In a team dynamic it is almost impossible to avoid relational breakdowns. In good times spirits stay high, as flexibility and forgiveness are easy to come by. However under stress we have a tendency to push pressure, blame and frustration towards those who serve alongside us.
My friend Jimmy has a phrase he loves to deliver when processing breakdowns; “Protect the Relationship.” You see Jimmy knows that relationships are the foundation for success on our teams. When relationships fail it becomes impossible to accomplish anything meaningful with your team.
To protect the relationships around you, here are 4 things to do when breakdowns happen:
- Trust Their Intentions – If you look for drama around every corner you are likely to find it, but you are also likely the one creating it. Protect the relationships around you by assuming the best in people and trusting that their intentions are good. (click to tweet) It is easy to vilify someone and assume they are attempting to cause problems, but most of the time the intentions of those around you are good.
- Know the difference between sliding and jumping – Over time each of us can subtly slide out of alignment. It happens behind the scenes and is an easy adjustment to correct. There is a big difference between sliding out of alignment and jumping ship. Jumping ship is when you have intentionally decided you no are no longer content in your current role. Know the difference between sliding and jumping. Treat people like they want to be on the team until they tell you differently
- Solve it With Them – You do not solve relational breakdowns in a hole. If there is an issue relationally, it must be solved relationally. Do not solve the problem for them – but walk with them through the process of addressing the problem.
- Remember Everyone Wants to Win – It is amazing what happens when you consider a person’s end game. Everyone wants to be on a winning team (click to tweet), so solving relational breakdowns is a way of helping individuals and the team get closer to a win. People want to win, and fixing breakdowns is easier when you know that each of us want the same thing.