Relationships are the foundation of any good team. Building relationships within your team will help you better understand how to place people together, so that they work cohesively. This will help them bond and grow as a unit while working toward the best practices for your business. There are several ways that a good leader can cultivate relationships. Below are four strategies that I would encourage you to begin with, but first and foremost, you must take time to build the relationships- intentional time. It does not work any other way! Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Compatibility is the cornerstone of a relationship, so knowing how people will work best together, how their abilities compliment one another's can go a long way toward creating an environment where everybody shines. This will guide you to effectively positioning your team. Feeling supported by each other will help relationships rather than rivalries to grow. Practice productive conflict resolution strategies. Don't play favorites and don't shy away from intervening if you hear of an issue arising amongst your team members. Keeping everyone on the same page and preventing a small conflict from becoming an ongoing grudge is one of the very best ways you can ensure strong and continued team-building. Pay attention to the emotional needs of your team. The days of checking feelings at the door and expecting your staff to be hardworking robots while on the clock are long gone. We know now that creating a workplace environment where people are allowed, encouraged, and supported to be fully rounded human beings will help them flourish and become far more invested in their work. This pays off in the dividends of a thriving and motivated team. So, pay attention to the emotional needs and well-being of the people you lead. Host team-building exercises or events. Celebrations or an appreciation lunch may seem trivial, but don't underestimate the power of taking the time to show and demonstrate your appreciation. Laughter and shared experiences cultivate relationships faster than any other means - bonus points if you include your team's families as well. Getting to know the people in your team member's lives shows that you are invested in them as more than just a cog in your company wheel. Cultivate an environment that allows your your staff to feel valued and supported, celebrate their strengths, and encourage them to work together to problem solve and you will find that you have happy, healthy, and enthusiastic team members with strong inter-office relationships. This in turn, will create a workplace environment that thrives and a business that booms. If you feel that you might struggle with understanding the different ones on your team or you need support in handling conflict, or if you simply have a team that you would like to support, please take a look at the leadership services I have available that helps to build cohesive teams and influential leaders.