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Finding The One

You know the feeling I’m talking about. You feel energised, inspired, happy – and just can’t wait to see them again. This. Is. It!

I’ve come to realise that just like in our personal lives, some work relationships are solid and last successfully long term, while others simply… don’t.

Unfortunately, unlike our personal lives, we can’t always control who we work with; and those relationships that err on the side of destructive can leave you feeling flat, anxious and negative. Whether it’s clients, suppliers, colleagues or staff – how do we achieve the most cohesive relationships?

I have learned to recognise the signs that trigger once a relationship is formed to help pre-empt how certain relationships will track. These observations have taught me that the best relationships are based on the following principles:

Respect: Whether your relationship is based on knowledge, experience, skill or personality, having mutual respect and trust in the other person builds a long term fulfilling partnership.

Vision: When two parties are tracking in the same direction in relation to a strategic program with some key milestone measures in place, it turns evaluation from anecdotal and emotional to objective, constructive and rational.

Communication: Establishing a platform where both parties feel comfortable to raise issues or provide feedback at any time is an important way to ensure a ‘true’ reading of a relationship’s success. Sharing feedback also injects enthusiasm and incentive to succeed.
Symmetry: For a relationship to track successfully, both parties need to ‘come to the party’ and contribute to their end of the agreed program. You can’t expect the other person to continue on a skewed arrangement.

Appreciation: No matter how stressful a situation, celebrating wins nourishes a relationship. When it’s all work and no play you lose the perspective of what you’re both trying to achieve. It’s also a good time to reflect on what’s working and what’s not.

You don’t have to be their best friend or have ‘chemistry’ – but as we spend the majority of our time at work, it’s more important than ever to set the foundation for healthy and productive working relationships. It’s time for a stock-take – what common themes thread through your most successful relationships?

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