I recently was having a conversation with someone and the topic of discussion was successful teams/departments and the relationships among them. While we were discussing the qualities of the leaders that have built these great teams, this person said something which I found puzzling. They said that the person didn't really matter to them, just what they had to say. It quickly put things into perspective about this person, but also confirmed for me the importance of relationships when attempting to build a solid team or connect with anyone for that matter.
So what does it take to build relationships that will leave people truly listening to what you are saying....trust. I believe John Maxwell puts it in very simple terms, "In reality, trust is necessary in ALL good relationships. Good marriages, business relationships, and friendships all require trust. Without it, there can be no open and honest interaction, and the relationship will be only temporary". Have you ever watched a group of people follow someone they don't trust, or work collaboratively together, or sustain a relationship that proves successful over a long period of time? Temporary relationships may yield quick outcomes, but not long term growth.
Relationships exists at every level within a school district and building them is critical for the success of the organization. Everyone must take responsibility for building them, admin-staff, teacher-student, teacher-parent, the list could go on. If we are to build more than a short term relationship between individuals, we must build trust. I was sent a post by Mike Myatt recently, via @LarryLaPrise, that addressed leadership and presence. One takeaway for me was, "Leadership is about trust, stewardship, care, concern, service, humility and understanding. If you build into those you lead, if you make them better, if you add value to their lives then you will have earned their trust and loyalty. This is the type of bond that will span positional and philosophical gaps, survive mistakes, challenges, downturns and other obstacles that will inevitably occur".
Building relationships, it is the foundation in my opinion, that will allow a successful structure to be built. It opens the door for genuine collaboration, interaction between customer and business, school and students, teacher and parents. And just think, when people are listening to each other, they may just matter.