Get to Know Each Other: It Dramatically Changes the Relationship

Quote of the Week

“Relationships of trust depend on our willingness to look not only to our own interests, but also the interests of others.”

— Peter Farquharson

Get to Know Each Other: It Dramatically Changes the Relationship

by Peter R. Wilkinson

There is great team building power in getting people to know each other outside the work environment. That is because the dynamics of their relationship changes, and therefore, their behavior towards each other changes.

What we know about our co-workers in the workplace is largely related to work. However, when we interact with people in a social setting outside of the workplace, we usually talk about family, interests, and other non-related work topics. Once we have done that, we now know each other as human beings, in addition to co-coworkers. Consequently, our relationship has changed, and we generally react to each other with a lot more concern. Normally, we become more supportive and that new relationship usually generates a more cooperative and productive relationship at work (Wilkinson, 2008, p. 66).

From: Wilkinson, P.R. (2008). Aha: insights for effective leadership and management. Baltimore: Publish America.

Reprinted with permission from the OSU Leadership Center, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, (614) 292-3114,

Coaching Call to Action

A client recently came to me with the objective of building trust and teamwork with his colleagues. One of the underlying actions was to do just as Wilkinson said – increase personal relationships at work by increasing interactions with colleagues through lunch and dinner meetings, informal hallway conversations etc. An interesting offshoot to this action has been self awareness in two areas: the desire to connect with people about non work issues and an increased interest in the listening side of communication.

This week consider who in your organization you’d like to know better. Step out on a limb. Connect with someone where your relationship is less than ideal. See what happens.