When people think about Relationship coaching, most think of personal relationships, there are, however, many benefits of becoming more conscious and intentional about the quality of workplace relationships, and coaching them!
The success of any team or organisation depends on the right expertise and, just as important, are good collaboration, communication and alignment between everyone contributing to the business’ success.
In addition to that, the uncertain times we are all asked to be effective in, require from individuals and the organisation as a whole to be deeply resilient and agile.
But how are relationships in organisations impacting success?
We have all experienced tense relationships with managers or across departments or within teams, creating an atmosphere rife with toxicity and broken communication. It makes getting work done a lot more difficult and stressful.
On the other hand, when there we experience appreciation in the workplace, there is trust, clear values, agreements and accountability, everything runs a lot smoother. Teams find it possible to overcome difficult challenges together.
Relationships precede Results
Although organisations need processes, policies and procedures, the magic lies in relationships.
Excelling is thus a function of the whole team, not just of an individual. Good workplace relationships are reciprocal in that they nurture the growth of the individual, as well that of the team or organisation as a whole.
Relationship coaching in the workplace is not the same as having a marriage coach. Although there are similarities in that, workplace relationships also benefit from conflict resolution and improving communication.
An important differentiator, however, is that an Organisation and Relationship Systems Coach (ORSC) enables teams and organisations through embedding Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI™).
RSI™ empowers and equips both the leader and the team to shift their focus to the relationships within the team.
A coach that focuses on the whole team as a relationship system, enables the team to see and consciously and skillfully shape the relationship dynamic of teams.
Let us explore practical benefits that systemic relationship coach work brings to the organisation:
Relationships flourish when agreements define the context and the parameters.
The context of the workplace is important here, and co-creating agreements about "how do we want to treat each other?” as well as “how do we want to deal with our differences or conflict?” set the team up for success.
Agreements enable to team to be better equipped to collaborate, communicate and be aligned to the goals and priorities of the organisation/team.
(2) Engagement Levels
One key principle that Relationship Systems Intelligence (RSI™) upholds is that all voices and views need to be heard in a team, for the team to be fully informed about any given situation.
Everyone needs to be represented for workplace relationships to remain healthy.
Practically, this principle stimulates high levels of engagement through various participatory processes that are built into meetings and innovation sessions. These engagement processes can be scaled to the organisational level.
This principle upholds that every team member brings a unique perspective to a given situation, and their input is essential to the success of the team and organisation.
(3) Communication Flow
The flow of information through an organisation is key to leadership and the organisations’ effective functioning.
Without information travelling effectively up and down an organisation, leaders will make poor decisions for the organisation, and employees will be misguided in their decision making for customers and products.
Good relationships facilitate the ease of information flow and prevent blockers from occurring.
(4) Conflict Resolution
Unskilful and unresolved conflict is a major burden to organisations. It blocks communication, hampers collaboration, inhibits alignment and stands in the way of problem-solving and decision making.
The relationship coach shifts the paradigm of the team to see conflict as an opportunity for something new to be discovered. The coach also helps employees find alignment where there is a lack of agreement.
Skilful conflict stimulates creativity in organisations, and good relationships hold the space for conflict to arise and be resolved.
(5) Problem Solving
One of the biggest assets a company can have lies in its ability to anticipate and solve problems.
No leader can have all the solutions for the many organisational problems faced daily, and far too often, external consultants bring in too much theory.
Relationship coaches that work from the 5 principles of RSI™ nurture the organisation’s ability to tap into its generative intelligence and creativity everywhere in the organisation.
Good relationships create positive conditions where diverse and diverging views are heard. It requires an active and participative workforce to pre-empt and solve problems.
(6) Sense of Community
One of the most incessant urges we have as human beings is a need to belong. Teams with strong relationship intelligence create spaces where there is a deep care and interest in the uniqueness that each individual brings to the team.
When the focus shifts to the systemic relationship dynamic of the team, team members understand how their unique individuality contributes to the richness of the relationship dynamic. Yet it is not only about the individuals! Everyone shares the role of care-taker of the overall health and effectiveness of the team’s relationship dynamic.
A strong sense of community in organisations generates a healthy love for work, and a love for life.
Organisation and Relationship Coaches (ORSC) work to educate and coach leaders and their teams to create the right conditions for the team to flourish through an effective relationship dynamic. This approach enables teams to work better together as a seamless unit by intentionally nurturing and honouring relationships.
Relationships are not only important from individual to individual, or team leader to team member, but across the team in such a way that it forms a dynamic web that is designed to breed success in the team.
The 6 benefits discussed above, and the intentional creation of a healthy relationship web, enhance a team’s ability to consistently deliver high productivity, develop resilience as a unit and to engage with uncertainty and change with agility.
An investment into building the competencies for great workplace relationships brings long term results. And there are many benefits for customers and stakeholders once the organisation’s relationships are healthy!