Bringing Out The Best

Written on Thursday, February 18th, 2010 at 9:49 am by Liz
Filed under Financial Freedom, Lifestyle.

There are plenty of success secrets out there. Each business has its own story of how it overcame challenges and achieved victories. Those fortunate enough to thrive longer have their own secrets to keep, and hopefully share eventually. I’ve come across two articles in  Small Business CEO Magazine, and I believe they capture the essence of a successful business and working environment.

Whatever your position, whether you’re a leader  or a follower, you have your own purpose in the company. You  have your own reputation to build and keep in order to help the company gain profit and success in the long run.

The Skinny On Business Relationships


Relationships sure are tricky aren’t they? <g> Everywhere we go and in everything we do, we encounter and build relationships with different types of people. One would think that such personal considerations have no place in the office. But as it turns out, it is a bigger deal than what your actual business is.

My husband Ric and I do not work in a traditional office environment. Oh, we have both experienced that in the past, but that’s, well, in the past. <g> Now, we’ve adapted a more modern working situation wherein we work at home and work in our virtual offices to run our several successful online marketing businesses, among other things.

This doesn’t mean, however, that we’ve been spared from such relationship considerations. With a virtual staff of more than 35 people located all over the planet we actually have to be more careful, since more often than not we don’t ever get to see the people we work with face to face. A lot of miscommunication can happen when you don’t see the faces of those you’re talking to or don’t hear the inflections in people’s voices in written or online correspondence.

Just the same, whether you’re in a traditional office setting or not, I believe Winn Claybaugh’s article Business’ Best-Kept Secret: Successful Relationships holds true.

It’s Not Just An Office Place

Some may think that people in bigger, more elaborate and beautiful offices have better relationships with each other than those who work in smaller, sparsely furnished workplaces. Well, you could not be more wrong. <g>

Successful businesses are not built on their physical offices (well, not literally anyway <g>), but on the people who work there instead. Shiny floors and decorative paintings do not assure a good working relationship between office workers. Polite and nice personal interaction and good, strong relationships among colleagues, however, do.

No matter where you work, or what you do, or how big your business is, it’s the people in it who make it run and function. Like a machine, their relationships have to be well oiled. Otherwise, the clunking and rusting would be heard and noticed by the customers. Yes, clients are that intuitive. <g> They know when they’re being served by good-natured and wonderful people with good working relationships, versus those who are visibly sniping at each other or who have undercurrents of hostility running through them. How each worker is towards another is always palpable, no matter how they each try to hide it. Did I just hear someone say, “ouch?”  <g>


Go In Asking

We each have our own goals and objectives in a company or business. This doesn’t mean that we could do anything we want and treat anyone like how we want to though. Others may think they could do everything alone. Well, I have news for you my friend, not always. <g> You need the people around you.

Remember, you aim to help the company gain profit – not just you. If you end up being recognized and appreciated in the process, then bravo for you. Otherwise, you need to consider that everyone in the group contributes something essential to the company’s success. Your relationship with each of these people is more important than whatever task you have to perform for the business.

An original concept by Gene Juarez, a businessman from Seattle, Washington, was reiterated by Winn. That is, to always “go in asking.” How is this done, you ask? Lucky you, I’m here to share it. <g>

Whenever something happens, whether it be a good or bad situation, it’s always better to speak to the concerned parties directly and get the information straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. <g> If you need something confirmed or cleared up, you go on in and ask away. Set the person you want to settle something with aside and don’t show any hostility or judgment. Approach with caution, love and good will, and you will surely get the answer you’re aiming to get. Trust me, sugar definitely paves the way better and smoother than salt. <g> Treat your colleagues with respect and create good working relationships with them and your workplace will definitely be a haven to work in.

Your Responsibility
Personal growth and self improvement are two of the goals we set for ourselves when we start working in a company. I believe this is achieved as a result of being either in the doing or receiving end the following tips from Bob ‘Idea Man’ Hooey in his article 12 Key Strategies for ‘Bringing Out the Best in People’.

Expect the best from the people you lead.

If you expect the best from the people you lead and work with, you’d be surprised that they will deliver most of the time. Just as they expect you to be a good leader or colleague, so should you expect and trust them to be good workers themselves.

Make a thorough study of the other person’s needs.

It’s not always a quid pro quo situation, but considering and providing the needs of your colleagues always go a long way into getting on their good side and encouraging the best performance from them.

Establish high standards for excellence.

You have to aim high to reach high. If you establish high standards from the very start, then your company would do no wrong. People who are used to aiming for high standards usually end up expecting more of themselves and delivering even more than they expected.

Create an environment where failure is not fatal.

Failure is not a stranger. It’s always just around the corner and will, on occasion, join the party. Accept it as part of business cycle and do not alienate or banish those who meet it. Let your colleagues know that it’s okay to fall every once in a while, as long as you all get up and learn from it in the process.

If they are going anywhere near where you want to go, climb on other people’s bandwagons.

Nobody could get where they need to be on their own. Everyone needs help, some more so than others. However, when you feel that someone is not on the same wavelength as you and is doing the company more harm than good, don’t be afraid to call him on it.

We each thrive where we’re supposed to be. Accept that maybe your company is just not the right place for him to grow. Then, you’ll have the chance to find someone who is more suited for your company.

Employ models to encourage success.

Practice what you preach, live by example and do unto others and whatnot. <g> All these clichés actually make perfect sense. How will your colleagues trust and respect you if you yourself do not abide by the company’s rules and perform poorly?

Recognize and applaud achievement.

Sometimes, people are shy or apprehensive about admitting that they do enjoy attention and applause. Some like to bask in the glory once in a while, but others want to swim in it. Just the same, don’t hesitate to recognize whatever achievement there is and applaud whoever was responsible. This is proven to uplift morale and produce better working results.

Employ a mixture of positive and negative reinforcement.

It’s not always sunshine and praises of course. <g> If you get to applaud achievement, you should also be able to manage reprimands. Anything good turns bad if overdone or overused. If you only recognize the good parts and ignore the bad ones, then things will go downhill in no time. It’s better to call on the negative aspects and work on them together while you can.

Appeal sparingly to the competitive urge.

Healthy and constructive competition between colleagues could motivate performance and boost morale. Knowing they’re working against, as well as with (if in teams), like minds gives you a sense of belonging. It also builds a feeling of security, an awareness that you’re all talented and completely capable and worthy of being in the same company.  

Place a premium on collaboration.

Like I’ve mentioned above a few times, no one could and should work completely alone. “No man is an island” is one cliché that comes to mind. <g> Encourage collaboration and watch those creative juices mix together and produce amazing results.

Build into the group an allowance for storms.

Since you’ve already accepted that failure is part of business and life, you should be ready for the worst at all times. You don’t want an economic downturn or whatever mishap taking you by surprise. Instill the value of preparedness in everyone. Take the lead and gain control if need be, but don’t discount the help each individual could contribute.

Take steps to keep your own motivation high.

We’ve also established that you should live by example, whether you’re a leader or an employee. No matter the situation, you should always have your game face on. If the company is doing badly, you can’t break down in front of everyone. Instead, put on a brave and positive front, and assure your colleagues that with collaboration and a little luck, you could get out of whatever situation you’re in right now. If you trust in each others’ abilities and have good working relationships, then you could most definitely work together towards helping the company stay afloat and regain success.

Who would have thought that the childhood concept of “make nice to play nice” would transcend time and apply to our lives and relationships even as adults? <g> But there you go.Successful businesses are built on successful working relationships, and like it or not, we each have the capacity to bring out the best (or the worst) in each other. These are very powerful concepts if you think hard on them, since they could make or break businesses. The key is to use these powers for good to produce the best possible results.

Do you have anecdotes on office relationships you want to share? Or maybe you have additional tips on how to bring out the best in people? Write in the comments section below and tell us your story.

Have a wonderful (and peaceful) day you all!

Liz


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