In life, we end up trying to manage bad behavior in others through rules and discipline rather than simply encouraging good behavior through incentives.
I’ve thought long and hard about relationships at work. I find people’s beliefs about this subject to be intriguing. In life, we end up trying to manage bad behavior in others through rules and discipline rather than simply encouraging good behavior through incentives. It’s like swatting a dog when he pees on the carpet rather than giving him a biscuit when he sits by the door. Having right relationships should be our supreme goal in life.
Relationships. There are different types of relationships in the work setting: manager, peer, vendor, direct reports, etc. And, each relationship has a specific context that creates a unique way of relating. Some people hesitate to engage in friendships at work as they believe it confuses the managerial role. If one’s view of friendship means being nice, never confronting, and maintaining peace at all costs, then perhaps it’s true. If friendship rather means clear communication, speaking the truth in love, and disagreeing when necessary to maintain unity and alignment, then this is transferrable. Relationship defined is an expression of human connection that can look different depending on role, without having artificial constraints. Just because someone is married doesn’t mean they can’t have wholesome relationships with other members of the opposite sex. All business-related relationships should be characterized by love (willing the highest good for another), compassion (even when discipline is required), communication (speaking openly and directly), to be wholesome, fruitful, and productive. Humans have the same needs regardless of the context. Old-school thinking that blocks out friendship at work is missing the mark.
Coaching questions: How would you characterize your relationships at work? How might you bring more humanity into the equation?
Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.