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Are your relationships ‘On Purpose’?

By | David Klaasen | Helping You Create Clarity, Inspire Your People & Drive Performance | Retain your best people | Changing Management Mindsets and Behaviour | Practical Behaviour Analytics

Every relationship has a purpose but all too often it is unspoken, undefined and ambiguous. When things are going well we naturally assume that our purpose is aligned and there is a good mutual understanding. However, this allows many interpretations and both parties may have completely differing views and expectations of the relationship.

When a shift of personal priorities or external pressure begins to affect the relationship things can become fraught, especially if there is a lack of clarity about the fundamental purpose.

While it is fascinating to look into how this affects personal and intimate relationships, this blog focuses on relationships in a work context. However, I will invite you to reflect on all the relationships in your life as you read on!

Over the many years that I have been coaching and advising clients, I have met a number of Directors who feel totally ‘betrayed’ when a senior manager decides to resign; did they have an unrealistic expectation that the manager was as ‘wedded’ to the long term success of business as they were? (As in ‘until death us do part’!)

I’ve also met Managers who believe that the purpose of their employer is to further their career and financial aspirations, and who then complain when they have to put in a few extra hours to fulfil the responsibilities that they do not enjoy, or do some learning out of normal hours.

Just fix our staff!

Back in the mid 1990’s when I was the Training and Development Manager at the Waldorf Hotel in London the managers thought the purpose of my relationship with them was to ‘fix’ their staff. If someone was underperforming, they would send them on one of my courses and then expect them to suddenly be 100% competent without considering the need to change their own management style or behaviour (which was often part of the problem).

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