How do you create a successful work culture?
The first step in creating a culture of success with a new team or partnership is to establish an atmosphere conducive to partnership. This is a multi-step process that I teach over the course of several modules with new business alliances. This month, I’ll share some tips on how to instill an atmosphere of cooperation in a partnership right at its outset.
Before a partnership can truly be finalized, it is important for the partners involved to ask themselves a series of questions. First, ask yourselves how you want to be together. That is, what roles does each member feel that they would be best in? What roles do your partners think you should play? When you interact with each other, how would you like those interactions to go? Most people, of course, want smooth and respectful partnership overall, but fail to define their expectations for individual interactions. If a more dominant personality (D’s, in DiSC speak) is used to brief, clipped conversations In which one person delegates duties, an S – or steadiness – person might react well, while an I – or influencing – partner might be highly unresponsive. Some people may like long interactions that involve casual conversation about the weekend, the family, or the game; these types of conversations may seem a waste of time and even a sign of disrespect by other behavioral types.
Second, ask yourself what you’ll do if things don’t go along smoothly? When interactions and business dealings don’t go the way we planned, we truly see whether we have a strong team or simply a group of people with a mutual goal. Successful teams are able to stay in a mutually healthy relationship, giving each other support through setbacks and outright failures. Partnerships fall apart when frustration and annoyance result from business hurdles. Nitpicky stuff becomes grounds for large-scale disagreements. Typos become excuses for dragging old luggage out of the closet.
Thirdly, ensure that you’ve chosen the proper business partners. Can you count on your teammates? What can you count on them for? That is, in what areas do you take your partners’ performances for granted, knowing that they’ll do their part? Conversely, what can you be counted on for? Make sure that you are a good partner by holding yourself accountable and holding up your end of the bargain in any partnership.