“It’s Still About Relationships” April 2009
Recently there has been a social networking groundswell. Everywhere you turn, people are requesting you to link in on LinkedIn, to answer some Facebook request, or to begin Twittering. I tend to be a relatively early adopter, at least in theory, so I find myself doing my best to keep up. The internet has provided so many opportunities for us all to connect and communicate that it is truly exciting and revolutionary.
That said, it can all be just a tad overwhelming. Just when I started mastering the nuances of my email list, I now have several other sources to check every day. According to a recent Nielsen study, social networks are now more popular than emailing on the Internet. The study reported that “member communities” are now at 67% participation while email is at 65%. This same study went on to say that of internet users throughout the world, two-thirds visited a social networking site last year. Of those, LinkedIn had a 137% increase in users while Facebook had a 168% increase in users in 2008. To make matters more confusing, the lines seem to be blurring between the personal and the professional, the public and the private domain.
This isn’t all bad. I’ve always been a proponent of being authentic so that transparency is an easy, effortless, and healthy practice. The best leaders live their values in all areas of their lives. Those who say they are very different at home than they are at work are generally not aware of the way they may have needed to mask their true or natural self in order to meet the needs of the environment. The line between “objective” behaviors and tasks and the perception another has of our intentions based upon those behaviors is the value of the kind of work I do. A corporate culture is no different in that certain behaviors are more rewarded or at least are not punished. The issue is how much energy does it take to mask our natural behaviors and gifts and what is the cost to us?
Again, it comes back to what I call people-whispering which is the fine art and science of understanding yourself and the natural strengths you bring to the table, as well as your preferred work environment and managerial approach based upon who you really are. Whether these interactions take place face-to-face or on Facebook, the principle is the same. I need to understand me and you, and learn how to bridge the gap into your world in order to connect with you.
In my work as an Executive Coach, Speaker, and Trainer, I continually see the need to pick the right people for the right role, as well as the need to manage the relationship in such a way that people feel validated, heard, understood, and supported. Let’s not lose sight of the essence of communication because of its ease of access or its newest bells and whistles. Last August, I wrote an article for the American Society of Training and Development’s online newsletter called ASTD Links. I was a bit concerned being a tail-end Baby Boomer that it would need to be about the latest in e-learning or blogging both of which are wonderful delivery mechanisms. But that is what they are folks, delivery methods.
Let’s not lose sight of the fact that the medium is actually not the message. The message is still always about meeting people where they are and honoring their spirit as well as their personality. Even in today’s social networking, fast-paced, internet savvy, twittering world of overwhelming choices and information, good business is about good communication which is about good solid relationships based upon the principles for inspired success. Some of these principles include serving rather than selling our clients and customers, forging mutually beneficial relationships, and building trust. Forms change but the heart of what works does not. Indeed, it is still about relationships.
DiSC Assessment Application :
So many companies have a need for front-line leadership training. I am a firm believer that supervisors and new managers need training in order to know how to bring out the best in their people. Most people have not had strong role models and are therefore at a loss as to how to become effective managers.
Everything DiSC Management teaches managers how to understand their own style better as well as how to read employee styles and adapt to meet their needs more effectively. The Everything DiSC Management Profile is a 26 page management-specific, personalized report that helps managers understand how to work more effectively in the areas of delegating and directing, inspiring, developing others, and working with their own manager.
The Everything DiSC Management Facilitation Kit and Video provides you the opportunity to develop specialized, in-depth, customizable training programs for your needs. The video highlights each styles’ priorities and preferences and provides great interactive exercises for getting buy-in, motivating each style, and for the right/way wrong way to connect with each style in a variety of settings. This demystifies the art of people-whispering in a management context and gives your managers some concrete suggestions for what to do to increase their managerial effectiveness.
For further information regarding how this tool can help you and your team or organization, feel free to call us at (404) 327-6330, email us at Laura@lauraadavis.com and visit our site at www.lauraadavis.com.
Transformational Coaching Tip:
Relationships are about mutual respect, trust, and reciprocity. Understanding how to use DiSC effectively can be a powerful tool to assist people in developing and maintaining healthy relationships personally and professionally. I want to be sure that everyone also understands that it is not enough to just understand and apply these tools from the level of intellect alone.
Deep coaching incorporates the wisdom gained from understanding your life and your choices as a cohesive whole. Once you understand your behavioral needs, your values and beliefs, and can identify your thinking and feeling patterns underlying your behavior; you are at choice instead of at effect.
An example might prove helpful to clarify what I mean. Everyone has heard of “control freaks” or has dealt with people they thought were controlling. Releasing the need for control and the fear behind that is helpful for all of us. There is a big difference between releasing the need for control and abdicating responsibility however.
Ask yourself if you tend to use fear-based or wisdom-based control? Fear-based control shows up as trying to have some kind of power over others and might out-picture as adversarial posturing, threats, passive-aggressive behaviors and so on. Yet, wisdom-based control comes from a deeper place of respect whereby guidance is offered while at the same time keeping everyone safe and thriving without squashing anyone’s spirit or taking away anyone’s free will. This kind of “control” might be necessary in the case of managers and employees, mentors and students, society and its citizens, as well as parents and children.
Make the shift to wisdom-based “control” and watch your relationships in all areas of your life transform and flourish.