Applying the tenets of teamwork outlined in the previous blog and in this part 2 when building a task-based relationship objectifies rather than personalizes individual performance. This shift in focus turns makes you a Doer because it is now clear what, not who, needs to be fixed.
MUTUAL RESPECT: Accept and value what others bring to the relationship.
First impressions are not always the ones you want to rely upon when it comes to working with others. You really do not get a clear sense of what another person has to offer until you have given her or him a second and third look.
What others bring to the relationship is a valid expectation of how the task should be accomplished. Something you could not possibly understand unless you invite them to share what they know without fear of being judged prematurely.
The objective is to focus on the sources of the differing viewpoints and not to persuade others to change their way of thinking. After all, you cannot change what others think unless you first understand the basis for their thoughts. It is important to understand how the views of others were formed.
A mutual exploration of individual expectations is an opportunity to clarify everyone’s position while gaining a better understanding of what each person anticipates will happen when the actual work begins.
PRODUCTION COMMUNICATION: Clarify what you mean and what actions you expect others to take.
Everything you say or do not say has meaning. The challenge is to communicate in a manner that clearly conveys your intentions and leaves no doubt as to what you expect from others.
Task-oriented relationships thrive on accurate information, so it is important that you say what you mean, mean what you say, and not make any commitments you unable or unprepared to keep.
Accurate information travels best with those you know to be reliable transmitters and receivers. It is critical to identify others who are trustworthy and communicate with them directly rather than through intermediaries.
Tell them you want to know the truth about what they are hearing from other sources. Let them know that if you find out they modified or withheld the facts, you will not rely on them again.
NEUTRAL ENVIRONMENT: When faced with disagreement, avoid taking a position until you know the whole story.
Conflict is a sign that something critical to the relationship is missing. Rather than argue over what you think you know, wait until you have updated each other on what has transpired since you last joined forces. People and circumstances change, so there is a good possibility that you may be lacking current information.
When a conflict occurs, listen first in order to establish a clear understanding of what is keeping you apart. Start looking for sources of new information to help you form new opinions. If you cannot resolve the issue quickly, set it aside and do not let it interfere with completing the task.
Disagreements provide a natural opportunity for teammates to identify their differences. The key objective is to agree to disagree until subsequent clarification is forthcoming.
What follows, then, is the assurance that your efforts are recognized, your contributions are valued, your job is more fun, and your organization really is a great place to work. Strained relationships, which were once a source of pain, now become a source of pride and joy.