How Relationships Change Everything

“People, process, or place?” That was the question I was asked when identifying the root cause for opportunities within my department. Are they people problems, process problems, or location problems? Every time, I boiled it down to people issues. People are the drivers for success, but they are also the drivers for failure. This week, Deanna Landers was on the show, and we talked about how understanding our personalities and how they relate to others’ can make a big difference when trying to improve a department. 

Relationships open the door for buy-in. Taking the time to build relationships on a team or in a department helps the team know you are invested in them. People don’t want to feel used, like they are pawns on your chessboard. People want to know that as a leader, you care for them individually and they mean more to you than your non-human resources. Taking the time to get to know the team will help you get the team on-board with your initiatives.

Relationships make room for common ground. I can’t tell you how many times people have said, “Oh, don’t get upset, it’s just Jana.” I’ve spent time building relationships, and these people know and understand me. They aren’t offended if I come off bossy, argumentative, or abrasive. They know I don’t mean to be that way. When we get to know other people and have a relationship with them, they extend more patience to us and we to them.

Relationships increase effective communication. Typically, the root cause of problem projects or departments is poor communication. Expectations aren’t communicated. Problems aren’t communicated. Deadlines aren’t communicated. When you take the time to build relationships, it becomes easier to communicate. The barriers are knocked down.

Jana Axline is Chief Project Officer at Project Genetics and the author of Becoming You. Through her leadership musings, she inspires audiences to grow as leaders and ultimately achieve who they were created to be. For more information visit Project Genetics.

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