For those who know me well, you know I have a very low tolerance for drama (complaining, gossip, etc.) because of how it affects a team culture and our relationships. So, when something raises to my attention, I always look to deal with it quickly and decisively. Usually this is a one-on-one situation or within a department, but in seasons of busyness, there seem to be more instances of frustration. I know that I personally have to be more sensitive when life gets busy because I tend to be less patient in my responses to others. As a leader, we should use these opportunities to clearly reiterate some expectations on how we would like our overall team to interact with each other and with those we come into contact with as a result of the role we have.
As a quick aside, for those who have a primary leadership responsibility to their family, you can easily substitute the word “team” for family in most of what I am about to share.
Because I help to lead at a church, I tend to ask one key question – what does the Spirit of Christ require of me?
There are likely corporate or cultural values that would drive you toward asking a key question related to the highest value your organization holds. Determine what it is and challenge your team with it.
On the team I help to lead, we desire a culture that is built on a high degree of trust. Trust is important because God created us to value trust – in others and, more importantly, in Him.
What is your response to this question: Do I trust those I am working with?
If you have been easily offended, defensive or sense an underlying tension in your relationship with someone you work with (or your spouse, family members, etc.), that indicates a possible trust issue. Spend some time trying to figure out the source of that trust issue and address it with that person directly.
Here’s the thing – do it with grace as that will build trust.
Don’t assume the worst in the other person. Don’t approach them in a way that causes them to be immediately defensive. Are we willing to overlook an offense for the sake of a stronger relationship?
Because grace helps to build trust, we equally strive for a culture that is built on showing grace. As Christ-followers, we have been shown great grace and should extend the same measure to those around us. Christ was the greatest example of love because loving others well implies sacrifice and selflessness.
How do you respond when asked: Have I been showing sacrificial grace, love and selflessness to those I am working with?
How are we serving each other when there is a time crunch or last minute change? Do you see helping out a co-worker as a favor or do it begrudgingly? Or do you look for ways to proactively help each other because you are all part of the same team trying to accomplish the same goal? One of those responses demonstrates grace and love and builds on trust…the other does not.
So, what I am asking is – if you sense any of these things are present in any of your relationships (whether in your department, within your organization, in your home, in your family), address it as scripture establishes – one to one.
Lastly, ask yourself this question: Would others describe you as trustworthy, gracious, loving and selfless?
Tough question, right?
No one is perfect in all this…I have and continue to fail in these areas, but I look to correct it and restore relationships when it does happen with the goal of not repeating the same mistakes. I hope we all take a position of humility in this regard and are teachable – because that is what Christ requires of us; not only on our teams but in all of our relationships.