Leaders and relationships

Some are called associates. Others are known as a network. Many are simply listed as staff. What do you call them? If you want to build a team; if you want to influence others to be the best they can be, call them your friends. Those who work with you or for you are unique persons whom God has given you to help fulfill your mission and reach your objectives.

Treat your team as friends and you will make an even greater impact. Build relationships with your team members and they will work even more diligently. Let your team know you value them as individuals and you will increase their productivity.

Chick-fil-A founder and Christian leader, Truett Cathy, said, “Nearly every moment of every day we have the opportunity to give something to someone else–our time, our love, our resources.” Those leadership ingredients may be even more important than the seasoning in his famous chicken products.

There are at least three things you can do to build a relationship with your team members:

Give them your time.

A decided focus on team members and their interests may take a very few minutes or may take several hours. The main thing is to show an interest in their interests. Inquire about their family. Learn about their hobbies. Come alongside them in a project. Stand with them in time of need. I heard from a worker whose supervisor brought a cooked meal to their house following their surgery. She didn’t have to, she could have assigned the action; but her gift of time will never be forgotten.

Give them your affirmation. 

A dedicated effort to affirm the qualities and personalities of a team member is worth the risk. Everyone has something that they contribute to the organization. Be it a little or alot, compliment them for their effort. It will be a treasured moment that you and your team will never forget. Who of us doesn’t like to hear those two little words, “Good job?”

Give them your resources. 

Make a tangible investment in a relationship with a team member. It’s surprising how even a small gift becomes a treasure to someone who is seeking the positive affirmation of their leader. I know one leader who makes it a habit to bring a small gift to each of his office staff when he returns from a trip.

Police officers usually refer to someone as a “person of interest” in a suspicious way. Turn that into a positive, and treat everyone as a person of interest in a personally affirming way.

You are loved.

Stan Toler