Dr. Randy Ross on Cultivating Healthy Workplace Relationships


05 February 2019

“The healthier the relationships, the healthier the business is going to be because business is powered by relationships.” — Dr. Randy Ross

Seven out of 10 employees are not actively engaged at work. That means most people don’t feel fulfilled in the work they do.


It's up to leaders to cultivate good workplace relationships to improve both the health of a team and the organization. In this episode of The Leadercast Podcast, we talked to Dr. Randy Ross—author of Remarkable! and his new book, Relationomics—about how harnessing the power of relationships enables teams to thrive.

“Those who make the greatest positive wake in the world are not those who are motivated by money,” says Randy in the interview. “People are motivated by this idea of finding something that they can be a part of.” TWEET

People thrive in organizations that have developed, relationally rich environments, yet most organizations spend a tremendous amount of time and energy focused on products or services. “Few organizations do a really good job in creating relationally rich environments,” says Randy.

Below are the four principles of healthy relationships Randy mentions in the episode that leaders can use to build relationally rich environments within their organizations.

1. Intentionality

What's your plan to build healthy relationships? If you don't have an intentional plan, you need to create one. “If we're not intentional about focusing on building healthy relationships, then we fall prey to drift,” says Randy.

A culture is either created by design or by default, he says. A culture by design is defined by intentionality, thoughtful reflection and positive movement. A culture by default is something you wake up one day and realize you don’t like anymore.

“You have to focus on the fundamentals of what's required to build healthy relationships” so that you can avoid a default culture, says Randy.

2. Humility

Are you staying in the fray? The second principle of building healthy relationships is humility.

“You have to feel comfortable in your own skin, no matter how freckled with failure that may be,” says Randy. TWEET

He encourages leaders to embrace and leverage strengths while recognizing and being comfortable with weaknesses. Humility takes transparency. “A lot of people lack self-awareness or the desire to take a proactive step in making themselves better when it comes to their relational world,” says Randy.

Leaders have to seek out self-improvement proactively. In humility, rather than waiting for a crisis to hit, leaders look at themselves honestly and authentically—thereby putting themselves in a position to grow through the input of others.

3. Accountability

Are you able to learn from your critics? All of us have both good and bad relationships. But as a leader, you need to maintain healthy relationships with everyone you lead to create a culture people want to be part of and to keep productivity flowing.

“The difficulties in [poor] relationships may not have anything to do with the other person, but they may have more to do with us,” says Randy. TWEET

A good leader wants to figure out what is causing the relationship harm, and work through it to be able to engage in a healthy manner and move forward.

“For me personally, some of the greatest insights that I have gained have not been from my fans, but from my critics,” he says. TWEET

“If we engage with those who see things in us that maybe are unpleasant or difficult for us to hear, it may open us up to a whole world of insight on how we can personally grow and bring a better self to the table,” he explains. Seeking accountability does this. TWEET

4. Sustainability

Sustainable leadership is about creating value; it’s about strengthening relationships, says Randy.

“Sustainability means that leadership must be about something beyond self-interest that's greater than self-promotion and more noble than self-service,” he says. TWEET

“Healthy relationships drive healthy business because businesses and people flourish in relationally rich environments.”

Internal relationships and external relationships are both important here, but the external ones are dependent on internal relationships being healthy and engaged. “The healthier the relationships, the healthier the business is going to be because business is powered by relationships,” he says. TWEET


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This post is based on an episode of The Leadercast Podcast with Dr. Randy Ross, author of Remarkable! and his new book, Relationomics. To find out more about Randy, visit his website. To hear this episode, and many more like it, subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play or Stitcher.


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