Renewing and Nourishing Work Relationships

June 13, 2015
Mary Jo Asmus

I live in a part of the world where we greatly appreciate the spring season. I look out my office window, and see the glorious magnolias blossoming. When I stretch my view just a little wider I can see the tiny spinach leaves and pea shoots stretching out of the soil from where I planted them recently. The ruby-throated hummingbirds are on their trek back to this part of the world to make their nests and raise their babies. It’s a time of renewal when all of these living systems require nourishment.

Have you thought about the work relationships you need to renew and nourish? So many leaders become caught up in the rush to make the next quarter’s goals, solving issues that arise, and the daily tasks of assuring that deadlines are on track that they neglect the relationships that keep their leadership and their organizations strong.

There are also important connections to be made and relationships to be nurtured that you may not have paid attention to; some may require healing or trust-building.

Consider your:

  • Boss
  • Peers
  • Direct reports
  • Mentors/Mentees
  • Internal support (HR, Finance, Marketing, etc.)
  • Customers
  • Community partners

What have you done lately to connect with key individuals in these areas that support you?

Begin by considering:

Who do you need to connect with? Set aside some “thinking time” to create a list of the key people you need to renew relationships with. Some leaders appreciate the ability to visualize those connections with a relationship map. Others may find it helpful to simply make a list and prioritize the key people they need to reconnect with.

What outcomes would you like? Before you meet with these individuals, think about why you want to nourish the relationship. Do you need to develop greater trust with a key stakeholder? Heal a broken relationship? Or simply renew a relationship that needs an extra shot of energy?

What outcomes would they like? Don’t make assumptions about what they want, ask them! It’s important to make sure that the relationship is a two-way street and not just what you want. Once you are clear about what both of you want, co-create an agenda and set up a meeting.

How will you foster the relationship? If it’s important to continue to nurture the relationship, then decide together how you will do that. Will you have regular meetings? How often? What will you discuss?

Make a plan to continually renew and nourish your important work relationships. Those connections are the key to insuring that your leadership will grow and remain strong.

More From Mary Jo Asmus

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Mary Jo Asmus is an executive/leadership coach whose work spans decades of making a difference in the lives of hundreds of executives, leaders and teams in Fortune 500, mid- and small- sized business, governments and nonprofits. She focuses on facilitating individuals and teams from first-line supervisor to the C-suite to create, develop, and influence the relationships that can make them extraordinary.

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