Have you ever thought about handling your organization as a marriage? If we just consider that ideally, a marriage is an agreement between two people, sharing common values and helping each other for common goals. When they fail, they both fail and when they succeed, it’s a shared success they achieved together.
But let’s get back to the early stage of a relationship and see some correlations between a team and private relationships.
Matchmaking and so on
When you hire someone, it’s like looking for someone on an internet dating website. You are searching for someone with certain expectations in mind, and it is the same in the other way around. The potential employee has some kind of idea about you and working at your organization. If you have the same positive intuition toward each other, you match.
When you make a match, it’s like going on an interview. It is the point when the picture starts to shape up. However, everything comes to the surface when you start “dating”, meaning the beginning of your collaboration. You form a team and slowly start getting to know more about each other.
In time, your relationship evolves into a “marriage”. In a team, you will have individual marriages, but then you have the whole team in your marriage. It will not be only a strong collaboration of two persons, it will be of your whole team. And then you start thinking, Wait a second, even one marriage is enough, why on earth would I think of multiple marriages at my workplace?
The answer is easy: It’s all about engagement for common values. You and your team’s fates are linked. If you fail, they fail too. And this must be understood; you are all in the same boat rowing in the same direction. Sometimes we tend to forget this, even in a marriage.
Factors of contentment
Based on the best practices I collected, here are the most important building blocks of a good marriage. See if you agree with applying them to your own team at work.
BE COMMITTED. Commitment to is the core of your relationship in the team, just as it is in a traditional marriage: “for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; to love, to honor, and to cherish until death do us part”. So when it comes to team members, what you have to see is solid engagement to you and your collaboration.
TRUST. Trust defines the relationship from the beginning. A marriage could not work without it in a healthy way; trust is a baseline of the relationship. There is no perspective of the collaboration without trust either. The lack of trust only brings negative feelings toward the business.
TALK. Communication isn’t important only for progressing at work, but also for team members to tell their fears, frustrations, or share an experience. Communicating these things brings people closer, strengthens the team, and gives more perspective for the business in the long term. Otherwise, just as it would happen in a marriage, if you go silent in communication, you slowly become estranged from each other. You can even end up in divorce. This obviously shouldn’t happen in your organization.
COORDINATE. Coordination in a marriage is necessary and is all about figuring out how you will do your every day. Here I mean division of tasks that use everyone’s talent and abilities, but in a way where your efforts are actually coordinated. For example, a couple decides to redo the floor in the kitchen on their own. They work as a team and go through every stage of getting the new floor; they remove the old tiles and lay down the new ones together. They won’t compete with each other, or let one do the all the work. When working on a project, satisfactory completion is possible if all your team members add full support according to their skills and capacity.
PAY ATTENTION. Attention to the others is also a fundamental factor in a marriage. Without consideration, it is all about selfishness and individuals who will not lead anywhere in the long term; selfish players always set back a team.
DREAM. The clarity of vision is as important in a team as it is in a marriage. If you have dreams and plans, you know which direction you are heading, you will not get lost during your busy working days. Until you have goals to accomplish, you will be on the right track. They are motivational and always remind us what we are striving for.
To compare a marriage to a start-up is not a bad idea since the relationships are founded on the same values in both situations. Ideally, you work for something that is equally important to everyone in the team, because it also benefits all. The willingness to help and actively participate in sorting out a problem together is another factor. It is also crucial that you are respectful toward the others, and accept their strengths and weaknesses.
You create the culture
Team culture is created by each member of the team itself – by consistently and actively delivering value at work. It might also mean that in the early stage of the start-up, the culture of the business is the leader himself. And later on when it comes to the engagement in “marriages”, the individuals will work together where the key word is “we”. And this “we” feeling will make the organization strong, successful, and your team more in sync.
So I think these ideas might be great starting points of your business. If you always keep these in mind, you will see that work will become enjoyable not only for you but for your whole team. After all, this is what we all strive to.
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