Learn how to approach objectives by balancing relationship and results goals.
- Think about your corporate values. You see 'em? My pretty good guess is they're a variation on the Golden Rule. You know? Treat others as you'd like to be treated. Noble and good stuff, no doubt. Now, let me ask ya'. Is there a value that articulates performance or results as an expectation? If you have one, my guess, it's only one and the rest are on the relationship side of the equation. My goal is to help you balance a relationship approach with a results approach when tackling your objectives. On the relationship side, there are things like managing conflict, making decisions and adapting to change. On the results side, there are things like delivering quality output and generating innovative ideas. All of these aspects are important, but how do you create a balance between them? Google conducted a two year study of 180 teams called Project Aristotle and they found the most effective teams balance results and relationships through five attributes. You want to put these five attributes into practice at your organization. First, make the environment safe where people are okay taking risk and being vulnerable. This is done by deciding in advance how you will handle failures. If someone is punished for failing, you'll stifle innovation in a hurry. Second, be dependable and this one is really simple but hard to achieve. Make it an absolute requirement that meetings start and end on time. One of my clients achieved this by reducing 30 minute meetings to 20 minutes and 60 minute meetings to 45 minutes. That way, people had a little breathing room between meetings. Third, ensure there is clarity when it comes to roles and goals. I have found on the expeditions I run that if I don't do my part on reducing ambiguity, it actually reduces collaboration. A little structure at the beginning actually goes a long way to foster creative approaches and realized performance. Lastly, you have to interpret the meaningful outside. Said another way, you have to provide the meaning, the purpose and what the personal impact will be. You can never assume these are understood and you must continually and creatively tell the story in a way that has impact. Remember playing on a seesaw? It's hard to keep relationships and results perfectly balanced. Two kids usually don't weight the same and it's a good guess that you tend to focus on either results or relationships when it comes to your approach to working people. It's not about getting the balance perfect but having the awareness of knowing when one side needs more emphasis. When you do, you'll find achieving your results is a tad easier through your relationships.