Relationships. We have many in our lives. At work, we have colleagues, employees, customers, and our boss. Our personal relationships include family, friends, personal advisors, etc. Sometimes, who we...
Relationships. We have many in our lives. At work, we have colleagues, employees, customers, and our boss. Our personal relationships include family, friends, personal advisors, etc. Sometimes, who we are at work may be different from who we are in other environments. Is it that we can be completely different people in these relationships, or do we feel driven to enhance certain behaviours in order to achieve what is needed in the work environment? Sometimes the behaviour we are called on to display may not seem natural at all.
At work, we are exposed to the work ethics and leadership styles which ultimately contribute to the overall culture of the company.
Management styles and behavioural tendencies are passed down and often we learn by a “Monkey See, Monkey Do” approach. Often, there is little time to think in a more conscious way of how to perform and behave in the workplace. With this approach of acting out in a certain way, as if on automatic pilot, we can sometimes lose ourselves. We become unempowered, which can lead to apathy.
What’s unfortunate is that most employers want their people to be engaged at work, because being inspired and motivated produces better results. So why do many people find themselves in this place of apathy? It can be for one of several reasons.
A. You feel a lack of connection with your boss
B. You don’t believe in the culture or the direction the company is going
C. Your potential is not being realized
D. There are other factors standing in the way of your working life causing you to become unfocused and disengaged.
The question is then, how do we get beyond these obstacles?
Well, the basic laws of physics tell us that in order to ‘excel’, we need to be able to ‘propel’ ourselves forward. Sometimes, we allow ourselves to get stuck in a complacent spot at work or in life; this is not to be confused with comfortable.
What’s more, we do not always recognize we are at that spot of complacency until one day we are hit with it; we then wake up and find ourselves dissatisfied. The first thing you must remember is the following: that you do have a choice. This is the all-important step to shifting yourself in order to turn any situation around; truly a lesson to remember at work and in life in general. Freedom of choice allows us to make new decisions and to step out into the unknown. Many of us are creatures of habit, and when we comply with a poor work environment, boss, customer or colleagues, we are accepting mediocrity.
It is helpful however to read a situation correctly and to confront your issues at the right time. But do not ponder too long, as it might negatively affect your thoughts, and you will begin to spiral downward letting the apathy set in and feeling less empowered.
Sometimes taking a step, no matter how small, is all it really takes to turn a poor situation around. The need to overcome barriers quickly in our relationships today is more common for a few reasons. First, we are living in accelerated times where people desire and even expect forward and straight thinking. So allowing your employees an open forum gives them the opportunity to feel engaged and part of the solution.
At the end of the day, the right leaders need to take responsibility and decisions need to be made. But having input from those involved allows people to learn from their mistakes and to offer ideas on how to improve them and make them better next time around. How do you satisfy this need in people? You allow them to own their role, taking responsibility for the outcomes, good or bad.
When you stand back and examine it, what we as people are really asking for is acknowledgement. We want to be recognized not just for what we do, but more importantly how we do it. The value in acknowledging each other means we are trying to understand one another more definitively, ultimately, appreciating different points of view. We may not agree with one another all the time, but listening as well as hearing one another’s perspectives allows us a broader band of thinking.
The power of acknowledgement can promote collaboration in your company and help set the tone for a more progressive and successful culture.
It can motivate, stimulate and inspire fresh ideas, offering more optimal solutions to problem solving – all because people suddenly feel listened to. And once people feel it, then the magic begins, and we all start to give back.
A simple shift in acknowledging people’s thoughts, words and actions can give your company the energy it has been lacking to propel towards greater prosperity. And it all starts with understanding each other on a more continuous basis.
Acknowledgement can be liberating and its net results worthwhile. So why not start acknowledging your relationships today?mt
Pamela Ruebusch is Senior Partner, TSI Group (www.tsigroup.com), one of Canada’s leading recruitment, training and development firms in supply chain management.
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