Guest blog by Sawan Kapoor

The ultimate test of your effectiveness is the performance of your team in your absence!

So the real questions becomes how do you create a team where performance is guaranteed without regard to your presence… easier said than done, as I’m sure many of you would agree.

It all comes down to the relationships we forge, sustain and grow. Relationships are what is common ground between our personal and professional worlds. Relationships span genders, time zones, languages and cultureSawan Kapoor - TruNorth PLC (New Delhi Area, India)s. They exist everywhere, so for a moment let’s get down to the basics and ask a very simple question “what is a relationship?”

As I am sure most of us would come to define the word, relationships are the way in which two or more people and/ or groups are connected – how they feel about and thus behave with each other. A qualitative way to examine these connections are how they make us feel. If we were to rate our relationships based of how the individual or group in question made us feel… what score would your team get? what score would your team give you? what score would team members give each other?

While diagnoses is imperative to improvement, the bigger point here is that there are certain laws that govern successful and sustainable connections. Sincere appreciation is a cornerstone of all successful relationships, and is a big contributor to developing the genuine positive feeling which enables productivity.

Another important tenet of successful connections is the ability to take and overcome risks, think of this as the number of individual fibers in your relationship rope i.e. the more risks you take and overcome, the thicker and stronger the rope becomes.

The third element found in successful relationships is a celebration of individual and/or the group’s differences. It is our differences and often imperfections that make us innately more interesting. We draw on different resources to come to different conclusions because all six billion of us are as unique as our finger prints. Meaningful relationships celebrate these idiosyncrasies by focusing on the what “unique good” each person brings to the table.

The last premise I’ll mention is investment. As you sow, so shall you reap i.e. relationships require time and nurturing. Speaking clinically, relationships at a subliminal level tend to examine the question “what’s in it for me?” And strong relationships proactively provide this answer. How much more meaningful would a performance review be if it was aligned with your life goals. Shouldn’t peers, supervisors, and colleagues develop such meaningful bonds? Most people work to facilitate their life and not the other way around.

So if you want to improve your teams performance, create a culture of authentic appreciation and overcome challenges by setting the right context and tone. Remember each one of us brings something special to the party, celebrate that and show your investment in what “I” want – you’ll get it right back.

Relationships are key to business success!

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