collaboration

February 23, 2010

How Workplace Relationship Building Solves Problems Best

Problems are a part of any manager’s day. They come at us thick and fast, providing challenges on many levels. With your team, many of these can be fixed.

With the full involvement and collaboration of your team – even better – many can be solved for good…

They say ‘a problem shared is a problem halved’, because two minds working together will be able to create a better solution – one that is generally much more effective.

One of the purposes of creating active relationships with our people, is to ensure that we have every opportunity to make the most of thinking together.

Partnerships will generate more and better ideas that can be instrumental in delivering successes much more effectively.

Where – as managers – we spend the time with our people, both one-on-one as well as with our teams, we create the environment that is effectively a safe place to become much more creative.

As we listen carefully to our people – making the effort to hold back with our own ideas to let them come forward with their own – they begin to show their strengths. Often hidden from us, as their confidence develops, we see them demonstrate their full capabilities.

By developing a level of trust and respect that lets them open up willingly, our people take up the challenges we set before them, creating a sense of purpose that will drive them on – with their colleagues – to much more effective solutions.

As managers we are able to spend our days fire-fighting and coming up with sticking-plaster solutions that work for us in the short-term. This makes problems go away for a while, but these are intrepid critters and have a habit of keeping coming back.

When we create strong relationships with our people, they get involved too, sharing their own wisdom which you have nurtured when you are with them. And this enables far better, deep-reaching solutions – not fixes – that make problems go away for good.

We use the relationships we encourage, to make the differences we need, to make our management both much more effective, as well as easier for the best solutions we seek.

The time we invest in our people creates the returns that we seek, above and beyond like-for-like. Using the leverage of many minds on the problems we together face, we maximize the value we create.

Relationship building is two-way, with your people enjoying value from it as well. The returns you appreciate by making this effort are unlimited, because you just don’t know what abilities your people will come up with.

Finding purpose to building relationships is not hard and what can be delivered using you and your interpersonal skills probably cannot be overestimated – after all, you have amazing people around you.

Your job is to get their potential out in the open and exposed, helping you provide lasting solutions to the problems and issues that you have before you.

Filed under Blog, Developing Your People, Focus on Results, Management Basics by Martin

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February 22, 2010

Using Visioning Activities to Lead to Future Success

It’s easy to get bogged down in the nitty-gritty of your existence as a manager from day to day. Surviving even in the short-term can become a challenge – and that’s on a good day!

But what about making it better into the future? What can you see?

The future is the way forward. Good managers understand that their day job – whilst important – is not just about overcoming the crises and fire-fighting that fills their days.

It’s vital to see the current as a stepping-stone to a future which is more relaxed, creative and stabilized. So many times, it’s easy to say ‘There’s got to be a better way’. The good managers do something about this.

Whilst having a sense of what the future might need to be, there’s nothing like experiencing it, as close to first hand as you can get. This might require a bit of imagination and letting go of current challenges, but it is a refreshing way to understand that things can change.

Grasping, as openly as you can, the possibilities that the future holds for your team is all about experiencing ‘What good looks like’.

In fact, with an element of trust and belief, there are ways that the best managers help their people practically live the dream of their workplace being how they want it to be, to be the very best themselves too.

Visioning is the activity of appreciating fully what you want to achieve, in very sensory ways. It’s about helping your people put themselves in a position where they experience in their mind’s eye, the experiences they would have when they achieve the dream of perfection in their working day.

Being able to ‘see’ where you are aiming for builds a real appreciation of what it is that you expect from your workplace, if it is exactly how you would like it to be.

Now, timescales for achieving this will always vary, depending on the circumstances that you decide to use visioning for – that’s for you to decide.

The key to using visioning techniques is to remember that you will be using all of your senses to describe the future in as detailed a way possible. It’s not just what you ‘see’, it’s what you hear, feel, smell and even taste along the way!

You want to know what ‘perfection’ is and what you will fully experience when you get there.

This is a bit like goal setting with the twist of having a fun experiential playtime too!

You can appreciate why this can be so exceptionally powerful to draw out the most fascinating expectation you – and your people – can have together.

You can work on a vision on your own; together and, if you want really smart, you can use both together!

Visioning is a powerful tool to draw the best expectations from your people for the future that you can build for your team, together.

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

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