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Relationships or Results – What’s your Focus?

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

Is work about getting results no matter what? Or is it the quality of working relationships that really leads to success? We each have deep motivational preferences that drive our behaviour and focus our attention. If they are neglected or ignored they can lead to problems that undermine understanding and success.

I was recently listening to a misunderstanding between two Directors. One of them, let’s call her Linda, was frustrated by a particular member of staff not achieving the required results. Linda is not his line manager but she was talking about him to the other Director, let’s call her Maria, who is his line manager.

The conversation went something like this:

Linda: “The Office Manager is not producing the results we need.”

Maria: “Tom is doing the best he can, he looks overwhelmed and I don’t feel I can put more pressure on him.”

Linda: “The business will suffer if staff don’t pull their weight”

Maria: “I’m concerned that we are giving him too much and need to be careful that we don’t stress him out and lose him.”

Linda: “This business can’t afford passengers, line managers need to performance manage their staff more to ensure objectives are set and met. We have a disciplinary process for dealing with poor performance”

Maria: “What are you trying to say? That I’m a bad manager?”

Linda: “Don’t be so emotional, that’s not what I meant!”

This polarised conversation was beginning to upset both directors and I could see how Linda was getting frustrated and Maria was getting defensive and angry – it was going to get personal. The increasing intensity was preventing either of them from using their emotional intelligence to see what was happening.

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