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  • Gaëtane Lenain

9 keys to building a working relationship

Updated: Feb 10, 2023

At this time of year, during the yearly evaluations or just after, the sensitivities in our working relationships can be even more exacerbated!

My clients are grappling with issues of lack of trust with their colleagues (their peers in the C-suite, one or more members of their team, etc.), a conflictual relationship or a new positioning, consequence of a promotion.

I then share with them a document compiling the best practices for framing a working relationship and establishing a truly fruitful alliance that benefits all parties. This document can be used to prepare for onboarding interviews, annual appraisals, continuous feedback and even to press the RESET button on a relationship that has deteriorated over the years.

As a summary of that document, here are 9 keys to building a successful alliance:

  1. Know each other on a personal level too. Trust is essential in a professional relationship;

  2. Create and cultivate trust through authenticity, exchange of personal information while respecting individual limits, which differ from person to person;

  3. Establish the professional framework by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities of each person;

  4. State the expectations you have of each other;

  5. Talk about how your respective roles complement and reinforce each other;

  6. Dare to talk about strengths and areas for improvement;

  7. Give each other explicit permission to respectfully notice a "slip";

  8. Improve an existing relationship by clarifying for yourself your intention and defining what you are willing to address (possibly from the above points);

  9. Repeat this exchange regularly with the following questions in mind:

How is your relationship developing?

What does it bring to you and your team?

How are your respective needs changing?

Discover how to prepare and set up a conversation to create a work alliance in our free booklet.


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