In a professional relationship and at work, rapport and good understanding between people in a team are fundamental and essential. Lack of it often ends up as juicy water-cooler conversation. The sports arena is one place that has several examples of the relationship between players and coach going sour. A recent case in point is the one of Welsh footballer Gareth Bale and his coach at Real Madrid, Zinedine Zidane. While both have said their relationship was respectful, the two often looked distant and distrusting of each other. Closer home, India’s badminton coach Pullela Gopichand and one of his best protege Saina Nehwal split for a few years and came together again.
Such things happen at workplace too. There are instances of people having to work with someone they don’t like or someone they can’t relate to. For the sake of work, they try to maintain a professional relationship. And in such cases, there is a complete lack of understanding, empathy and trust.
Some of the best talents and well-known people can’t seem to team up together at work or professionally. Their behaviour with each other often seems predictably unpredictable. There is an undercurrent of tension and lack of trust. What goes missing in such relationships, more often than not, is open communication. It is one of the key pillars for building good rapport and understanding.
My friend working in a company for 18 years decided to quit last year. She attributed her decision to lack of good working rapport with her boss. I pointed out to her that not all professional relationships need to be great. But, I never had even a workable relationship despite working with this person for five years, she said. “We were never on the best terms, never had a genuine conversation, and we don’t seem to have anything in common. Fundamentally the trust factor is missing.”
This also comes to the fore in consultancy and client relationships. Open communication helps in conflict resolution. A simple solution some find it difficult to adopt. They find it as a challenge to communicate honestly and constructively. Currently, when everyone is dealing with their own challenges both professionally and personally, constructive communication works wonders to both resolve the situation and boost the morale between people and teams.
It is important to acknowledge and celebrate each other’s efforts. Witch-hunting techniques don’t help to create the positive intent necessary for building trust. Often things go horribly wrong when teams or members of a team resort to tactics to establish themselves as first among equal.
Ego vs Rapport
Kill the ego powerplay. Real rapport with people at work cannot be built with ego. Trust is the antidote that helps kill the ego. Today, transparency, trust, and open communication are more crucial than ever before. It is the bedrock for rapport building. Kill that ego to build that rapport. Things won’t seem that bad then.
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