Relationships key to worker harmony-Daniel Kehoe

OVER the years, I have asked many people what it is that they most like about their job. The most common response is, the people they work with. That is, the relationships that they enjoy with others in their workplace. And when I’ve explored why people have left a job, I have often found that poor relationships with others are a significant factor. If you think that workplace relationships could be better, then here is a gameplan to do something about it before it is too late. However, a word of caution, it does take a degree of maturity and a level of development to be able to resolve workplace relationship issues. But if they go unresolved, they will act like a cancer undermining teamwork and performance. Reflect on these statements and answer the questions of your team: What needs to happen? What could we do better? • How workplace relationships impact on team performance is clarified and accepted. • We agree the things we do which detract from effective workplace relationships and team performance. • Relationships that could be better are agreed. • Actions we need to take to improve relationships are agreed and implemented. • Ways to improve workplace relationships are explored and followed through. • We share our perceptions of another’s behaviour if their behaviour is counter-productive. • We agree the actions / behaviours that bring about effective workplace relationships. • We acknowledge where relationships have been damaged and agree on a strategy to work together. • Feedback on our own responses to a conflict situation is sought and acted on. • We ask others about the things we do that detract from effective workplace relationship. • We ask others to give us feedback about our own performance. • We clarify and agree where there are differences of perception about situations and issues. • We agree to undertake a process to improve the relationship. • We focus only on the behaviour that may be damaging the relationship and not the person. • We tell others how we react to their style. • We identify the things each person does that causes the other party concern or grief. • We discuss the benefits of better relationships and the ‘downside’ of a poor working relationship for both parties. • We avoid saying things that may damage the dignity and self-respect of others when attempting to resolve contentious issues. • We acknowledge things that happened in the past that have damaged relationships so that both parties can move forward. • We collaborate when opposite points of view are too important to compromise. • We collaborate when it is important to repair a damaged relationship. • We compromise when both parties hold strongly opposing viewpoints. • We concede the point when the relationship is more important than us being right. • We concede the point when we are proven to be wrong. • Management do what needs doing to assist in improving workplace relationships.

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