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Interpersonal Relationships

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A Team of Two

My guitar teacher has been honing his skills as a musician and educator for about 25 years. I have been working on my chops for about 50. It has taken me twice as long to get half as good. Face it, practicing thirty-to-sixty minutes daily will never achieve the results of devoting three-to-six hours each day. Even if I step up to his pace, there aren’t enough years remaining in a human life span to learn to play at his level.

This is why I selected him for my team of two. I will always have new goals that seem nearly out of reach, yet attainable with hard work. This partnership has an unspoken recipe.

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Strengthen One Relationship

Time is precious. The team’s highest priorities get attention and less important things get neglected. Unfortunately, the subjects of neglect are often people. When someone feels like a low priority, engagement suffers. These teammates come to work, do their job, go home, and collect their paychecks. Why would they go the extra mile? Yet, when we invest in people, they grow. Sleepwalkers become evangelists. Look at your team roster. Identify the teammate most likely to thrive if fed. Sponsor his or her development. Here’s how.

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When Your Teammates Act Like Children

Sometimes the influences of team behavior are in the here and now. Teammates are responding directly to each other and managing present day challenges. Other times, teammates behave in reaction to historical patterns and traumas. Colleagues become siblings. Bosses, managers, and supervisors become parents. This can get messy.

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The Personal Side of Work Friendships

Most of our waking hours are spent with professional colleagues. Family and friends own the biggest portion of our hearts but work teammates win the quantity contest. While the setting and the stakes might be different, the recipe for building strong connections is the same whether at home or at the office. Let’s look at the ingredients.

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The Partnership Impact

The wellness of a team is often determined by the health of the partnerships in leadership. In families, the quality of the marriage has a significant impact on the life of the children. In business, the relationship with the chief executive and his or her operations leaders usually shapes the delivery of the organizational mission. Likewise, dysfunction in these partnerships is the fastest way to undermine a team’s effectiveness. What if you could quickly assess the health or sickness of your most important partnership?

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