Understanding the dynamics of an intrapersonal relationships within a company is not a simple task. Even if you do bring together people who are supposed to work well together (on paper) in reality this doesn’t have to be the case. On the other hand, your company itself needs to have a solid intrapersonal policy. No one expects you to influence what people within your company think of each-other, but you should at least enforce some basic rules of interaction, based on the cultural norms of the region in which your company operates. With this in mind, here are some tips and pointers you might find useful.
In the introduction, we briefly mentioned a term cultural norms. Now, this might get a bit more complicated seeing how in a present-day office you are supposed to highly encourage the diversity in your hiring policy. You see, around the globe there are some great cultural discrepancies when it comes to some basic human interactions. For example, in the Western cultures, when people from the same workplace are organizing a social event, the invitation extends to their significant other, as well. On the other hand, in China the invitation only goes for the person in question.
As for the global business etiquette, things sometimes tend to get even more complicated. For example, in Brazil during a business lunch, you are not supposed to eat without utensils (even things like sandwiches or pizza). In New Zeeland, punctuality is of the utmost importance, while in the United Kingdom, men should not wear shirts with pockets (and if they do they should remain empty). While these may seem as no big deal, you can imagine how all of this would make things more complicated if you decided to start an international office, and personally oversee the work of your offshore outpost.
One of the most important things behind a proper intrapersonal relationship in an office is the way in which the internal communication works. You see, while the accessibility of verbal communication is one of the advantages of having people work together (as opposed to telecommuting), it is not exactly practical in a real life situation. What if you need to tell something to a person on the opposite end of the office? Do you yell? Do you walk over to them, commuting every five minutes between the desks of people trying to work?
Actually, you need to find a system of communication that will allow simple and non-disturbing method of both employer-to-employees and inter-peer communication within your office. One of the way to do so is through agendas, updates and of course IM tools for real-time communication. While these methods may seem a bit impersonal to some of your staff members, they will be a blessing in disguise for the more introvert members of your team, which usually tend to be overlooked.
Also important are your presentation skills, and the ability to transfer you ideas and knowledge on to the employees. In this case the best thing to do is learn how to do a good presentation, luckily there are a lot of great courses out there, that will help you be more effective as a presenter.
Aside from the abovementioned cultural and practical issues, there are some company policies that can harm intrapersonal relationship within your company. For example, the 1960s marketing golden rule that the customer is always right can easily turn the company’s staff against management. The practice of proclaiming the employee of the month can be as dangerous since it puts a single staff member on a pedestal and therefore serves as a platform for talks about office favoritism, envy and jealousy. Needless to say, both of these practices are something that has no place in the office of the 21st century.
Sure, it would be ideal if people working together could somehow become lifelong friends, seeing how this would probably boost their collaboration as well, but this is something you as a manager can’t have a leverage over. All you should do is establish a fertile ground for successful cooperation and collaboration between different members of your staff and then just hope things turn out for the best. In the right environment, chances of this are quite high indeed.