A few ideas on team and relationship building

In this post you’ll find a few ideas on team and relationship building you can use today to improve your life and business.

In a time in which the social media is a dominant force, we falsely assume that we can build and maintain our relationships just as easy as in the past, until we find that we really can’t.


A few ideas on team and relationship building

Anything people related just like our own minds and selves can be a mystery worth thousands and thousands of books on what to do to cultivate new relationships, and keep them alive forever. The thing about relationships is that they don’t take a lot of effort and thinking as we think. Most of it is about applying old and time tested ideas, that most of us tend to overlook just because they are old. Sometimes the problems we face already have  solutions, and this is one of them.


Autonomy is amongst the most powerful motivators us humans possess. We mostly hear about the need to avoid pain and pursue pleasure  as the only things that motivate us to do anything, that this motivator is often forgotten.

The problem with autonomy is that it tends to be one of those things that we all want for ourselves, but that can be difficult for us to allow others to have. Some of us find it more difficult than others to relinquish the power of autonomy to others in a team or in a relationship, and this if left unattended is often the cause of serious relationship problems.

If you find it hard to let people figure things out for themselves with no micromanagement from your part, the first step towards the light is to reflect on how the lack of freedom to do things your way affects you and build from there.


Another important thing is trust. We live in a world in which giving one’s word has lost its meaning, and expecting the best from others is more and more difficult. The problem with mistrusting people is that it often raises the same feelings in others. We start mistrusting the motives of others because we want to protect ourselves, and the people around us wonder why we are so protective and what we might be hiding.

The reverse attitude often triggers the reverse reaction. When we are open and trusting people feel more compelled to do the same, so much so that openly showing signs of mistrust to a completely open person reflects negatively on us.

So, in a team, this is as simple as assigning tasks and expect each member to complete them in time, and with the best of their abilities. In a relationship of any kind it means believing that the people we relate ourselves with are inherently good, and that even when they do bad things, there is always a reason for it.


The thing about the trust issue is that it must be balanced. Often people who are naturally trusting blindly fall for schemes and plots because they over press the trust button. Most of us tend to go the other way, and instead of balancing our mistrusting tendencies we fall for the temptation of overdoing it, with the excuse that everyone is out to get us and likely to have some sort of dark agenda.


The next idea is accountability. The idea we tend to form of relationships is one in which we don’t ever get in conflicts with our peers and loved ones. This is in part the reason why some break relationships as quickly as they start them, leaving behind a trail of enemies and resentment. Conflicts will always occur as long as human beings are involved, and trying to avoid them at all costs might do more harm than good.

So, on our attempts to avoid conflict we find ourselves failing to keep the people around us accountable to what they’re supposed to do, making our personal lives miserable if they are our loved ones, or slowing down a project if they are team members.

The idea here is to be ok to keep others accountable no matter how hard, and even, in some cases be fine with the possibility that doing so might cost our relationship with them. This is why it’s important to have a clear idea of how much our goals matter next to our relationships, and when holding a relationship becomes too costly, to be fine with leaving it behind.

Luckily, most people react pretty well when held accountable to their duties and have no problem fixing their behaviour. These are the people you want in your life and network, and as for the rest, the cost of maintaining a relationship with them eventually becomes too high to bear.


Apply the golden rule

As you’re probably aware of, the golden rule states that one should never do onto others what one wouldn’t like to have it done onto itself. This is one of those old and timeless life principles which although powerful, most of us still undervalue. In a time in which people are more and more self-absorbed, any display of selflessness towards others is well appreciated. The golden rule is mostly thought of in a forward manner, but if you think about it backwards, the advice is just as if not even more powerful. If you do onto others the things you’d like to have done onto you, you trigger in others the now famous reciprocity bias. You do a favour today, and the person feels the need to do something for you no matter how small your favour was.

Cultivate the old

The thing about our times is that we tend to value now more than ever novelty. The old, no matter how powerful is put down and often chosen over the new. When it comes to team building and relationships, although it’s a good thing to know new people, and build new relationships, the old tends to be more like wine. As time goes, bonds get stronger, and the thing we call loyalty strengthens along with it. Just as we seek new relationships, we are also quick to “give” our loyalty to the new. The truth is that true loyalty as you’re probably aware of doesn’t emerge in a span of hours or days, and anyone who’s quick to swear its loyalty to you should be the target of suspicion, since either they lack self-esteem, or their sole goal is to flatter you, which are more often than not red flags.

So cultivating the old is one of those underrated things all of us would benefit immensely if we did, and if you think about it, it all makes sense. If you were to make research about a new friend, lover, potential business partner or employee, what kind of impression do they make on you when you find that they have left behind a trail of ruined friendships, broken love relationships, regretful business partners, or a trail of hard to explain volume of “past” jobs? More often than not, the feeling that comes from getting that kind of news is not good, and chances are that neither it is for the ones who do the same kind of background search on you and get back the same results. The kind of good first impressions we so desperately try to make to the new, starts by making sure we keep, and do right by the old.

Increase your value

As time goes by and we become more and more liberal in this age of accepting people for who they are, the prevailing attitude any one tends to assume is that in which one is/ feels entitled to admiration even if one doesn’t deserve it. As much as it would be amazing if we lived in a world in which in order to keep and attract great relationships we didn’t have to be valuable to others, the reality we live in is far from that . The first time you realise that, the first instinct is to wish the world were different, but if you think deeply about it, things are fine the way they are. The reason for this is that in a world in which we don’t have to contribute to the life of our peers in order to keep our relationships with them, there is no growth. This point becomes even easier to realize when we change the subject from our peers to ourselves. I’m sure you’ve had at least once a hard time deciding whether to keep a friend/peer or not when you became aware of how little they added to your life. Notice that by value here we don’t just mean material goods, but also the ability to uplift others when they’re down, and giving any kind of advice with only the purest of the intentions. Whenever we have a person who adds little to our lives, and at worst are only the kind of people who take from us, our first instinct is to get away from them, which we often do, unless the person has some sort of psychological grip on our emotions, and that’s what’s often at the root of the long lasting unhappy relationships we are all familiar with.


It is all about knowledge and experience 😉

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