Coaching, Leadership, Performance Management
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This proverb appeared first in James Howell’s Proverbs in English, Italian, French and Spanish (1659) and has been used widely in popular media ever since. In short, it means that it is not healthy for someone to work all of the time and never play. The same can be said in business. While organizations clearly value passionate and goal-focused individuals, it is also important to develop trusting relationships with team members and to get to know them personally.
In part three of our series examining behavior combinations, we will examine individuals that demonstrate passion/energy with goal focus. These individuals’ heavy focus on business goals and career advancement can hurt their ability to develop trusting relationships with team members and key business partners.
Behavior Combination: Passion/Energy and Goal Focus
This person can often be described as “all business” or focused solely on the task at hand. He or she is likely to spend a lot of time discussing how the business is going and how they are tracking against goals. However, this individual can miss connecting with other people on a more personal level because he or she is so focused on work and results. Described another way, this person is more task-oriented versus people-focused.
As a manager, taking an interest in what is important to people, outside and inside of work, helps build a more trusting relationship, which can translate into business success. According to a Fast Company article titled “The Five Biggest Mistakes You’re Making with Work Relationships,” the ability to build and leverage a network of relationships is the best predictor of success1. However, building strong relationships is particularly challenging for people with the passion/energy and goal focus behavior combination.
When coaching this person, encourage him or her to hold team-building sessions, eat lunch with peers and celebrate personal milestones (e.g., birthdays, baby showers, etc.). Ask this person to drop by someone's office just to talk about non-business issues. Have him or her identify three people with whom they would like to develop a closer relationship with and encourage them to take the first step by setting up a lunch, coffee or call.
Doing the “little things” at work can go a long way. People want to work with and please individuals they know, like and respect. By fostering a collaborative relationship with team members, people set themselves up for greater success – something that is critical to a person with the behavior combination passion/energy and goal focus. Do you have any suggestions for building trusting relationships at work?