Working Relationships

Wall, Bob
May 2008
Working Relationships - Business Book Summaries;2008, Vol. 1 Issue 1, p1
Book Summary
Book Summary
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.


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