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March 2, 2010

Management Tactics – No Winners With Win/Lose Or Lose/Win

In every relationship we have, we need to be focused enough to ensure that there is a balance between both sides.

When there is not, that’s when the trouble begins. The workplace is definitely no exception.

The relationships that we make as managers with our people are the invaluable partnerships that enable us to deliver much more than we could alone.

The teams of individuals we bring together synergize to create results that are far more than the sum of the parts. When we manager others, it’s our role to do this.

The relationships we form to drive a successful team cannot be at group level. For the people in the team this is not enough. They need us to be prepared to engage in personal relationships with them, one-to-one, from time to time.

Whilst we can impact on the team as a whole for the decisions that we make and even impose on them, the effects are never at team level, they are always felt inside, by each and every one of those involved.

So, we have to make effective relationships with each person we manage and, there’s more, we have to ensure that the outcomes meet the needs on both side of that one-on-one partnership too.

If we seem to succeed and they feel let down (the win-lose), they will be less committed, because their needs are not being met. If this goes on for a time, they will feel used and that you are insincere in your words that encourage a close relationship. Trust starts to dissipate and the relationship will break down.

On the other hand, where you meet the needs of the person sitting opposite you and fail to achieve the goals you need to succeed, (the lose-win), the balance tips the other way and the relationship founders because you are not achieving the results that you are measured on.

With win-win, both sides get their very personally driven needs and goals met. The business thrives from successful results achieved and the individuals thrive as well, because their needs are understood and activities aligning them with the business requirements becomes much more effectively delivered too.

Indeed, if the only way you can work is where one side loses, it’s probably best that each side agrees that it isn’t working out and both sides walk away. Truly win-lose and lose-win are, in effect a win for neither side at all, because of the deeper consequences that will affect all.

Manager ‘Wins’

Let’s say a manager gives way a lot on meeting the needs of their team members. He is lax on discipline because the employees want ‘freedom to express themselves’ and gives it away.

This might result, if allowed to impact on deadlines for example, that sales quotas aren’t achieved. The manager could lose their job and individuals get a much worse deal from their new manager.

A classic example of Lose/Win, except in the bigger picture, it isn’t.

Employee ‘Wins’

The alternate view, might be where a manager rarely spends one-on-one time with his people, citing that his schedule is far too tight with the results he has to achieve.

Employees become less committed and the better ones find a new job with a manager much better suited to understanding their own, very individual, needs.

The first manager finds he struggles to achieve the results that the business needs and is challenged on his own performance (and has much less effective staff left behind to help recover).

A great example of a Win/Lose, but it isn’t even that at all.

The challenge for managers and employees is to acknowledge that the other side has to win as well, because a side that is losing is much more likely to have a significantly bigger impact all round.

Filed under Blog by Martin

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February 28, 2010

Seeking Win-Win – The Relationship Buy In

The core of all business relationships is parity. They are about the negotiation between an employer for output, in exchange for reward, the basis of which is usually a financial transaction.

So this is a fair deal then.

The best relationships serve everyone well. The term win-win comes from the need to ensure that both sides are served adequately from the interactions they have together, such that there is an appropriate return for all.

And a return that is seen to be for the benefit of all too.

There are challenges in trying to secure relationships that balance outcomes that are felt fair on every side. When we manage others we usually find that – as managers – our financial rewards and benefits are greater, so when we want interactions that are effective, we need to do the best by our people as well.

In fact, to get past the traditional differences between managers and employees, we have to be doubly sure that we look towards meeting their needs as far as we can – or better.

Win-win is not, you see, measured on financial reward alone, even though it is often the headline. That said, there clearly needs to be a sense of reality to ensure that people are appropriately rewarded, of course.

Managers can make a huge difference to the relationships they have with employees, to create benefits other than simple material reward.

Good managers acknowledge this and make savvy interactions that count in their favor. By making the time to enhance the workplace experience for all their people, there is much to offer when the possibilities are carefully considered and a little time invested.

By taking the time to be aware of (and always acknowledge) contribution; to develop and coach; to provide career opportunities and to simply provide time for people, as well as the regular interplay that goes on in typical informal conversation-making, managers have all the cards in their hands to make the relationships work so that everyone is a winner.

Take care to note, however, that the onus is on the manager to make the running when it comes to relationship-building, because many employees find it difficult to be confident enough with managers to be equal in the relationship to start with, so they need your help.

With focus and consideration, together with practice and feedback, any manager has a hundred ways to start off good relationships, so there will always be a key to open up an understanding with any and everyone in your team. Sometimes it will take a while to find it, so perseverance will be needed.

Once you get the buy-in with your people – one-by-one – there will be huge benefits for everyone, ensuring that win-wins, through the interactions you have with each of your team members, is the full fruition of the efforts made – on both sides.

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

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February 25, 2010

Refining Employee Relationships – Getting To The Bottom Line

When we are managers, supervisors and leaders, we build workplace relationships – and we do it for a reason. We want to achieve successes and we need to do this through our people.

This is the bottom line for the interactions we take our part in.

The purpose of relationship building in the workplace is pretty simple really. There is value for all sides of the equation and within that, it’s important to acknowledge that there is a bottom line.

As employees; indeed as business owners, managers and team leaders, we are all in it for something, because the most of us need the work we do.

When we attend work, we do so for some pretty basic reasons. We want shelter to keep us from the elements. We want to be fed and kept healthy. In modern societies we are very fortunate that these are pretty much covered off for most of us.

So we need more. The basics – the core rewards that work provides us with – are sufficient to provide the minimum we need. If that was all we went to work for, well, we that’s pretty much sorted.

The more we need is the cerebral value that work provides for us. The stimulation of the work we do provides a healthiness that is not measured by outward disease. Our mental well-being is provided for by finding stimulating challenges that we enjoy and get personal satisfaction from.

Work is not about material reward alone.

When we manage others, we take that on as a stimulating challenge that gets our juices flowing, so we too are satisfied from the fulfillment that we get from the achievements we make.

Both sides achieving successes in their own personal challenges, are leveraged by organizations to ensure that results from the whole, go to meet and exceed the results that need to drop out for the financial bottom line.

If managers and their employees have personal goals they want to achieve and these are aligned with the needs of the bigger organization, then we are all in business pulling together.

The glue that binds us is the way we communicate together. And we communicate most effectively by having close working relationships that enable us to make the best outcomes possible, where everyone is a winner.

That bottom line for the relationships we build is the pleasure – the joy even – we get from achieving what we want from the work we do.

It isn’t just about financial reward. It isn’t about getting a company car that’s a bit bigger. It’s not about the pension pot we build.

Relationships enable us to work together towards a common goal. The purpose of the relationships we co-create, is the bottom line for all of us, which is very personal, yet always contributes to the outcome our employers expect of us too.

So we are all winners together.

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

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