experience designers. Instead, now each of us has a large responsibility and all of our interactions really do count. There is nothing superficial about this. We have to stay grounded in order to responsibly deal with what comes at us every day.

Everything is Interconnected and so is Everyone

Usually whenever I’m going to have a private conversation in a public venue, I always look around and make sure that what I’m going to say isn’t about someone or an organizational rep who might be present. Our worlds today are so small and interconnected that we really never know who could be in the room. We frequent the same neighbourhoods and have many of the same connections.

I’ve always been a cautious and private person — but sometimes it’s nice to be “real” and discuss challenges without being mean-spirited, blaming another party or defaming someone’s character or reputation. Sometimes it’s just nice to confide in someone, while keeping details out of the story. There is an art to not saying too much, while still being authentic and sharing something meaningful.

Finding Trustworthy Allies and Keeping Them

Building a professional bond with someone is easy enough, but keeping that connection and authentic communication strong can get difficult during stressful times. Repairing collegial relationships that have become distant or strained is never ideal, but can be done. Reaching out for a coffee or a catching up meeting is always worth a shot, to make time to reconnect. It’s these allies who will help us as we move into our next role or work adventure. They’re our biggest supporters and believe in us and want to invest their time and advice to help us succeed. We’d do that for them too, and they should know it.

Staying on Good Terms with Yours Truly

The most important person to stay in contact with, and aware of, is yourself. Without a good understanding of how we’re feeling and what we want, it’s hard to support others to succeed. As a leader, this is extremely important because without a good grasp of our core values and knowing how to motivate ourselves and others we are at real risk of failure. Some of the biggest impediments to leadership achievement are a lack of self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and self-compassion. We are our own worst critics, and instead we need to be compassionate in order to thrive and allow for learning and growth, both for ourselves, and for others on our team. It’s ok to make mistakes and try again, especially when you’re doing great and difficult things.