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Relationship: It’s ok to say the ‘R’ word at work

It is with and through people that work gets done. We could say relationships are the containers within which work happens. How people interact and work together matters. Successful leaders are the ones who embrace the critical nature of relationships in organizations and talk about relationship at all levels.

Not too long ago I was told by a client at a global tech company that it was inappropriate to use the word ‘relationship’ in that organization. “We just don’t talk about the ‘R’ word here.” The context for this conversation was a mentoring program. It was ok to talk about mentoring partnerships but not mentoring relationships.

Why is it that people are so reluctant to talk about relationship in a work context? The fields of emotional intelligence, positive psychology and neuroscience all point to the fact that peak performance is a result of our ability to develop positive working relationships focused on a common goal or outcome. And I’m not suggesting we have to like everyone we work with, but we do have to figure out how to work together.

The hidden gem is that when we focus on building authentic, positive relationships that uncover and honor difference, we discover alignment that creates connection. And that’s where innovation and creativity live – in the spark ignited by the fusing of different ideas, perspectives and approaches.

So if you want more ‘R & R’ at night, talk more about the other R at work –relationship that is. Rest assured, the results will follow.

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We’ll move into possibility together!

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