Fight your way toward collaboration...Mark Myette
Quick: Think of a time when you demonstrated compassion.
Next: Think of a time when you demonstrated collaboration.
What did it look like?
As we immerse ourselves into another holiday season, reviewing the pillar COMPASSIONATE COLLABORATION - the fourth of 7 pillars defined by Robert Greenleaf - is appropriate! The holidays should be about and the celebration of COMPASSIONATE COLLABORATION!
Case in point, when the Pilgrims arrived in the new world in 1620, they were welcomed by the native inhabitants, of the area had already been there 10000 years BEFORE they arrived - the Wampanoag Indians. They taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn, as well as where to fish and hunt. They learned from the "locals" who shared their gifts...in the Fall of 1621 the Pilgrims famously shared one of their first harvests during a THREE day celebration come to be known as Thanksgiving!
Now, as we approach the holidays full force, we have an opportunity to similarly extend the gratitude through the end of the year and perhaps beyond! In the workplace this demonstration can nurture a desire to practice compassionate collaboration!
And before you jump to the conclusion that this blog is a "namby-pamby" approach toward a "corporate trust fall"...keep reading because it's more! Practicing and consistently demonstrating compassionate collaboration to co-workers, teammates, or colleagues (hard) and customers (harder) is REALLY REALLY hard.
As we have learned, being Compassionate is all about empathy and demonstrating care for others. Collaboration, from the Latin roots "com" and "laborare", means to “co-labor” is all about “working together.”
In my last blog I noted my 95-year-old Uncle Robert's strong influence to me…currently he's in a rehabilitation facility due to a fall…the facility is impressive…and seems to promote a very strong culture of positivity and "patient first" values… posters line every wall with examples of these values…where it gets hard is when an employee is tired…stressed…or, perhaps, overworked. When I check-in and ask "Robert, how are things going?" he'll sometimes relay a story that brings the posters to life! On a subsequent call, he may relay a story about how values on the posters remain just that - a poster…an aspiration - like I said, it’s REALLY REALLY hard to do consistently.
Compassion and ways to show it:
So, let's delve using the book!
1. Expresses Appreciation
Expressing appreciation is one way a servant leader acts on his commitment to the growth of others. It's also good business!
When a company’s corporate culture values enterprise-wide employee recognition and praise (a “positive culture”), it translates directly to the bottom line in an impressive way. Kotter and Heskett conducted an eleven-year research study summarized in their book Corporate Culture and Performance. They found companies that maintained a positive and collaborative cultural not only positively influenced customers, stockholders, and employees, they performed better economically than companies that did not maintain similar positive cultural traits. This translated into an increase in revenues by an average of 682 percent, an expansion of the workforce by an average of 282 percent, and growth in company stock prices by an average of 901 percent.
So with this supporting data it's appropriate to share tips on how you can help your employees feel valued include the following:
Robert Greenleaf believed servant leaders should understand that any given group will have multiple leaders who serve different roles. As such, he identified 10 competencies important to be an effective servant leader...all of which we have spent 10 previous blogs discovering (stack ranked based on reader popularity):
As noted in a Greenleaf's essay "Seeker and Servant: Reflections on Religious Leadership" (1996), this view of team leadership invites each member to take on a leadership role consistent with her/his experiences, skills, temperaments, and interests. If all of the roles are carried out well, Greenleaf says the group “may seem to be leaderless. But, in fact, such a group or team may be the most intensely led of all.”
Seven Standards of High-Performing Teams
Using Greenleaf's philosophy, Sipe and Frick consider measuring a team's performance against a set of "leadership operating standards" below:
Positive approaches to conflict can help you protect your interests, freeing you to take action and solve problems. On the other hand, conflict can be mishandled. It can storm out of control and cause harm to you and others. Compassionate collaboration will not happen if you hold on to the old ways of handling conflict based on “I win, you lose!”
At one extreme, children are taught that anger and conflict are not okay. They may end up stuffing their anger and avoiding confrontation. At the other extreme, kids see anger and conflict handled aggressively and violently. They may have been encouraged to use force to solve their problems. Other children fall somewhere in between these extremes. They have been shown healthier and more productive outlets for their anger and frustration.
The refusal to admit to disagreements can be as destructive as aggressive confrontation. Yet even the Quakers (of which Greenleaf was a devout Quaker), who practically invented consensus decision making, stress that consensus will not work unless every person surfaces disagreements so they can be dealt with honestly.
Sipe and Frick review TWO techniques that are helpful with this competency:
A servant leader nurtures a climate of appreciation, is a team builder by helping group members develop the skills to identify and eliminate any barriers to group’s success and helps them solve any interpersonal problems that may prevent the group from maintaining high-quality interactions or diminish cohesiveness. This view of team leadership - COMPASSIONATE COLLABORATION - is not for those who want to use a group role to satisfy ego. Rather, it's for servant leaders who value BEST OUTCOMES over PERSONAL GAIN: in short, leaders with moral authority (stay tuned!).
My best to your quest!
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted relationships where individuals, teams and leaders NAME, CLAIM and AIM their gifts to achieve optimum performance.
Interested to Learn About Yourself or Your Team? Mark is a Certified CliftonStrengths Coach, Facet5 and TotalSDI Facilitator and happy to discuss your situation.
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About Mark Myette
I believe each of us is a gift. I create trusted
Based out Roam - Buckhead - 3365 Piedmont Rd NE, Suite 1400 (2nd Floor), Atlanta, GA 30305
Can meet at other Roam locations if appropriate: Alpharetta; Dunwoody; or Galleria