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'Working Relationships'

When working in teams, is trust assumed or do team members have to earn trust?

Consider how trust is lost when working in teams and how to keep trust among team members.

Relate findings from the article following to your answer.

Working Relationships
Using Emotional Intelligence to Enhance Your Effectiveness with Others
By Bob Wall
208 pages. Davies-Black Publishing
Review by Leslie Johnston

Being able to work with people is one of the most important factors in determining success on the job. The things that we need to improve our jobs are only a conversation away. Ideas go unexpressed or unheard because we often do not know how to talk to each other about work. While most of us have good intentions, we are prone to blind spots in our self-perception, resulting in behaviors that produce unintended consequences. People with fully-developed self-awareness and self-control are aware of their emotions and how those emotions affect their performance and their relationships with people at work and in their personal lives.

An emotionally intelligent person establishes relationships with people throughout the organization. The trust implicit in these relationships enables individuals to work through conflicts without damaging their ability to work together. To become master relationship-builders, we must learn how to understand the complexities of relationships in the workplace, build teamwork and accurately diagnose the source of inevitable breakdowns in teamwork. We must also be prepared to raise complex or emotionally charged topics for discussion and keep problem-solving conversations on track, while continuing to strengthen our relationships.

Relationships at work are complicated by the fact that we have two distinctly different relationships with many of our co-workers--one personal and one professional. These two types of relationships require fundamentally different ways of relating to the same person. Most people find themselves stumbling over this critical distinction at work, which can make open discussion and problem-solving difficult to achieve. To work together effectively requires a shared understanding of teamwork and the communications skills necessary to build and continually redefine teamwork as conditions change, as they inevitably do. We must share a conceptual understanding with co-workers of working relationships, teamwork, and conflict. We must be able to disagree with people at work and handle these interactions in a way that leaves the relationship intact and undamaged.

Conflict is difficult to talk about because we have a tendency to attribute the problem to the personality or incompetence of another person. On the other hand, silence in organizations happens at many levels. Many people do not communicate with others, especially supervisors or managers, for fear of the outcome. Taking action means taking risks. It means spending time thinking through issues and how to approach the other person to request a resolution to the problem.

Rather than viewing teamwork as an abstract value or intention, everyone on the team must form tangible agreements about how they will work together and what must take place to create successful outcomes. To facilitate teamwork, therefore, members must be able to agree on goals, roles, and procedures. Professionalizing conflict offers an alternative to the risks and emotions of personalized conflict. Each time we find ourselves in conflict, we have a choice: Are we going to take the conflict personally, or are we going to trust in the other person's intentions and proceed to professionalize the issue? Building relationships and keeping them strong and healthy must be one of our key objectives when bringing issues up for discussion. We will not be very effective if we do an excellent job of building a strong network of relationships but fail to leverage those relationships to get things done. Connecting with people at both a personal and professional level can only help us be more successful, provided that we remain aware of the distinctions and purposes of these two very different ways of relating to the same people.

References

Wall, B. (2008). Working Relationships. Business Book Review Library, 25(19), 1-12. Retrieved from Business Book Summaries database.

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Trust and Interpersonal Relationships

When working in teams, is trust assumed or do team members have to earn trust?

Consider how trust is lost when working in teams and how to keep trust among team members.
Trust is lost in a team when we refuse to take responsibility for our faults. We may make mistakes but it is important to take responsibility for our mistakes. Further, to build trust we need to communicate often to each other frequently so that each knows what the other is doing. Also, to develop trust ...

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