Is there a “loaded relationship” in your team? Take the good manager quiz.

Most of us have one or two relationships in our lives that are a source of tension. Maybe it’s a long-standing grudge against a sibling; dispute with a neighbour; argument with a spouse or just simmering hostility between you and a work colleague; perhaps even your boss.

Loaded relationship problems at home spill over into your work life in the same way that workplace tensions among co-workers are carried home from the office causing stress and anxiety in the home. No matter what relationships in your life are problematic, you would be more stress-free and more productive if they were fixed.

Is it you?

If your team at work isn’t gelling it’s time to ask difficult questions, especially if you are responsible for hiring the squad in the first place; so what can you do about it? First of all, consider the plank in your own eye before trying to remove the splinter in someone else’s.

As a clinical hypnotherapist and business coach, I recognise that almost every person who walks through my office door suffering from depression, anxiety, relationship or work problems, low self-esteem or addiction has a history of some type of adversity in their childhood.

Childhood patterns

Children take things personally, so what they experience informs their identity. Recognising how these issues negatively affect our adult relationships at home and in our “work family” enables a person to see more clearly what is holding them back.

A demanding parent for example, may have given you the feeling you had to achieve a certain standard and woe betide you if you didn’t achieve perfection. As an adult, this could easily give you as a manager, unrealistic expectations about staff who don’t have the same dedication to flawless documentation or staying late at the office every night.

Another example would be that of an only-child who learned to develop as a sole operator with no help from siblings. In their adulthood they never feel a need for input from others or are reluctant as a manager to let anyone else “have a go” with poor delegation skills resulting.

On the other hand, confident adults with good self-worth and constructive coping strategies almost certainly came from families who praised them sufficiently, but not too much; who were encouraged to try things without being forced; and who learned to see others’ points of view and contributions as valuable, not competition. Good parents teach children that the odd failure, rather than being a disaster is a positive step on the road of learning and that every setback is simply a signpost that improvement is needed.

Bosses are a bit like parents

It’s the same at work. The relationship you share with your colleagues makes up the day-to-day support system that will help you and your business thrive. As a boss or manager, when you show you value your team they feel good about themselves and will strive to do their best work, but neglect them or be hypercritical, and they feel anxious and demotivated and will start to look elsewhere for approbation.

Good bosses, like parents will find out what motivates people as individuals and will delegate team tasks according to the strengths of each individual, actively finding everyone in the team a special niche that incentivises and satisfies, contributing to a well-oiled team machine equipping everyone with the tools they need to repair relationships, overcome conflict and be more resilient.

Healing team tensions and creating positive relationships at work

Great leadership skills are learnt and managing conflict and mediation are essential requirements for good leadership and management in the workplace. A good boss is sensitive toward issues between colleagues affecting the relationships in the team, and uses language that conveys care and cohesion, addressing disagreements and disputes to transform individuals, team performance, service standards, reputation and profit.

Carol Barwick Learning and Development (CBLD) has dynamic, inspirational leadership and management training courses, solving tactical and strategic problems. Courses are designed to transform your teams to help your company gain a competitive advantage.

The question is, are you a great manager with the leadership skills that are expected of you? Take this little test for managers and bosses to establish how well you’re performing and if you need to polish your performance.

CAN YOU ANSWER ‘YES’ TO THESE 20 QUESTIONS? Check your scores below.

  1. Can you name every member of your team and identify a positive quality that each person has?
  2. You are receptive to being guided by the team and try their suggestions.
  3. You think people in your team have good ideas.
  4. Even when you disagree with someone, you can acknowledge that he/she makes good points.
  5. You view your team members as trustworthy.
  6. When you have a meeting, you say something positive before you say something negative.
  7. You’re comfortable being honest with your team, such as discussing financial difficulties.
  8. You never or very rarely swear at people in your team, or are abusive towards them.
  9. You support individuals in your team’s exploration of personal goals and dreams even when this involves you staying late at the office or doing extra work at home.
  10. You have a sense of trust and are confident people in your team won’t disappear to a competitor, or otherwise jeopardise business security and interests.
  11. When you argue, you sense your team cares about the mission of the business and your opinions.
  12. Team members sometimes share their personal thoughts and feelings with you.
  13. You feel a sense of being teammates with good camaraderie.
  14. You have a sense your individual strengths complement each other.
  15. If someone is poorly or unable to work, the rest of the team pull together uncomplainingly
  16. You respect your team’s family commitments and view their life outside the office as important.
  17. You have fun together, especially at events and office parties and you celebrate birthdays.
  18. You see your team members’ flaws and weaknesses in specific rather than general ways. (For example, you get annoyed about them forgetting to log their time sheets, but you don’t generally see them as inconsiderate).
  19. When you feel stressed about an impending deadline, you turn toward your team for support, rather than turning away and trying to deal with it yourself.
  20. You have a sense that the team will rally round if there is something critical to achieve.


You and your team will be suffering through lack of cohesion and an inability to work at optimum levels of cooperation. If you can’t demonstrate that you have the right characteristics necessary for people management, it’s doubtful you should be in this role and somewhere along the line you are going to find you are in the crosshairs of scrutiny. It is not just your job, but also other people’s jobs at risk. Thankfully, you and your team can learn the right skills now with CBLD’s range of courses. You can rapidly skill up and transform yourself and your team by learning new leadership and management skills covering written and verbal communication, active listening skills, patience, empathy, motivation and resilience building. Contact me now to discuss the full range of training courses available.


You’re trying hard to put effort in as a manager, but you find that you are firefighting much of the time and have issues with poor time management where you need to prioritise tasks better and delegate more efficiently. You need to refocus your energy into a positive, collaborative direction, securing loose ends in your leadership and management approach and exploring issues around managing conflict along with developing mediation skills to give you the tools you need to build resilience and a more cooperative team spirit.


You are an efficient manager who will engender respect from the team, but you still need to tighten up some of the loose ends you recognise in your leadership and management approach. Perhaps managing conflict and mediation skills are areas that would give you an edge or perhaps your team needs a few pointers in the right direction to enhance their salesmanship, communication and to build resilience. We have a range of great courses available, but I need to find out more, so please contact me for a chat.


Wow! Have you been on my courses already? You really are dedicated to your job and you will have the respect and support from your team who treat you as a trusted leader in the work environment; the go-to person who really cares about what they think and who values their input. You want the best for your team and want to be the best you can be too. Self-development and staff-development are two areas you are passionate about. You know there is always something new to learn and you and your team are teachable because you have a humility about your inadequacies. There is a range of courses available for outstanding managers like you to take you and your team to the next level. Please contact me.