Promoting Doer Dialog

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Doers often disparage workplace relationships because they “don’t know, don’t like, or don’t trust” the people with whom they work. Applying the tenets of teamwork as defined in the previous two Blogs when building a task-based relationship objectifies rather than personalizes individual performance. This shift in focus attracts Doers because it is now clear to them what, not who, needs to be fixed.

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.

Once the tenets of teamwork are put into practice and the team formation process begins to take shape, the next step is to develop an on-going dialogue between and among the Doers within each team. The purpose of the React—Respond—Reflect process model outlined below is to encourage more listening and less speaking during Doer team interactions. Those who practice this process find that they become an even more effective performer by being quick to listen and slow to speak.

React! Suppress first impressions or impulses. Expressing your feelings and thoughts prematurely shifts the focus away from the speaker and discourages rather than encourages a more thorough exploration of the issue. The temptation to react when a thought crosses your mind is natural, but it should be held in check to encourage the speaker to continue.

Respond! Answer positively or affirmatively. The appropriate time to respond will become obvious once the speaker has expressed what is foremost on his or her mind. A positive response not only acknowledges that you have heard what has been said thus far, but also encourages the speaker to respond more openly to your questions and concerns.

Reflect! Suggest alternatives or resolutions. The opportunity to reflect on alternative outcomes and explore potential solutions will surface naturally when critical judgment is suspended and the dialogue is free flowing between all participants. At this point, you can hold up the mirror so that everyone benefits from seeing the situation through multiple sets of eyes.

Achievers draw their sense of purpose and pride of accomplishment from their team-based relationships in a high performance workplace. In a dysfunctional organization, however, where their achievements matter little, relying on the same support system to meet their personal needs can be risky.

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