We recently interviewed a department director in preparation for a TRP training. We asked her to describe her management team. The following story about one of her long-time managers (we'll call her Sandy) inspired this TRP post.
Sandy has been with us for over twenty years. I just had a review with her and right at the beginning she said, "We've come a long way, haven't we?"
Let me explain. Her comment was a testament to the mutual respect we have for one another.
When I joined the company fifteen years ago Sandy began reporting to me. I greatly misjudged her at first. I did not realize how much she knew. I thought she was too passive and "just along for the ride". She did not speak up when I thought she should assert her authority over her team members.
What I began to see was her quiet strength. She is not afraid of a confrontation, quite the opposite! More than anyone I've ever worked with, she knows just when to step in, and when it is best to let others work it out. She's a true servant leader and she has been an outstanding manager.
Have you ever misjudged someone else's strength, and perhaps perceived it as a flaw? Taking the time to see what's under the surface of our colleagues is one of the most rewarding investments we can make. The strengths of our team members are often hidden in plain sight. Taking a genuine interest in someone else means going beyond what we might find interesting about them. It's so much deeper than that.
One of Dale Carnegie's rules from over 80 years ago in How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as relevant today:
"Regardless of the physical or financial assets an organization may have, it's the people who make it successful. They are an organization's key asset, and getting to know them should be as high a priority as learning the technical aspects of one's job. The key is to be genuine. Don't get a reputation for only being interested when you want something, getting to know others should always be mutually beneficial."
At TRP Enterprises we're continually developing new ways to help people work together. The Circles of Collaboration is a new tool for teams and organizations to see the positive qualities that each bring to any project, and use those positive qualities for deep collaboration and truly meaningful work. To learn more, come join us this summer for one of our Managing Change workshops.