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Redefining Work Relationships

June 02, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 172

Successful work relationships are the keystones for the company's bottom line efficiency and personal fulfillment in your career. Work relationships can strength your promotion ability, subsequently amplifying your salary, achieving projects on time; and even, have an impact on your individual health state. Our working lives occupy one-half to, in some industries, three quarters of our lives. We all hope that our work relationships can be a close collaborative association with mutual benefits for all involved. It's not uncommon that workplace relationships have to be redefined for the renewal of individual commitments, rules of engagement; and social contract interaction. Why does this happen?

A factor can be corporate mergers. These fusions are not always as smooth as the management would like. Time and again, merging companies endure a severe employee exodus due to the mis-understanding of why the merger is taking place, core values clashes, veteran employees not feeling appreciated for past productivity, or the mix of cultural multiplicity. Another large scale facet is downsizing. With this type of sweeping change, the consequences can be hostile relations between the surviving work force; increased staff turnover; decreased solidarity between the newly formed teams; and increased finger pointing-otherwise known as the 'blame game'. Another cause can be individual promotions. Someone who used to be part of a dynamic team can be elevated to a leadership role. This individual now has many in a direct reporting hierarchy, strict budgets to comply with, even the possibility of hiring freezes in place. Those they used to work with as peers are now uncomfortable in how to participate with and communicate beyond the new rank. This opens the challenges of redefining the work relationship. And last, there are always personal experiences that can change an individual's world view such as, selling a long loved home, children leaving for college, a chronic illness; and, the loss of loved ones.

It's a natural occurrence that when any of these situations exist, relationships may need a restructuring of how we engage and converse with each other. So how do you start those remodeling conversations that still sustain free and open communication? Think about these basics prior to scheduling your discussion:

• Be mindful of how reality is now. Recognize the energies you are investing into resentment, anger, or resignation over the current circumstances. If you can redirect the same level of energy into acceptance of actualities now, you can transform how you will respond to the next dialogues between you and the other persons in the conversation. Do not forget to include how much you 'care' about the next chapters of the future you are collectively forging.

• Confirm new boundaries if personal experiences have promoted internal change for you. You could open with, "Since I have survived cancer, the car accident, or any traumatic experience, I want to explain what has changed for me in our engagement together". You don't have to justify yourself or tell all the details, just those that have influenced your view of the world from now on. Most likely, you will find that your experience has given the other person an opportunity to reflect on their values too. Remember that in a reporting situation, your respect level doesn't mean you don't need to be a "yes" person it means you should know what is appropriate for this private conversation.

• Validate others with their significance. Your conversation could start with, "With the successes we have celebrated together, or since you have helped me achieve that product launch, this has changed how I would like our future collaboration to be." Whatever you express, it will be something to bear our their importance, talent, or skill in the accomplishment in benefits for the whole. In the end, you will be defining what greatness will be for you and them.

• Don't be afraid of defining burnout. Those who suffer burnout usually don't know where to turn or who turn to for nourishing solutions. Recognize that this is a transitory state. This could be a period of non-doing other than your work responsibilities. Previous to this, you could have been the person to champion the company softball team or philanthropy ventures. With whoever you choose to have this discussion with, don't feel diminished by stating you are feeling tired, helpless, depressed or disillusioned with a lack of shared vision. During your time of changing direction, your power to detail new lines of communication to put you into renewal cannot be underestimated.

If you're thinking you need to 'redefine' a work relationship, ask yourself:

• Are there missing conversations for you with your department peers, even with your boss? Has mutual trust gone to the background of your relationship so that these conversations cannot be initiated?

• What is meaningful to you about this work association? What are you contributing to your colleague's success; and, what are you receiving in return? Do you feel the engagement is equal?

• What elements of leadership will you need to purge out old behavior patterns, or and anything that is not useful to meet the needs of the future? How will you measure the success now?

• Have you or others made past mistakes that will measure against you forever in your work life? What are the conversations you need to have that discard the negativity and plan goals for the future; and, with whom?

• What standards or values are different for you now? How will they affect your performance goals or interpersonal relationships now? How will you present these new standards to your colleagues or friends?

• How will you maintain your dignity if you need to negotiate for new communication boundaries or new language in your communications? Remember, there is no dignity in begging. Your requests are the displays of your integrity and personal power.

"The glue that holds all relationships together -- including the relationship between the leader and the led is trust, and trust is based on integrity." Brian Tracy

Bradley Ann Morgan, PCC Bradley Morgan is a corporate and ontological coach who served as a hi-tech executive for over 17 years, in companies such as, IBM, Bay Networks, Premysis, and Brocade Communications. Bradley's credentials include a BS from Georgia Tech, a MS from UCLA, a certificate in gerontology from the University of Maryland; and a Professional Coaching Certification (PCC) through the Newfield Network program. In the telecommunications industry, she developed both domestic and international systems engineering teams for technical expertise and executive level leadership. Bradley is a member of the International Coaching Federation (ICF), American Management Associates (AMA), the American Society on Aging (ASA); and the US Women's Chamber of Commerce.

Source: EzineArticles
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