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Collaboration in the Workplace-We Practice What We Preach

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Guest Blog by Susan Lightner, COO, Leading From Center

Finding the strengths of those you work with, especially if those strengths are not your own, is the best way to work harmoniously and productively.

Finding the strengths of those you work with, especially if those strengths are not your own, is the best way to work harmoniously and productively.

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?

About the Author

Lori MazanLori Mazan is the founder of Leading From Center, originally started as Seventh Wave coaching in 1996. A seasoned advisor and executive coach herself, Lori also provides high caliber, hand picked and personally supervised affiliate coaches. One of the first 300 certified coaches in the US, Lori has been working for almost two decades with Fortune 100 executives in companies including Chevron, Sprint, and Roche/Genentech, as well as funded growth companies like Coverity, Intellikine, and Tapjoy. Her background includes training thousands of people in leadership skills ranging from deep listening to complex arenas of conflict resolution, motivation, and organizational and political savvy. Blending experience with theory, Lori taught 10 years of college level social psychology and group dynamics courses. Lori lives in Southern California with her son, two cats and a dozen goldfish. She has a 20+ year practice in the art of Tai Chi Chuan.View all posts by Lori Mazan →

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