When I solicit feedback from my clients’ colleagues, I often hear, “she needs to be more effective at building relationships across the organization.” What does that mean? It may mean that my client hasn’t established credibility in her role. It might mean that she hasn’t delivered on her commitments. It could also mean that she is a completely different person with the CEO than with her peers. In any case, skill in building effective relationships is a core competency for leaders.

Building effective work relationships requires the following:

• Respect – we earn respect by inviting different perspectives and by sharing our expertise in a constructive way

• Trust – we earn trust by following through on deliverables and giving credit to others where it is due

• Consistency – we demonstrate consistency when we value people at all levels

• Communication – we communicate effectively by actively listening before we speak

Think about the people with whom you most enjoy working. What makes those relationships productive? Do you respect and trust one another? Can you disagree in a healthy way? Do you treat people consistently and give credit appropriately? Do you strive to listen and understand before stating your opinion? I encourage you to consider how you can transfer those behaviors to relationships you would like to improve.

To assess or enhance your ability in building effective relationships, contact me at: