Individuals often take relationships for granted. Simply working as part of a team in an organizational setting is no guarantee that business relationships are working or that they even exist. Conscious thought and effort is required in today’s society to ensure that workplace relationships work.

So what does it take to build, maintain and enhance relationships? Among the many factors at play, the three most prevalent for consideration are:

1. Commonality
2. Connection
3. Context

We are most comfortable with people when we share something in common. In organizational settings where achieving business outcomes are crucial, people need to ensure that the one thing they have in common is purpose. If teams do not have the same purpose, members are less likely to relate to each other or well work together, and the possibility of any relationship is diminished.

When individuals share a common purpose in relation to their work, they establish connections, which is very different than establishing contact. Contact is not enough. We make contact with many people everyday, but in making connections, we enhance our relationships, and work is accomplished through relationship.

Context brings meaningfulness to relationships. Relationships do not simply exist for the sake of existing. Relationships exist for a reason, and that reason in organizations is to ensure works gets done. Therefore, the elements of commonality, connection and context enhance and promote relationships, which ultimately result in better business outcomes.