What Workplace Relationship Goals Have You Made?

You’ve made your New Year resolutions. You’ve set some goals and created your personal/professional action plan. What’s missing? I often find that goals and objectives are only about completing tasks. A leader’s relationships need to be attended to as well, and it is rare that these are part of their goals.

People want to follow a leader that they respect and trust. It is satisfying for followers to get “things” done. But they depend on you to communicate and steer them in the right direction. And you can’t do this without exceptional communication and great relationships.

Intuitively, we know that relationships are key to leadership. When our workplace relationships are healthy, our organizations flourish, work becomes “flow” and creativity abounds!

Although research into the effect of workplace relationships on the bottom line is scant, I think we’ll see more of it. My prediction is that as more research is done, we’ll see that strong, healthy relationships are a key element in sustainable leadership and sustainable organizations.

Don’t wait until the research is out. Consider including some workplace relationship goals as part of your 2010 goals. Some ideas to get you started:

  • What workplace relationships do you need to consider? Consider your manager, your peers, your employees, your clients and customers. If you are leading a public organization, consider the taxpaying public. 
  • Which of these relationships need to be nourished? Like our children and our gardens, our relationships at work need tending. Which relationships do you need to pay more attention to? What will you stop doing, delegate, or re-prioritize in order to make the tending of relationships a priority? 
  • What will strong, healthy workplace relationships look like to you? Spend some valuable time reflecting on what great workplace relationships will look like for you. What will you be doing differently when those relationships are fully nourished? What will your manager, peers, employees and organization be doing differently? What bottom-line benefits will be realized? 
  • What specific goals do you want to set for specific relationships? Consider individuals, teams, networks you belong to. What would you like to change about how you relate to these? How will you make the personal changes needed? For each – what is a first step you can take? What is the next step? How will you stay accountable to the changes? What will prevent you from reaching your goals? 

What has worked for you in strengthening your workplace relationships?

As a leader you are the role model. Set some goals for your relationships at work that will assure they are healthy and strong, and watch others follow your lead to help create a great place to work.


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Mary Jo Asmus is the founder and President of Aspire Collaborative Services LLC, an executive coach, writer, internationally recognized thought leader, and a consultant who partners with organizations of all kinds to develop and administer coaching programs. She has “walked in your shoes” as a former leader in a Fortune company.

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