What if people had their needs written all over them?

Posted February 18th, 2011 by Clare McInerney and filed in Posts

Well it might look a little strange. But, it sure would have saved my sanity a number of times in my career.

Like when I first started working in the real world. I needed to add a story to my company’s homepage, so I approached a coworker in IT and asked her to upload the story. She said she would, and I thought everything was fine—it felt good to check something off my list!

And then it happened. I sat down at my desk, her boss appeared, and bluntly explained that I hadn’t followed proper procedure. I felt absolutely awful. (OMG. Procedure!? What procedure? I broke a rule, and he already hates me on my first day!)  I went into the bathroom and cried.  

As time passed, I learned more about what made him tick, and I gained a better understanding of what happened that day. He valued order and process, and he worked very hard to implement the procedure that I didn’t follow. And so from his perspective, it must have looked like I waltzed right into the organization and ignored the process that was so important to him.

And I learned more about what makes me tick, too. I value teamwork and accuracy. So on that fateful day, from my perspective, I let the team down AND I didn’t follow the rules.

Had both of us been able to identify and verbalize those things, our relationship could have been much more effective.

And in the workplace, it’s all about building effective relationships. Whether you’re a manager trying to connect better with employees, a leader wondering how to improve your leadership effectiveness, or an individual contributor trying to ease the tension with a co-worker, building better relationships is vital to success in today’s social workplace.

I’m fortunate to work for a company that creates tools that help people understand relationships and behavior—ultimately helping people learn how to work better together and create more effective teams. Our focus on the people factor of the workplace equation gives us a unique vantage point of the world’s workforce.

That’s what we’re going to explore in this blog. We’ll provide you with food for thought to explore interpersonal behavior and workplace relationships. You’ll meet several people from our Inscape Publishing team. From their own perspectives, our team members will share their experiences and expertise. (Spoiler Alert: Our perspectives are different.)

And we want our relationship with you to be… well… what you want it to be. We know you have stories and experiences, and we want to hear about them. So we invite you to share your experiences too. Let’s talk about all of that here.

We’re going to kick this blog off by focusing on leadership. Regardless of title, everyone is a leader in some aspect of their life. And have you noticed that leaders seem to have different styles? In our forthcoming book, The 8 Dimensions of Leadership—to be released this spring by Berrett-Koehler—you can learn about your own leadership style, in-depth. Here in this blog, you’ll meet the authors of the book, who will introduce you to the 8 Dimensions of Leadership model.

Check back next week to meet Inscape team member, blogger, and author, Emma Wilhelm.

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