Telling the truth about SME life today

How to build teams and relationships after divisive situations like Brexit

4) Assume that people mean well

Be prepared to consider that people probably did the best they could when the conflict arose. Most likely people didn?t mean to annoy, insult or overlook. Remember that when strong emotions are involved, those emotions can hijack people’s behaviours and things may be said as result, which aren?t necessarily a true reflection of that person or those people. Assume positive intent.

5) Take charge if you want to build teams no longer wanting to cooperate

Someone, often a leader but it could also be a strong, trusted, informal leader, needs to step up, take charge and show the way. In times of uncertainty in particular, people often just want someone to give some direction. They want someone to get focused on a path so they can start to make progress together, hence building a sense of unity with a shared destination.

6) Get practical

When emotions have calmed down and people are willing to sit down and talk, get practical and work out what your goals are and how you will get there. Agree who will do what and how will you keep each other accountable, and get going.

7) Build a sense of pride

Everyone wants to know that what they do makes a difference. Focus on the strengths, focus on what is working well. Notice good results and praise them. Help people see that they can and are making a difference together. Celebrate successes and express your sense of pride.

And remember this: whenever you set out to rebuild trust and mend damaged relationships, it’s probably not going to run perfectly smoothly. Even the best-laid plans can be overturned, something may happen along the way to flare up emotions again. Don?t worry; keep your determination. Recognise that setbacks happen and keep focusing on the outcome of unity and shared future success.

Mandy Flint and Elisabet Vinberg Hearn are leadership development experts with a focus on future trends for leadership. They are the award-winning authors of Leading Teams 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions?. Download your free chapter at


Related Stories

More From

Most Read


If you enjoyed this article,
why not join our newsletter?

We promise only quality content, tailored to suit what our readers like to see!