Do Personal Relationships Among Team Members Matter?

Relationships are the foundation of teamwork. Teams are ineffective when relationships are poor. However leaders often neglect and sometimes even completely ignore this foundational component of teams. This article will explore the impact that relationships have on team effectiveness.

It has been said that “Teams that play together stay together”. This may sound trite, but it is true. Teams that spend time together are better for it. Why? One of the key components to team trust is that team members understand one another.  They trust each other’s intentions and actions. In order to build that trust, teams must spend time together. Team leaders can take the lead by giving their team glimpses of their personal life and encourage team members to do the same.

Likewise, poor relationships can affect the effectiveness of the team. When team members don’t trust one another, issues that need to be resolved in meetings can become personal, not task oriented. As a result, issues are seldom resolved effectively or efficiently.

We were created as social beings – created for relationships and community. Consequently, we are most fulfilled and effective when we have healthy relationships. Teams are an excellent example of this. Ministry teams have an advantage in this area because they have a spiritual relationship called fellowship. Team members can relate on a spiritual level as well as personal and professional levels.

What are some practical ways teams can build relationships?

  • Go to events or parties together
  • Go to lunch together
  • Have team retreats, offsite meetings
  • Celebrate life moments and milestones together – birthdays, family, etc.
  • Encourage one another and acknowledge one another’s strengths.

These kind of activities will help us understand our teammates and their true character which will translate into more team effectiveness.

So personal relationships among team members do matter. In fact, they are foundational to team effectiveness. For additional articles on team effectiveness, visit .

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