What's Required to Build Healthy Relationships

Edgar Schein from MIT says the key to effective business results is healthy relationships. This is seems obvious on its face, but Schein goes a step further to define that various levels of relationships present in the workplace. I've summarized them in the table below.

If we want a level two relationship at work, there's three characteristics we need to foster as leaders:

Humble Curiosity

This is a firm commitment to actually helping your team, bringing a great deal of honest curiosity, a caring attitude, and a willingness to find out what is really on the team member’s mind. This is the foundation, without a humble curiosity into the lives of others, there's little learning and no trust.


Trustworthy character

Trust is formed when someone else can reliably predict your behavior in a given circumstance. State your objective on how you intend to behave and give your team permission to flag you on behavior inconsistent with your intentions.


Be the first to move

Especially in high power/status differential positions, be the first to disclose something revealing or vulnerable. This will help create connection and trust.


How do you build healthy relationships at work? What's working against you?


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