Eight Key Behaviors to Building Relationships with Your Employees
- Get Connected- Communicate often and connect with your team. Connect with a team member for brief chats and focused discussions regularly, not just when you need something. Find a way to relate to the things that the team member is experiencing at work, at home, and in life. Take an interest in learning what is important to your team members.
- Be Direct-Communicate clearly. Make sure that what is spoken is what is heard. When a team member asks you a question, answer truthfully. Give as much appropriate information as you can. If you don’t know the answer, say so. When you have finished talking, ask questions to ensure the team member understands your answers. If there is something that should be said in the moment, say it. Don’t wait.
- Be Open-Share information and perspectives. Be Transparent. Openly share your own challenges and perspectives with a team member. Accept, without judgement, how team members view themselves or a situation. Be direct and kind. Don’t avoid the truth, but phrase it in a constructive way.
- Demonstrate Respect-Be fair, kind and civil. Give credit to others and speak about people as though they are present. Play an active role to build or mend a working relationship with a team member. Give praise, feedback, coaching and the opportunity to offer ideas and grow. If you talk about a team member who is not present, keep the conversation constructive. Uphold Confidentiality.
- Listen-Genuinely understand a person’s thoughts and feelings. (Remember that line about making sure that what is spoken is what is heard? It works both ways.) When a team member is explaining a situation or problem to you, fully listen. Don’t cut people off in mid-sentence to jump to a solution. Ask questions to be sure that you fully understand the team member’s point of view.
- Be Accountable-Walk the talk and keep commitments. No passing the blame. The buck stops with you. When you make a commitment, follow through and honor it. If the commitment is more than you have time for, find an alternative solution. Accept responsibility for the success or failure of the relationship.
- Right Wrongs-Apologize quickly, take action to make it right and be humble. If you’ve hindered someone’s success or caused unnecessary work pain, apologize and determine how you could have done a better job. Ask others to hold you accountable for doing getter the next time. Ask a team member to right any wrongs with others.
- Be Competent and Deliver Results- Make the RIGHT things happen. Understand the business and your role, and fulfill that role. Clearly and regularly communicate key measures of team members. Together, identify and discuss a team member’s strengths and blind spots.