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February 2, 2010

The Philosophy of Responsibilities in Workplace Relationship Building

Relationship building is a vital core activity of anyone who manages or leads others, yet those being managed also have a responsibility to make the interactions work. So, why is understanding about responsibilities so important?

Understanding the relative responsibilities in relationship building in the workplace is important, so that suitable focus can be attached to each side, working towards consistently successful interactions.

Knowing that each side has a part to play and that this will involve deep consideration (especially where relationships have been strained in the past), helps to frame the mindset that will be important to create.

Responsibilities are not to be taken lightly. They are indeed a responsibility in themselves. Of being in a place where behaviors can create or destroy the outcomes that each side might want as well as appreciating that sometimes these may be different.

Holding responsibility is important, yet sometimes gets stuck behind a number of challenging and conflicting attitudes that can make the decisions about how to approach a relationship somewhat blurred.

For example, an individual may well have set ideas about what they want from their job. This needs to be aligned with what the job entails, the conditions within that job is offered and the rewards, some tangible, some not, that are provided.

A manager, on the other hand needs results for their area of responsibility and that is usually their overriding focus and can, on some occasions blinker the expectations and hopes of their team members.

Without understanding that the responsibility for a mutually beneficial relationship lies on both sides equally, it could be easy merely to push for only the respective needs of each side.

Yet, without taking the responsibility to realize that both sides want their needs met, neither side is likely to win. Indeed it is likely that antagonism and mistrust will take over and the relationship founders, which no-one wants and is quite value-less.

The philosophy of responsibility in relationship building is that it is an important ‘gift’ that each holds and this is to be used in a way that enshrines the values of both sides, whilst acknowledging that one side does not have any greater grip on their own outcomes than the other.

When we take up a responsibility, it is not to be taken lightly. Where this relates to the interactions we have with others, taking responsibility means that we have to know and understand what is important to them, as well as what’s in our own interests too.

Ultimately, the responsibility element of relationship building is a critical element of success, with each side being clear on what the best outcome will be, not just for themselves, but for everyone.

Filed under Blog, Building the Future, Developing Your People, Management Basics by Martin

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