Why forming strong authentic relationships at work reduces tension and increases productivity and team performance

Sep 12, 2022

I’m often asked by up-and-coming leaders and new people managers…can I lead with a people-first mentality without sacrificing productivity?

YES you can!!!!


Research by Gallup shows that strong work relationships:


  • increase engagement, productivity, creativity, and  higher-quality work (which all help drive business performance) 



  • Helps enable a higher state of well being, longer life and create more joy (which all positively impact someones’ life). 



Specifically, the data shows that forming stronger relationships, particularly friendships at work, are proven for employees to be:

  • more connected with their coworkers, knowing what is expected of them and trusting their integrity and ethics
  • more likely to take risks that could lead to innovation
  • more likely to have a positive experience during the day, such as enjoying what they do, making more progress and getting recognized for successes
  • less likely to report having a negative experience during the day such as worry, stress and feeling tired
  • less likely to be actively looking or watching for job opportunities


And the opposite is true too.  When we don’t focus on building the relationship first, often, and consistently, we come up against roadblocks, tension, frustration, and lack of trust.  Our conversations are not as open and transparent, emotions get high in meetings and we often voice our frustrations to others but not actually address business challenges collectively in a positive way that will move things forward.  

This is also true in our personal lives.  I can distinctly recall countless times of tension in relationships based on how I used to show up, before I actively made an effort to be more curious and become a better listener.  I would just talk to someone, trying to push my opinions and perspectives forward, without actually listening and seeking to understand the other person, which is so critical to build trust and safety.  I spent years improving these skills, and noticed the dramatic difference in the energy I received from people and thus, how much faster they were more calm, candid and supportive in relationships. 

The solution?....to focus on how you show up in your conversations and spend time building authentic relationships with real conversations.

So often we think we are checking the box and spending time “connecting with someone” but we honestly are not maximizing that interaction.  

For example, being in the same room as someone while you are checking your phone is not really connecting…doing an office fly by and only asking for an update on the latest deadline is not really connecting.  


Today, I challenge you to authentically connect.  


Instead of racing to “get things done” take a moment to check in with the person you are speaking with…

Ask them how they are feeling..or an update on something important you know was going on in their life or their family…focus on the person first. 

Taking 5 min of your day to do this, will build camaraderie, compassion and trust, and the mood will also elevate, making whatever business conversation you then have more enjoyable and productive!


Connection Experiences

I am passionate about helping more leaders cultivate deeply connected cultures that create happy, high performing and engaged teams.  If you are looking for ways to do this in your organization that quickly cultivates authentic relationships to help increase your productivity, engagement and retention, I invite you to check out the Connection Hour® Experience and book a call for us to explore ways I can support and make it easy for you to enable this! 


What People Are Saying…

Dirk Profpe, CEO of ET Group, shares the story of the journey he went on with the leadership team in the Connection Hour® experience to enhance their connectivity and how it helped them cultivate more cohesive relationships, have more open & candid conversations to build stronger foundations of a high performing team. 

Connected Conversation Sparker

๐—ช๐—ต๐˜† ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€: helps quickly get below the surface at the emotions someone is feeling which creates faster emotional connection. 

So often when we first greet someone or say hello in a conversation we ask “how are you?” It is so easy for someone to answer quickly and we often hear a response like “fine.” And more often than not, we don’t even wait for someone’s response and we keep talking. So it’s like a pass-over question. But if we pause and ask it differently, and instead ask “how are you feeling today?” we will get more richness from the answer.

We also can quickly shift the dialogue, and if someone asks us how we are, we can answer with more depth and how we’re feeling. 

For example, I did this on a phone call recently with someone new I was chatting with and when I was asked, “how are you?” I responded “I’m feeling peaceful, healthy and inspired today!” It then opened up the conversation for him to get curious and so I then shared why I was feeling that way, and he immediately got to know things about me that he became really interested in and that we found common ground on. 

In just 3 minutes, we sparked a meaningful connection. 


Today, I invite you to make a small shift in your dialog…

Instead of asking someone…

“How are you?” and not really listening to the answer, 



“How are you feeling today?

Pause, and really wait for them to answer. It may be a positive or a more challenging emotion.  Then get curious about why they are feeling that way.

This is great for any conversation and also for check-ins in 1:1 business meetings or group virtual calls. 


What did you notice in doing this? 

Complimentary gift: To help you accelerate and strengthen your relationships click here to download a free toolkit on the 3 Simple Ways to Connect Better, including some of her favorite conversation starter questions!

Download Toolkit

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