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Friday, 21 May 2010

Friday Guest Blog

Forming Effective Working Relationships is the Key to Productivity.

Nick Kettles, Marketing Director, The Coaches Training Institute, UK

It doesn’t seem to matter whether the economy is up or down, either way, over the last decade employees increasingly have been asked to do more with less, in less time, and perform consistently better than their competitors.

Collaboration clearly is the key to productivity and yet that is not always easy for chronically overwhelmed managers, charged with the responsibility to recognize and develop the talent potential in each of his or her direct reports.

In fast paced business environments, there is little time for meaningful manager-employee interaction and the tendency may still be for managers to view employees as transactional objects to get things done and tick the next ‘to do’ on the list. Even with management structures becoming flatter, the natural tendency of people to compete with one and other, even within the same workplace, can also prove to be counter productive.

However, the manager-employee relationship still presents an inherently rich, opportunity for inspiring transformational development throughout the organization, and increasing productivity, if businesses understand how to leverage it.

For example, coaching models such as the Co-active model, which help develop the individual’s emotional Intelligence – such as learning deep listening skills - can play a role in helping unlock the potential power in the employee-manager relationship. With such an approach, managers can shift modes from trying to control their staff, to one that enables employees to see themselves as fully resourceful in meeting the demands of the business.

Take the way managers use processes like 360 degree feedback tools for example. Traditionally they have been used to help fix people, mitigate risk and manage performance, but seen through the lens of Co-activity, managers can not only establish and measure people’s competencies, but deliver the feedback in a way which is compelling enough for them to want to get to the next level.

By creating a safe space, a coaching approach removes the fear of failure and permits people, to become more curious about what other directions are available to them, when things don’t work.
Perhaps more than technology, or strategy, unlocking the power of human relationships will prove to be the driver in helping businesses overcome the impact of recession, and return to full productivity.

CTI offer coach training courses for executives, managers and new career seekers, in Manchester and London, throughout the year. For more information.

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