“If we could just stop having interpersonal issues, we could get the actual work done!”
I’ve heard countless leaders and managers say something along this line. I’ve said it myself. Do you know why this sentiment is flawed? It’s because managing interpersonal relationships is doing the work.
As a leader, spending time to help your people build relationships, collaborate effectively, and feel good about being together isn’t a distraction from the job. It is the job. People who communicate and collaborate easily don’t tend to have problems with following protocols, helping others or holding people accountable. Getting your people into this space is not an annoyance. It’s probably the most important aspect of leadership.
If you’re pulling your hair out because you feel like you’re “wasting time” supporting and facilitating team members working through interpersonal issues, maybe it’s time to take a step back. Veterinary medicine is a deeply human profession. Helping teams feel good about their relationships isn’t a distraction from providing care. It’s possibly the single most important aspect of it.