Working Dynamics Newsletter


August 2004 


Looking for opportunities to build relationships at work is one of the smartest things you can do for yourself. Little is more helpful when you are focused on reaching a specific business goal and it is a real key in your own professional development and career success. As a team leader, or as a team member, one person giving attention to one-to-one work relationships can shift an entire team into a more collaborative effort. We hope ideas in this newsletter will spark a thought for you that will add to your professional and/or business success.

Best wishes, Working Dynamics.

In this issue...

  • Low Collaboration Can Signal Dangers Ahead
  • Meet Conflict Head On
  • What Do Bosses Want?
  • Making Each Conversation Count!
  • You Won't Know Until You Ask

Meet Conflict Head On

If your primary method of handling conflict is hoping it will disappear or resolve itself, you aren't alone. You may find yourself thinking "If I give it time, maybe it will go away on its own." If so, you may be shirking responsibility as a leader to manage conflict in your team and putting your team in jeopardy of low morale and reduced productivity. Lack of confidence in the ability to resolve conflict is the main reason managers do not get involved. Many leaders have some degree of discomfort in emotionally charged situations. Most have varying levels of confidence when it comes to mediating a conflict between others. However, smart leaders know that managing conflict is vital to their team's success and to their career. Even though others may appear to be completely comfortable in conflict situations and seem naturally adept at creating a positive environment where conflict is actually productive, don't assume this came without trying. Make no mistake - MANAGING CONFLICT SKILLFULLY IS A LEARNED BEHAVIOR!

Ten ways to manage conflict skillfully ... »


What Do Bosses Want?

Having problems with your boss? Maybe you're not clear about her expectations of you. The Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) has identified four factors that bosses value most. Understanding these concepts can go a long way toward determining your best path at work. According to CCL, there are four factors a boss values most: 1) resourcefulness; 2) doing whatever it takes; 3) being a quick study; and 4) decisiveness. Another important question: What does your BOSS'S boss expect? The answer says a lot about what is expected of you. Most importantly, don't guess how your relationship with your boss could be improved, ASK about expectations. Start that important conversation.

In your experience, what do bosses want? »


Making Each Conversation Count!

Too often the conversations we have with colleagues, clients, and bosses skirt the real issues. We fail to tell the truth. We avoid what needs to be said. We don't ask the right questions. We don't listen. Much is at stake in these conversations, and often the conversations we have or don't have determine our success. According to Susan Scott, author of Fierce Conversations, there are seven key principles that help us make each conversation count whether at work or in personal relationships. Jada Banks, Working Dynamics Associate, describes those principles and tells how you can adapt your communication style so that every conversation you have can count! Jada also presents interactive workshops on this topic. Contact us at (804) 353-9527 or for more information.

Link to full article ... »


You Won't Know Until You Ask

Evaluations usually go down a one-way street -- boss to employee. However, bosses who offer a return route can make more progress. Consider asking your employee for feedback on your performance as a boss. Yes, it's scary. What if you hear something you don't like? It is likely you will, but there is much to be gained from asking. An end result can be that you are viewed as a better boss just because you asked. With new information on how your management style works with this employee, you can chose how you want to enhance your professional development plan and find new ways to build a better relationship with this person.

How do you ask? »

Low Collaboration Can Signal Dangers Ahead

One of the biggest threats to productivity and business success is a workforce that's not working together effectively. Increases in absenteeism, turnover, and complaints are all results of strained work relationships. Other losses include reduction in workflow between departments, dropping morale, fewer new ideas, and less manager time for challenging business decisions. Left unchecked, low collaboration can cost organizations in overall productivity, employee retention, ability to attract new talent, and public image.

Turnover, "preabsenteeism" (employees being at work but not being fully productive), and absenteeism are reducible costs. You can manage their impact on your organizational culture by improving work relationships and addressing internal processes that affect collaboration.

Many organizations are battling a war on costs and a struggle to increase productivity and maximize the efficiency of a lean workforce. The best investment you can make is focusing your attention on your human capital. Learning where productivity threats exist and taking action are the best approaches for long-term success.

Working Dynamics can identify causes for reduced collaboration and build practices and systems to create a successful environment and high productivity. Strong work relationships mean more effective teams, better leadership, and greater collaboration. Contact us to discuss ways that we can make an impact in your work environment.

Learn from your employees what they need to do their best work ...

More Info ...

Calculate what conflict is costing your team (PDF)

Consider what conflict at work is costing you personally (PDF)

Conflict Dynamics Profile for individual and team development

Working Dynamics Seminars and Workshops

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