One of my clients is a tech company that has been in business for 15 years. The two cofounders are still very active in the business, but over this past year their working relationship took a rough turn for the worse.
How to Build a Healthy, Cohesive Team
We dug into the root cause and found that Partner #1, “Bob,” was frustrated that partner #2, “Dan,” was constantly exaggerating. Challenging times in the business caused these frustrations to become very heated and intense.
After digging in to find the root of these frustrations, Dan shared a story from his childhood that shed light for Bob. As a child, Dan was always put in a position where he had to exaggerate his accomplishments to gain his father’s attention. He had never thought about it before this moment, but as he shared the story he realized that this is the way he had always been. Dan suddenly realized that Bob wasn’t exaggerating to upset him personally—it was a behavior with deep roots from childhood. Having this as the foundation for understanding helped the two to come together on many issues.
Bob realized that the more they get to know each other personally, the better they can work together. Here are three key points that helped this team to come together.
1) Get to Know Each Other Personally
Get out of the office, go out to lunch or dinner. Do something social together once a quarter as a team. Developing your personal relationships with each other, by sharing stories and life experiences together, will help you to better understand one another on a deeper level. This translates to stronger and healthier working relationships in the end, making the team tremendously more effective.
2) Be Vulnerable
Be willing to admit that you don’t have all the answers, you’ve made a mistake, or you need help. Be completely honest and realistic about your faults. When you’re able to do this, the team will flourish in the end. It can be uncomfortable and difficult to take this on, but it will be instrumental in helping your team to break through tough situations.
3) Be Open and Honest, in the Moment
Stop stewing and avoiding each other. Start becoming more open and honest in the moment. The key here is “in the moment.” When you stew on things for days, weeks, months, and sometimes even years, relationships can take a turn for the worse. Say what’s on your mind as it happens—and remember to always make it about the issue, never about the person.
Take action today. Pick one of the points above and commit to taking a step in the right direction. Interested in learning how? Contact me—I’m here to help!
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