We would all agree that building resilient and trusting relationships with all people, regardless of your feelings toward them, is crucial to navigating an organization’s political landscape. Doing so promotes perceptions of positively and trustworthiness; and this contributes to personal success and effective leadership.

It is always a good idea to assess the health of your relationships to determine where a bit more effort might be appropriate. Here are some steps you can take to strengthen those relationships that might not be as healthy as you would like.

  • Identify the relationships of concern and list the areas of these relationships that you would like to improve.
  • Reflect on this list and explore what you have done to earn the trust of the individuals involved, then list what you think each person needs from you.
  • Schedule time with each person on your list.  Share your view of the relationship and the “win/win benefits” of strengthening the relationship.
  • Use the conversation to confirm your perspective on their needs and to hear their thinking and feelings.
  • Together take action to support one another on achieving common goals and needs.

This could be uncomfortable, but it is well worth the effort. Greater trust in relationships results in enhanced collaboration, free exchange of honest feedback, and increased transparency.