As a leader, you have likely experienced this competing tension:
Finding the balance between prioritizing results or relationships.
It can be hard deciding which is of greater value, considering that whatever is valued most in your company culture tends to shape your work experience.
Prioritizing one promotes an open, engaging atmosphere; the other encourages a heads–down, productive environment.
Over time, either results or relationships will rise to the top of your value system, determining your priorities for yourself and for your team.
I experience this tension often as I attempt to lead. The competition is never more surely at play than in my stressors and motivators. When a co-worker walks into my office, I have the option to consider it an interruption to my work or an opportunity to collaborate and connect.
The push and pull of focusing on results versus relationships is a universal dilemma. Each of us will be biased toward one. Consider the following and ask yourself which is more familiar to you.
Results Oriented – We all go to work to accomplish a task, be productive, advance the mission, and accomplish the goals set before us. Frustration builds with unproductive, unfocused meetings; interruptions and water cooler small talk are draining. Not meeting goals and objectives is painful. Ultimately, we want to drive the team forward to success and high performance! To do so, everyone must work hard and get the job done.
Relationships Oriented – The workplace is a community. Team mates are friends, collaborators, and individuals with their own stories and lives. Meetings and an open office policy will foster unity in a team as the members connect on a more personal level. It’s important for a leader to stay plugged in to the hustle and bustle of their colleagues’ working lives and to cultivate an atmosphere in which team members can be themselves. Interact with team members; ask for their thoughts or opinions; swap stories about the weekend; get the latest grilling recipes. Enjoy the workplace together! Sure, it may take a bit longer to accomplish the goals, but you and your team will more surely enjoy the process and the success!