Q: Is the personal or professional aspect of workplace-relationship(s) more critical? Please do not leap to a ‘right or wrong’ answer to this, but rather consider the following points about the Q. This message is about the insanity that people find themselves in - over and over and over and over and over!
Let me first of all make the primary point to this blog-thing. It is a truism for leaders, managers, teachers or any other kind of director role. Actually the message here is FOR anyone in a new situation, with new people (to include new employees in an organization).
Consider this quote, ‘Effective Leaders realize you must First get the Heart before Asking for the Hand’, [anonymous]…
Lets take the scenario of the new manager in the organization as he/she wanders around in the initial days on the job, meeting people. These are people in all directions of your sphere, but let’s focus on those which are more or less on your level, your horizontal relationships. These are people who will ‘long term’ be critical to your success. So now back to the Q: …personal or professional (functional) relationship more important?
Unless you are a real hard-case who places no value on the power or importance of relationships; I would assume we can all agree that we should begin with a sincere effort to be personable. Clearly it would ALL be better if I liked them and they liked me, huh?
As logical as this may seem right here, right now – this is not the approach most take! Rather, in an effort to be all studly, serious, ‘professional’ and in trying to impress others, …many and maybe most people will place the personal relationship on the back-burner. We must get down to business, start proving myself, show ‘em what I am made of, etcccccc…
In doing so, many (and again maybe most) will head down this road only to come to some point where you ‘need’ others or you find yourself in some functional conflict. Because the personal-relationship was placed on the back burner in the beginning, the struggle begins. " ..oh it’s just a personality thing, ...what a jerk, ...people will be people, ...what are ya’ going to do..." We mutter these lines to ourselves and of course to others at the water-cooler.
Some effort will likely be attempted by one of you, but the other doesn’t want to play, knows he/she is right and/or in fact ‘really doesn’t like you’. Because they do not report to you, he/she doesn’t have to play with you.
By now you are seeing what’s happened here, recognizing all this and likely are ‘resembling these remarks’ from some past experience or maybe one you are in right now!?!
So what was that quote again? ‘Effective Leaders realize you must first get the Heart before Asking for the Hand’ And then there's that one which is a favorite of mine which has some fit here: ‘People don’t care how much you know until first they know how much you care.’ [J. Maxwell is who I credit with this one].
So what’s the message here? Well there are actually many, but for the moment, let me just leave you with this thought: ‘Have a cup of coffee with someone before you need them.…’
If you are beginning a new job, please read and re-read this a few times and trust the coach -go establish that personal relationship first!!! If you are not new, but failed to do this in your beginning days, go deal with it now. Go find those players you are already beginning to dislike, struggle with, avoid or ignore; you know who they are. They are those that you need (and likely your people down below also need). Before something goes SOUTH - go fix, build or repair any and all of them………………………….!
So what was our question here?