Relationships are everything.

When we look at our lives, relationships are what really matter. They’re what we ultimately remember.

Relationships drive and create the value in every business. This is true whether it’s the relationships we have with our colleagues, customers, communities, and anyone else who is impacted by our activities.

Despite the significance and correlation of relationships to business success, so few organisations spend very little time nurturing great relationships.

When relationships break-down too often there is little proactive effort to restore harmonious working relationships or reconcile differences. Things are often left to fester, and they can become toxic.

Organisations at a simple and basic level, are essentially comprised of people and their inter-relationships with one another.

Investing in authentic inter-personal relationships means putting people intentionally and deliberately first, always.

It also means enhanced self-awareness and being more conscious about how much or how little we truly listen to each other? This is a whole different level of listening, something more meaningful and powerful. It is deep and attentive listening – listening to understand rather than respond.

When relationships feel inauthentic, or are not based on mutual trust and respect, we feel this. It can have a dramatic and destabilising effect within teams.

It’s difficult to do our best work when relationships feel tense or strained.

Some simple ideas and options to improve the quality of relationships inside your organisation

1. Be more conscious and intentional when you listen, make the next conversation the one where you listen more attentively and carefully

2. Invest in training team members in emotional intelligence – enhanced self-awareness and self-regulation of behaviour contributes to better and healthier relationships

3. Encourage more self-reflection – coaching can be an excellent way of facilitating this. The relationship we have with ourselves, knowing ourselves better, is a good basis for cultivating better relationships with others

4. Be creative, think about relationships broadly. What do our relationships with the natural world look like for example? When was the last time we really re-connected with nature and the planet?

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At Apex HR, we believe in challenging the status quo when it comes to people at work. Outdated HR thinking and methods just won’t cut it in a rapidly changing and dynamic world. It is time for a new approach.