Strengthening Relationships


We put a tremendous amount of effort into developing relationships in our lives – whether with family, friends or key stakeholders in our organization. Developing consistent relationship-strengthening activities with people is also vitally important.  We often tend to neglect nurturing the relationships that are closest to us, and therefore most critical for our collective success in life and work. During the pandemic, we have been isolated more than ever before – but have had more meetings, more work projects and more emails, often missing the water cooler, hallway or kitchen collisions necessary for connecting and nurturing our relationships.

A March Harvard Business Review article identifies our relationships at work as “social capital,” and emphasizes its importance: “Social capital is critical to a thriving workplace more broadly, for both employees and organizations. It helps knowledge and information flow. It spurs new ideas and energizes our thinking. And it contributes to lower absenteeism, lower turnover, and better organizational performance.”

With that knowledge, where do you need to build your and your team’s social capital this week?

Identify some key relationships that would benefit from strengthening; they can come from either your personal or professional life. Once identified, prepare feedback in the following areas as appropriate:

  1. Provide some specific positive feedback.
  2. Apologize if necessary for any ineffective behavior.
  3. Make a request of the individual of something you need from them, or for something you need them to do differently.
  4. Ask them what they need from you

Our key relationships, whether at work or at home, are important – sustaining and strengthening them should be equally so. Don’t rest on your success(ful relationships)!

The above quote is from the March, 2021 HBR posting

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