November 2013

Behaviours That Build Positive Relationships And Enhance Reputation

As Sebastian Vettel secured a record-breaking eighth consecutive Formula 1 win, he acknowledged the amazing team behind his individual achievement.  His is a team that is optimising productivity and performance and as a result is commanding a strong reputation.

As part of our work in unleashing the reputation capability held in teams, we have been working in London with senior civil servants on the same topic; ‘Optimizing Productivity and Performance’.

Our session was opened by Nita Clark, of the Government’s initiative in employee engagement titled ‘Engage For Success’ who emphasized the importance of good relationships in teams.

Good relationships, whether those inside or outside an organisation, are fundamental to reputation. However, appreciating the importance of relationships, as Vettel has, and knowing how to hold and maintain good and right relationships are two, quite different things.

Our reputation coaches enable teams to know how to hold strong relationships by using Organisational and Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC) to reveal the team’s ‘relationship system’ to its members.

The approach allows teams to unleash a host of intelligence and insight about their relationships that can be used to positively impact their reputation and ultimately their ability to optimize their performance and productivity  

We thought we’d share four of the most simple and effective ways to build reputation through holding and maintaining positive relationships.

How to build positive relationships in a team

5:1 relationship ratio.  For any relationship to be sustainable, the ratio of positive interactions must be five times that of negative interactions (Gottman 2002).

De-tox any toxic behaviours. Team toxins include behaviours such as blaming, defensiveness, stonewalling and contempt. Knowing how to spot them and how to employ the antidotes allows positive relationships to flourish.

Practice deep democracy. It is vital and sometimes hard to hear and honor all the voices in the system, even the unpopular ones. They all offer some wisdom to the team’s relationship.

Build appreciative inquiry. When curiosity meets positivity it creates open, safe and challenging conversations. Using appreciative enquiry is the ability to build on ideas after appreciating what was said by the other parties.