Your employees watch closely how you manage them, your boss and your peers and they will emulate your behavior. How you manage your relationships with other managers will affect the relationship you have with your direct reports. You lead by example!
Becoming a strong manager means you will need to develop skills in managing up (your boss), managing employees and managing your relationship with other managers. All departments in a business need to interact and effectively work together for the success of the company.
To be successful in managing your relationships with peers, your focus needs to be on collaboration. I know it does seem that you can’t collaborate with certain people…they are just too difficult. For example, maybe they don’t have the same standards you have, don’t respond when you contact them, or are difficult to work with for many different reasons. If you focus on building collaborative relationships…no matter what the circumstance, you will be a better manager. In addition, you will gain the reputation of being a problem solving.
Merriam-Webster’s definition of collaborative: “to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor”
How to Build a Collaborative Relationship
Start today by selecting one suggestion below and begin working on it. As long as you have the intention to build collaborative relationships, your actions will produce results.
- Take time to observe how you interact with your peers. Carve out a week and do this activity. Take notes right after you worked with another manager…how did you feel about the interaction and how did you behave? You can’t change behavior if you aren’t aware of what you are doing.
- Give up control – we all like to have things done our way, though if you are serious about collaborating with your peers, you have to be flexible and open to many options.
- Focus on the situation or issue, not on the person
- Always treat others with respect…insure that their self-esteem is not impacted by your actions. That old statement keeps coming back….if you don’t have something good to say…don’t say it. Replace a complaint with a solution.
- Be willing to share the credit with others…recognize their work, no matter how small. It may be small today, but tomorrow this person will go out of their way to support you, since your appreciated them. In life people respond to appreciation…it’s just that simple.
- Initiative – reach out to make things better and help others.
There are many books written on this subject and I’ve selected The Culture of Collaboration by Evan Rosen. The author has gathered the latest ideas on collaboration providing clarity around the subject and offering practical direction.
Remember, to make a change in your relationships you need:
- The desire to change
- Awareness of what needs to change
- To choose what area you will work on
- And, Just Do It…even small steps have immediate impact
Your success as a manager lies in your ability to manage work relationships.
Asking the Right Questions