October 02, 2009
Some work relationships seem to just BARELY be functioning. If they are not in conflict, they are tentative and feel far from secure.
These may include relationships with:
– key customer groups
– other departments that we rely on
– support functions (like accounting, HR, facilities)
– senior leadership
(OMG, don’t make me ask them how do you feel about that?)
– suppliers or others that have a stake in your production
The MOST underutilized conversation at work is the expectations-sharing conversation. It should be a regularly occurring one, yet is the most often ignored.
Hold an Expectations-Setting Session to define and improve relationships. Doesn’t need to be a biggie. Include one or more of the following:
- Clarification around what has recently changed in the work environment that may have affected the relation between the two parties
- Positive feedback on those items that are working well
- What you presently expect of the other party and what they expect of you
- Education of the other party about your priorities and your requirements for DIRTFT*
- Shared and contradicting priorities
- Ideas and further feedback
- Setting a new system or validating an existing one for sharing communication, such as quarterly meetings, priority reports, Top Ten issues lists, etc.
PS – I call this a simple fix because its approach is rather straightforward, and not difficult to understand. But realize that simple does not necessarily mean easy. Oh well.
* Doing It Right The First Time a/k/a how to get your job done well