A recent “reunion” of some old work colleagues (yes, socially distanced and outside….) reminded me how like a family our colleagues at work can be. A curious family to say the least, but (at it’s best) a family nonetheless.

At their best, our families support us, celebrate with us, and (when necessary) tell us the truth with love. They help us to be our best and provide perspectives to ground us and guardrails keep us on track.

At work, we can experience similar things. The great teams we were part of that had these qualities, we remember with pride and fondness. The lackluster teams that were weak in these areas are often remembered as low points in our professional history.

But as we all know, great relationships do not happen by accident. They are rooted in enjoyment of each other’s unique gifts and a genuine concern for each other’s well-being.

Consider your team today. Are they a team you would be glad to see at a reunion? Or are they more like people you would just as soon not see again?

Don’t merely tolerate the time you have with people. Try to connect. Try to support. Challenge people when they are working below their potential and encourage the full expression of their talents.

You will be better for it and your team will be too.