Having friendships with your co-workers and followers is necessary when it comes to enjoying your work, living a significant life, and influencing others. Being the best leader and friend to your people can impact whether they keep following you or not. In fact one of the main reasons people leave their job is because of a manager or leader. Gallup conducted a poll of more than 1 million people and they found, “People leave managers not companies…in the end, turnover is mostly a manager issue”(click here to Tweet that) or leadership issue.
The key is for people in authority to develop and maintain genuine friendships with others. Since this is an important aspect of leading effectively then what are some characteristics of a friend? In the book Social Psychology the authors say,
- Friends participate as equals.
- Friends enjoy each other’s company.
- Friends trust one another to act in their best interests.
- Friends help each other in times of need.
- Friends act themselves around one another and do not “wear masks.”
- Friends share similar interests and values.
These are some foundational aspects of friendships. To cultivate friendships with others I suggest:
Building Trust- Trust is at the foundation to every good friendship. A leader should be the first one to give trust to someone else. Trust starts small and over time it increases until both people fully trust each other. Once the trust is built it’s essential to protect it at all cost.
Listen- When having a conversation with someone it should have a balance between you talking and listening. If one person does the majority of the talking most of the time then the relationship will not fully develop. This requires not stealing the conversation by overly talking.
Finding what drives them- Take time to discover and focus on the other person’s interests, passions, and likes. This shows the person you care and are interested in them. When you find what touches a person’s heart you will find what drives them.
Look at the person’s future- A true friend focuses on the potential and future of a person. They encourage and inspire the person to move forward and reach for their dreams. This means they focus on the person’s future and not their flaws or weaknesses. Remember, when we speak highly of our friends then they often rise to what we have said.
Respecting the person- It is important to respect others beliefs and values even if they do not match your own. This does not mean we must adapt to them but we should be respectful of what they believe and value.
Show gratitude- Having a grateful and thankful attitude about life and your relationships can help you have and maintain strong friendships. Make sure you speak and behave in a positive way and regularly show your gratitude to the people in your life.
Implement these things into your relationships so you can cultivate friendships with others.
Question: How do you build and maintain friendships with the people you lead and work with?