Collaboration in the Workplace-We Practice What We Preach
Guest Blog by Susan Lightner, COO, Leading From Center
It’s difficult enough to get a job these days and then, when you do, you are now dealing with different personalities, styles and strengths in your co-workers. Taking time to learn how others work and in what areas they excel, then blending your strengths with theirs makes for a collaborative workplace.
I was very lucky finding a job with Leading From Center. In the beginning, I didn’t know how I might fit. Turns out we were made for each other.
Lori, Leading from Center’s President is a big-picture person. She knows what direction she wants to head and what goals she wants to achieve. I am more detailed, more precise. I follow her direction and handle all the details needed to achieve our company goals.
For example, in developing new business Lori meets directly with the clients while I handle all the operations that allow the client to feel supported. Together we effectively execute on our plan. As I mentioned before, Lori is a big picture person who has many ideas. She is not a detail person. But I am and that allows us to work in harmony.
Lori is never demanding and never treats me as a subordinate. We very quickly developed trust and a true partnership. We are both open, honest and always appreciative of each other’s contribution. Trust and respect are paramount in any healthy relationship. But to have that in the workplace is a bit uncommon in my experience.
I have worked with people in the past who have acted as if, because they are the boss, they are automatically a better, smarter person. Of course, they deserve the respect of their position and yes, they may have been ranked above me in business, but not in life. Lori does not believe herself better than anyone else. Although we have different strengths and weaknesses, she understands we are all equal as human beings. This level of respect and acknowledgment creates an environment where I can grow, learn and operate at my highest level.
Working well together does not always come easily and not often from the beginning. Taking the time to learn the strengths of those you work with, especially if those strengths are not your own, is of the utmost benefit. Allowing and encouraging everyone the opportunity to do what they do best can only help your business to flourish. After all, isn’t that the goal?