Component 1: Building relationships

What works well

  • ‘Strong, robust relationships’ is the first thing that people cite when asked ‘what helped you succeed?’ in developing voluntary sector partnerships. This sounds simple, but when time and resources are tight, building relationships in a meaningful way is often overlooked.
  • People tell us that it is important to connect with colleagues outside of formal decision-making processes as well as within.
  • It is important to develop a culture and practice that enables relationships to build within the strategic decision-making landscape, creating shared experience on a personal and professional level. This can be particularly relevant where partners are based in different offices or different sectors making informal relationship-building more challenging.

Likely positive impacts

When time is allowed for robust relationships to develop we see several positive impacts.

  • Quick response – People are more likely to prioritise answering the request of someone they have a connection with, leading to faster action.
  • Increased opportunities – When people can share experiences outside of the formal agenda, we see new innovative and creative problem-solving taking place, including better sharing of resources and greater impacts for people. Barriers are more easily overcome.
  • Trust developed – People start to develop more of a shared understanding of each other’s role in making that a reality. It enables a ‘one team’ approach to a shared agenda rather than working in ‘sector silos’.

The two-day learning event facilitated by NCVO was an invaluable opportunity to build our team and foster trusting working relationships.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 14 January 2020