Having respectful relationships is part of what’s needed to enable teams to create and experience ‘flow’ together. Flow is the optimum state of intrinsic motivation, in which people experience peak performance and greater wellbeing.
Without respectful relationships, it’s far more challenging to create team cohesion. And it can damage productivity, as people are not able to have challenging, open and honest conversations in the workplace about performance.
We know that respect is central to positive organisational performance. According to a 2004 Gallup study, respect is the number one driver for workplace engagement. Conversely, separate research finds that people who feel they are being treated disrespectfully at work can often intentionally decrease their effort and the quality of their work.
Respectful relationships within teams also serve to increase trust – and trust is critical for teams to flow together. If people really know each other on a deeper level, it means they are better able to sidestep any false assumptions and judgements and get on with the task at hand. Trust means people feel empowered and supported, are more likely to seek and receive feedback and to openly share ideas without fear.