Interpersonal Relationship at Workplace 0

A healthy interpersonal dynamics is important for maintaining a positive ambience at the workplace. Good leadership and effective communication can play a pivotal role in building the ecosystem of strong interpersonal relationships and a conflict-free workplace.

When Cristiano Ronaldo and Zinedine Zidane started contributing for Real Madrid – initially the relationship did not go well. Both came with a huge name and fame, with their respective personalities, and it was not a natural synchronization. In 2016 they clashed when Zidane, the coach, substituted the Real Madrid superstar during a La Liga encounter with Las Palmas after 72 minutes, an incident that visibly annoyed Ronaldo. It made things worse when the Portuguese watched his side conceded a late equalizer, and he later apparently clashed with the coach in the dressing room. Though the experts commented that the relation between the coach and the player received a dent, but with time they proved the critics wrong.

They came close to each other, worked clearly on their interpersonal relationship and the club saw fantastic results on the ground. Both the individuals were of great calibre & their camaraderie transmitted a positive vibe in the whole squad which created a winning spree.

When the Indian cricket team was playing Champions trophy in 2017, everything was not going very well between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble in the dressing room. We reached the finals but had to face a big defeat by Pakistan. Critics did not stop raising questions if due to the sore relation between the coach and the captain, ultimately India had to suffer? It was certainly not the only reason for India’s failure in the finals but we know a team’s morale & team-spirit depends big time on the interpersonal relationship between the members. Our corporate life and the success of an organization is not much different than that.

“Employees working together ought to share a special bond for them to deliver their level best. It is essential for individuals to be honest with each other for a healthy interpersonal dynamics and eventually positive ambience at the workplace.”

Talking about some of the other examples from cricket, there have been extremely successful associations between a player- a captain especially, and the coach which created continuous sustained success for the team & those squads delivered powerfully when came the time of showcasing performance. Mickey Arthur and Graeme Smith (South Africa), Andy Flower and Andrew Strauss (England), Sourav Arun Ray Chaudhury Employees working together ought to share a special bond for them to deliver their level best. It is essential for individuals to be honest with each other for healthy interpersonal dynamics and eventually positive ambience at the workplace. The majority of what looks like an interpersonal conflict is actually communication breakdown. Communication, if not attended to with care, is as likely to fail as to succeed. And when it does, a listener’s incorrect inferences about a speaker’s intent often create interpersonal conflict. Ganguly and John Wright (India), John Buchanan and Ricky Ponting (Australia) & probably the most successful interpersonal relationship comes in mind of Gary Kirsten and MS Dhoni (India) – all these have only established where a team’s performance can reach, especially when the interpersonal relationship among the key personalities are good. On the other hand – we have seen how the whole team India did not perform when Saurabh Ganguly and Greg Chappell did not gel with each other.

Interpersonal Relationship in today’s workplace is also equally significant and important. In an organization where starting from the leadership level to the nth level of the institution – there is a top-down demonstration of ‘one team’ approach, results are bound to come. Failures and tough times can always be part of the journey but if the whole team can work towards one goal and one objective, ensuring the interpersonal relationship and the understanding between key stakeholders are good, then it is a completely different story altogether. Progressive & modern organizations focus on work culture & values.

“The majority of what looks like an interpersonal conflict is actually communication breakdown. Communication, if not attended to with care, is as likely to fail as to succeed. And when it does, a listener’s incorrect inferences about a speaker’s intent often create interpersonal conflict.”

Important parameters like professionalism, performance excellence, and operational brilliance are of great significance in those companies. Management demonstrates respect, empathy & support for the people which results in strong perseverance, motivation & engagement from people. It only creates an ecosystem of high integrity, honesty & loyalty in the mind of all internal stakeholders as well as to the external customers.

Interpersonal relationship refers to a strong association among individuals working together in the same organization. Employees working together ought to share a special bond for them to deliver their level best. It is essential for individuals to be honest with each other for healthy interpersonal dynamics and eventually positive ambience at the workplace. In an organization – On one hand, there are negative impacts of non-existing professional friendship because it would create a situation of single brain decisions, invite monotony & also lack of collaboration will bring the performance down.

On the other hand – if there is a friendly atmosphere that would create direct impacts on organizational culture. One needs friends at work because one requires people & support around. It is always a positive environment for an organization where Individuals care for each other & people seek support from coworkers to accomplish goals.

What are the popular conflicts today’s organizations do face, or rather they have been there for donkey’s years – Organizations o!en face interpersonal conflicts due to different personalities where one person simply does not like the other. There are situations where a person, because of low self-esteem, insecurity, or other factors in his or her personal life, sometimes feel attacked by perceived criticism or other interpersonal directness, that also creates conflicts.

Many a time a conflict results from the varying ways different people view the world. These incongruent views are traceable to differences in upbringing, culture, race, experience, education, occupation, socio-economic class, and other environmental factors. Differences over facts are also good interpersonal conflict creators. A fact is a piece of data that can be quantified or an event that can be documented. Arguments over facts typically need not last very long since they are verifiable. But a statement like, “It is a fact that you are insensitive to my feelings,” is neither document-able nor quantifiable, and so is actually a difference in perception. O!en it is observed that within the organizations – Individuals or departments or functions get into conflicts with conflicting goals and priorities. And then there are differences over methods too. Two sides may have similar goals but disagree on how to achieve them. Conflicts arise from competition for scarce resources. Two managers might argue over who has the greater need for a shared resource.

Conflicts happen over limited inventories. Competition for supremacy can create conflicts too. This occurs when one person seeks to outdo or outshine another person. We might see it when two employees compete for a promotion or for comparative power in our organization – depending on personalities, this type of conflict can be very subtle sometimes. The majority of what looks like an interpersonal conflict is actually communication breakdown. Communication, if not attended to with care, is as likely to fail as to succeed. And when it does, a listener’s incorrect inferences about a speaker’s intent o!en create interpersonal conflict. This is nothing but called ‘misunderstanding’. Unfulfilled expectations are the ultimate causes of conflicts, differences, unprofessional arguments, firings, and other forms of relational breakdown within workplaces. The major reason that expectations go unfulfilled is that they are – unreasonable, inappropriate, too numerous, unstated etc. During performance assessments between a manager and a team member, we see such conflicts.

Alright, enough of conflicts..! Probably towards the end of this write-up, we may try to know what all we can do at the workplace which can help us to create a winning organization by being able to create a very positive interpersonal dynamics? They say, “Your attitude determines your directions”. And it is so true. How much does it take to define a good relationship and then follow certain basic steps? Simple thoughtful demonstration of trust & authenticity, mutual respect, mindfulness, welcoming diversity and open & honest Communication can help anyone to manage it with ease. To create a ‘Team India’ in our workplace, which can bring the similar glory of 2011 world cup win – we just need to build a few things within ourselves – We need to develop your people skills, identify our relationship needs, schedule a little time to build relationships. Focusing on one’s own emotional intelligence is very important. We can try to appreciate others, be Positive in our communication and see what results it gives. Avoiding gossip is a good task and it helps truly. Team play takes quite a few strong steps when we listen actively and when we trust others.

If a relationship, somehow has gone a little off track – that also can be brought back! In an organization, in our day to day dealings, not always we come across people who are just like us, rather it is the opposite. And sometimes we get into some of those situations where we experience a difficult relationship. In such situations, we should give an effort and try to know the person better. We consciously should attempt to do so. And then engage with him/her in a genuine discussion. It creates magic when you ask such a person to share his or her success. Also, it can be a wise idea to try to find what is common.

Today’s leadership, in organizations, also needs to play a very strong role in building the ecosystem of strong bonding and interpersonal relationships. Leadership is not a position. It is not seniority. Rather it is a choice. It is a decision.  

Therefore it has to take quite a few conscious steps to ensure that the organization is experiencing a good & positive interpersonal relationship among the stakeholders. The impact of employee bonding in the workplace can create a fanciful outcome. The cost of not having employees who value interpersonal relationships would be actually high. Leaders must ensure that everyone in the organization follows certain basic possessions. Inspiring and motivating others would be the first one. Displaying high integrity and not compromising with it at any level. Try solving other problems, communicating powerfully and prolifically is also so very important. Many teams or organizational leaders promote and celebrate teamwork in multiple ways. End of the day – they focus on building relationships. In today’s business world, the importance of the interpersonal relationship is imperative. In the process – treating people the way they are is vital. We need to always remember – We are absolutely unique…Just like..everyone else!

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Director and Head of Human Resources Generalist Hub at Ericsson India Global Services Pvt. Ltd.

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