28 Mar 2023 | 5 min read


Another trait of high-performing teams is healthy relationships. There is cohesiveness between team members. There isn’tisn’t drama or personal issues. There’s harmony and a general sense of enjoyment in being with each other. When there is an issue, it is handled maturely and resolved quickly. Team members value each other, and their respect for the group shows in their relationships. 


Here are a few attributes of teams with healthy relationships. 


Healthy relationships are drama-free but not always conflict-free. 

While healthy relationships do not have drama – i.e., gossip, rumors, sabotage, backstabbing, egos, and harshness, they may occasionally have conflict. And that’s not always a bad thing. Sometimes tension can lead to uncovering underlying issues within the team or organization. Conflict can also bring creativity and innovation. If team members always agree on every stance, it shows a lack of diversity among members. Having different opinions or occasionally rubbing someone wrong is normal in any relationship. Conflict can help the team grow and get closer together when you resolve it maturely and healthily.


Healthy relationships have clear boundaries. 

What do we mean by boundaries? The right to say “no,” manage expectations, and protect your values. The best relationships are shielded by guardrails that keep everyone involved safe. This means you have the right to express yourself and set clear expectations of how you work within the group. 


Healthy relationships separate worth/identity from the job. 

Your team should value each member for who they are as individuals, not just what they bring to the position. Healthy teams put people ahead of tasks and projects. The focus remains on the personal rather than the product. Understanding that each team member is a whole human with multiple facets, strengths, weaknesses, personalities, and emotions is critical. It can also help team members cope better with stress, failure, and depression. 


Healthy relationships pause before reacting.

Everyone has a story. Each person on your team is going through something, even as you read this sentence. There are highs, and there are lows. It is all a natural part of life. When you work as a team, remember that people have bad days. If someone acts out or says something harsh, take a beat and breath. Recognize that they may be reacting to something in their personal life that has nothing to do with you or the work. So before you take a reactive approach, try to figure out what’s happening. There may be more to the story than you first think. 


Healthy relationships are vulnerable.

Last week’s Volunteer U article discussed building trust and being open with your team. The key to wholesome team connections is being vulnerable with each other and trusting one another to share burdens. 


Healthy relationships start with a healthy you. 

You can’t be part of a healthy relationship if you are not healthy. Burnout can be very harmful to relationships. Ensure you practice self-care and are doing well physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Take care of yourself. Eat well, get good sleep, and do fun things outside of work. 


Healthy relationships know when to have fun. 

The best teams work hard and play hard. The Harvard Business Review found that units that discuss topics other than work can foster deeper and more authentic connections, leading to high team performance. Humor can be an excellent way for team members to destress during high tension. Fun is a key indicator of employee engagement. Fun also has a positive impact on creativity, purpose and can even make team members more resilient