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How to strengthen relationships with your team If your relationships with team members are suffering, you might be approaching them the wrong way. John Eades outlines seven things managers can do to turn things around

NO ONE wants to go to work every day dreading the amount of time they’re going to spend with their boss. At the same time, I don’t know any sane leader who looks forward to having bad relationships with team members. So the question then becomes, why are so many relationships between team members and their leader a major part of the reason people are unhappy at work? The answer: Most leaders have the equation wrong. The majority of leaders believe team members are responsible for the relationship with their leader. This belief puts the ownership of worthiness, trust, ability, respect and work ethic on the shoulders of others. The correct equation is: Leaders are responsible for the relationship with each individual team member. In this drastically different approach, leaders know they are ultimately the ones

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responsible for building relationships based on trust, respect, work ethic, forgiveness and accountability. These leaders model the behaviours they want to see, communicate well with their team and allow their team members to choose to meet or exceed the standards set. This doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t a two-way street, but it means the leader takes the ownership and responsibility in it. Knowing that ownership and responsibility of work relationships starts with leaders, here are seven wise habits you can leverage to strengthen those relationships.

1

Remove your ego

Ryan Holiday, the author of Ego Is the Enemy, defines ego as “an unhealthy belief in our own importance … the need to be better than, more than, recognized for far past any reasonable utility.” If this is

you, your people won’t want to follow or work hard for you. It’s that simple. When I had Cy Wakeman, the author of No Ego, on the Follow My Lead podcast, she said, “Ego puts a filter on the world that corrupts your relationship with reality.” If you can remove ego from the equation, you’ll remove barriers in your relationships with your team.

2

Focus on trust with each team member

When I ask in our Welder Leader workshop, “Who is responsible for the bond of mutual trust between leader and team members?”, the overwhelming answer is “team members.” And they’re wrong. Trust is built between leader and team member by the actions and behaviour of the leader, not the other way around. People will judge your trustworthiness by your character, expertise

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