Positive Relationships

Positive relationships at work have an impact on well-being, engagement and finances but where relationships have broken down, maybe through inappropriate behaviour, bullying and harassment at an extreme end, through to passive dislike and avoidance at the other, the effects can be harmful.

Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

William James

About managing relationships at work

Positive, constructive relationships at work have an impact on well-being, engagement, morale, effectiveness, productivity and finances [1].  Where relationships have broken down, maybe through inappropriate behaviour, bullying and harassment at an extreme end, through to passive dislike and avoidance at the other, the effects can be harmful [2].  Failing to address broken relationships at an early stage, means people become entrenched in their positions and find it hard to take the steps themselves to mend them.

Whilst employers have a responsibility for prevention, and management in cases of bullying and harassment, under the Equality Act 2010, all employees have a responsibility to forge and foster positive, respectful relationships in the workplace.  Wise employers will ensure that there are practical, easy to follow mechanisms in place to address low levels of inappropriate behaviour, so that they do not escalate and have to be managed more formally.

What we do

We help organisations to develop the skills and capabilities in managing relationships in a positive and affirming way by: 

  • Training managers in how to have open, courageous  conversations in a way that reduces the risk of negative outcomes and focuses on positive, working relationships.
  • Providing training, development and coaching in Diversity and Inclusion to senior managers and teams.
  • Supporting the management of the recovery of negative relationships if they do arise by providing trusted, independent external mediation and investigation.

I first met Kris when I was a Director at Ofwat. I was privileged to be involved (as an employee) in her work with Ofwat on transforming the culture there, which also included individual development work. Kris is highly skilled and has incredible emotional intelligence. In an organisation of around 100 to 150 staff, Kris got to know everyone by name, which really helped buy-in with her work. When I then took on my first Managing Director role of a not-for-profit organisation, I found Kris personally very supportive as I grappled with a number of challenging organisational issues. Kris also ran a team session for me and some mediation between team members, which helped us to function and was essential to survival of the organisation at that time. Kris is so intuitive and skilled that she made a prediction at the time which did come true! I would highly recommend Kris as a skilled, effective and generous facilitator in team and individual development.

Nicci Russell
Managing Director / Waterwise

I have worked with Kris now for over 6 years at both OFWAT and now at IOSH and cannot recommend Kris highly enough. She is a highly skilled and sensitive coach; an excellent facilitator of teams and a very experience OD/leadership consultant. Kris very skilfully and subtly gets to the heart of an issue for an individual/team and helps, through sensitive, emotionally intelligent facilitation to unlock thinking, she firmly, but gently and constructively challenges and will not shy away from any difficulties which emerge. She has facilitated my senior leadership team development sessions and my team think she is amazing. We really valued the insights and perspectives she brings and the safe environment she creates. I can testify to the improvement in team performance and relationships as a result of the work we have done together. She is a generous consultant, who keeps in touch with the team regularly, between sessions, providing an objective sounding board and a safe space which I know people find really valuable. In short, I thoroughly endorse Kris for senior team development and individual coaching and look forward to continuing to work with her.

Bev Messinger
[1] E. Seppala, and K. Cameron, “Proof that Positive work cultures are more productive“. HBR. Dec 1st 2015.
[2] R. M. Rosales, “Energizing Social Interactions at Work: An Exploration of Relationships That Generate Employee and Organizational Thriving“, Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects. 86.