Monthly Archives: July 2012
Research shows that even with the best products and business practices, you still need strong relationships to succeed in this marketplace. The following is a roadmap to turn personality differences into positive business results.
Respect is at the heart of building business relationships. It is the glue that holds together the functioning of teams, partnerships and managing relationships. (Up and down, peer-to-peer, internally and externally). Respecting the right to differ is a concept like apple pie and motherhood. We all agree with it but can we truly foster it?
The first step is to identify the specific areas of difference. Many people see things in terms of rights and wrongs. “My way” is right and therefore “other ways” are wrong. When a situation is viewed through this lens, a power struggle ensues. When, however, a situation can be seen through the lens of difference, and a position is simply a matter of opinion not fact, then cooperation and compromise is possible. Identifying and understanding differences allows people to shift their position to one of compromise and negotiation.
The following steps are the roadmap to success:
- Respect leads to accepting a person for what he/she is.
- Accepting a person where they are, creates an environment of trust.
- Trust, leads to a willingness to be open to: new opportunities, new collaborations, new strategies, new ideas, new products.
Once you understand the above you can use the following list to avoid power struggles, which drain energy from your effectiveness. Here is our top 10 list for type of differences to look for.
Communication Styles. All people do not communicate in the same fashion. There are many inventories available to identify differing styles. Once you understand a person’s style, this knowledge can lead to respect not conflict.
Non-Verbal Communication. All forms of communication must be considered. This form of communication is more covert, but not any less important. Non-verbal communication includes; body language, and tone. Non-verbal communication may differ from the verbal. With this additional understanding of what is really being communicated more effective collaboration is possible.
Learning Styles. People learn in different ways. When this concept is in the forefront of understanding then communications can be geared to various styles and will meet with greater success. Differing Values. This concept can be a little tricky. While values need to be identified and respected, there are times when conflicting values can be so different that they cannot coexist on the same team. When mutually exclusive values are encountered, collaboration is not recommended.
Differing Values. This concept can be a little tricky. While values need to be identified and respected, there are times when conflicting values can be so different that they cannot coexist on the same team. When mutually exclusive values are encountered, collaboration is not recommended.
Boundaries. We all have different space needs and boundary needs. (Boundaries are the limits you place on the behavior of others around you.) The first step is to be aware of peoples’ boundaries and then to use this understanding to approach them respectfully. This new behavior often avoids conflict and strengthens relationships.
The Self. Self-respect is a vital and primary building block that supports the formation of relationships. By being aware of your own needs and styles you create a healthy foundation and the ensuing relationships are more solid. The remaining categories are variations on the theme of Cultural Differences. The need to understand, respect, and integrate diversity is a must in today’s market.
Company Culture. Seasoned employees have come from different companies and each company has a culture. This must be identified and respected in order to insure successful integration into the current company. This coept is especially pertinent to mergers and acquisitions.
Culture of the Country. With the global nature of our business, employees often come from different countries, each with a different culture. In order to successfully integrate multicultural differences, these differences must be understood, articulated, and respected.
Family Cultures. The influence of our backgrounds is great. Often we ignore these differences because they “do not belong in the workplace”. However the reality is that people cannot keep who they are out of the work environment. The key here is to recognize when the source of the conflict is based on someone’s family/personal issues. This allows you to choose not to engage in a battle that is based on their family history.
Individual vs Team. Balancing the individual needs with team needs is always an interesting dilemma. However, if this healthy balance is not reached, problems are certain to follow. Taking the time to identify and then address both individual and team dynamics are at the core of this balancing act. Business success is directly related to getting this right.
Thank you and shout out to Leading Insight! |http://leadinginsight.com/business_relationships.htm
Thing One: The Fed’s True Libors: It’s a good thing no one on earth cares about this Libor scandal, because otherwise the Fed would be in so much trouble right now.
The United States central bank straight-up confesses to Reuters that, oh yeah, sure, it knew all about Libor shenanigans waaaay back in 2007, even before the Wall Street Journal wrote about it. It seems the New York Fed got a tip from some bank called, let us check here, Bar-Clays? Does that sound right? Bar-Clays? It seems this bank told the Fed about problems with the setting of Libor, an interest rate that is so pervasive in our daily lives that you were probably drinking a little Libor in your coffee just now. Not only that, but the Fed talked to Barclays about Libor approximately eleventy gazillion times after the initial tip. Not only that, but it also drew up a list of suggestions for Barclays and UK banking authorities about how to fix the Libor market. Which list of suggestions were promptly crumpled up into a ball and tossed in the coal oven for warmth because it’s dismal in the UK in the winter, guvnah.
So, fast forward to today, and the Libor market never got fixed, despite everybody knowing about its problems. That bank, Barclays, is paying about $450 million in fines over Libor, its chairman and CEO have resigned (chairman Marcus Agius testified this morning before a parliamentary committee), and a whole mess of other banks are under investigation, too. And attention is finally turning, as it should, to why the regulators had their heads firmly implanted in their own behinds for so long, The New York Times writes (I’m paraphrasing). Bank of England deputy guvnah Paul Tucker yesterday denied giving a nudge-wink to Barclays to cheat on Libor, but that’s certainly some faint self-praise, isn’t it? And it certainly won’t end the scrutiny of the regulators.
Thing Two: Euro Crisis Solved Yet Again: Remember that time, when the umpteenthousandth solution to the euro zone debt crisis seemed insufficient, and markets were punishing European sovereign debt? Yesterday, I mean? Well, pop some champagne, my friends, because that day is over. Because this is today. And today, euro-zone officials are giving Spain a whole extra year to get its budgetary act together and promising to pump more cash into its banks. And then very soon, maybe, they’ll get around to adding some details to that umpteenthousandth solution they hammered out a couple of weeks ago. That’s just barely good enough for European stocks, which are higher this morning.
Thing Three: Another Brokerage Firm Enters Bermuda Triangle: Mere months after the collapse of brokerage firm MF Global magically made more than $1 billion of client money disappear into thin air, another brokerage firm — with the eerily similar name of PFGBest — has also collapsed, making $200 million of client money vanish. Neat trick. Regulators, which had promised after MFGlobal to tighten up their brokerage-firm-watching skills, are once again perplexed, The New York Times writes.
Thing Four: Laying Down The Mortgage Law: The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which hates your freedom to lose tons of money in the housing market, has proposed new rules designed to give borrowers more information about the mortgages they’re taking out, because of socialism. The New York Times writes: “The proposed rules have two central elements — the loan estimate and the closing disclosure — that would provide would-be homebuyers with a simple accounting of likely payments and fees to prevent costly surprises.”
Thing Five: No Jobs Anywhere Forever: Quick, take a mental snapshot of how awful the job market is. Now imagine that lasting for at least another two years. Voila, you’ve got the gist of a new OECD report on the global economy: “Unemployment in advanced economies will remain high until at least the end of 2013, with young people and the low-skilled bearing the brunt of what is by far the weakest economic recovery in the past four decades, the OECD said on Tuesday.”
Thing Six: Enjoy Those Corn Flakes: Because it hasn’t rained in America since February, and because it has been 112 degrees since March, growing corn has been just a little on the difficult side. And that has pushed corn prices to the moon, writes the Wall Street Journal: “Corn futures for July delivery jumped 4% to $7.7525 a bushel on the Chicago Board of Trade, extending gains to 29% in the past three weeks, as intense heat and a dearth of rainfall punish parts of big corn-growing states like Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio.”
Thing Seven: Google’s Private Eyes, They’re Watching You: Google is about to pay $22.5 million to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it skirted Apple users’ privacy settings, the Wall Street Journal reports: “The fine is expected to be the largest penalty ever levied on a single company by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. It offers the latest sign of the FTC’s stepped-up approach to policing online privacy violations, coming just six months after the WSJ reported on Google’s practices.” Ah, yes, but how much do you want to bet that Google made much, much more than $22.5 million skirting your privacy settings?
Thing Seven And One Half: Cape Fear: Batman needs to go back to the Bat-Lab and design a better Bat-Cape, apparently. Wired reports that physicists at the University of Leicester, who obviously have nothing better to do now that the Higgs boson has been discovered, have calculated that a leap from a 500-foot-tall building using Batman’s cape would result in a 50-mph collision with the ground, which would likely result in a Bat-Death.
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Calendar Du Jour:
Heard On The Tweets:
@ezraklein: Today we’re talking about tax cuts for the rich rather than the Friday jobs #s. Mission accomplished for the White House.
@conorsen: How is “Romney fundraisers” not a reality TV show yet?
@mattyglesias: If you make $250,000 a year and think you’re not “really” rich, ask yourself how the 97% of population that makes less than that feel.
“Lead and inspire people. Don’t try to manage and manipulate people. Inventories can be managed but people must be lead.” ~Ross Perot
“Most people do not receive nearly enough appreciation. Appreciation is free, easy, and readily available? Go give some away now.” ~Rhoberta Shaler
While the assembly line created by Henry Ford was a milestone achievement of genius for manufacturing, very little is spoken about the enormous impact physically and mentally of the employees of the time, as well as the high levels of turnover in the plants. While robots have in many places replaced the human element in assembly lines, we still find “standardization” practices in many businesses that reduce the human to robot status. To put it succinctly, this is a mistake.
While Standard Operating Procedures and rigorous guidelines are essential tools for the proper management of the staff, it is too easy and too tempting to let these run amuck. After all, if you simply tell everyone exactly what to do, and expect them to do it, you can take the rest of the week off! But over time, you will begin to see your productivity decrease and turnover increase as your staff becomes increasing bored and frustrated with their work.
Some things to consider:
- People require different things to make them work – Machines run solely on fuel, and while money is a decent fuel to use for people, you need to tap into the emotional element to really have them perform. Inspiration, passion and purpose are what separate a great manager from a tolerable one.
- People need variety in their job – This was the failing of the assembly line, you could only screw on bumpers so long before you went mad. Try to mix up their duties on a day to day basis or include them in the occasional project to mix things up. For more frivolous faire, you can throw in special days (pot-lucks, dress-up days, or celebrations) to give them something to look forward to at work and break up the day to day monotony.
- People are susceptible to outside influence – They are often affected even by decisions that don’t directly affect them. What other employers pay their employees, or what their job duties are. Even what is going on in other industries or departments. You must guard against the “grass is always greener” syndrome to maintain motivation amongst your staff.
There is however one big area where robots and people are similar:
- People require maintenance too – Your employees need your attention, they need you to tell you when they do well, and above all, they need continual retraining on new techniques and refreshers on the old ones. So while we don’t want to treat our staff like robots, we do not want to neglect preventative and regular maintenance.
Never forget that each and every one of your employees is unique and while it may be easier to fit them all into a nice little mold, you will miss out on the benefit of each of their talents AND you will lead down a path to mediocrity and inferior performance if you do so. So keep working on your policies and procedures, but be careful that you also address the human element in your management.
Thanks to: http://themanagersdiary.com/?p=211