My post on 04/03/18 tackled getting into alignment at work and it was a doozie! Many of you had requests to go a bit deeper into the content, so we’ve covered five of the “7 Ways To Get Alignment At Work” (and in life!). This post is an expansion of the last two tips: #6, Make New Agreements and #7, Set Check-Ins.
Shake Hands On It
Maybe literally, but at least figuratively. If you are working towards alignment with a co-worker, leader or even in a personal relationship and you’ve put in all the effort in steps 1-5, now comes the fun part. You need to make sure you share an understanding. I suggest initiating a conversation that:
Points out the positive progress made. Be sure to acknowledge their effort specifically.
Shows your understanding of where your partnership/working relationship is headed.
Be specific. DON’T say, “I hope we continue to make big things happen.” DO say, “I want to make sure we both have input on project X and the creation of project Y.”
Addresses how you’d like to interact differently. DON’T say, “Let’s make sure we collaborate when something comes up.” DO say, “When an issue arises, what do you think a fair amount of time is to bring each other in to address it? A day? I think that’s fair.”
Discusses outcomes. Again, be specific. With your newly aligned relationship, what can you accomplish together? A key focus of discussion is how you believe it will also benefit you both individually with a focus on how it will benefit the other person.
Don't Leave Things to Chance - Book Time!
Regular check-ins are the keys to many healthy relationships. I believe – and so does Harvard Business Review – that when a leader and their employees touch base frequently, they’re more productive and engaged. Even a weekly family meeting, which my family practices, can add value. According to the Center for Parenting Education, family meetings can increase kids’ self-esteem, help them learn to problem solve as a team and resolve conflict. If it works for families it can work at work!
When initiating check-ins:
Discuss the value. At the very least, they help you ensure you are on the right track, measure success and provide a chance to ensure communication is happening.
Determine the frequency.
Agree on how you’ll measure success. In addition to project-based measures of success, revisit your agreements and make sure you are following them. You can also include self-reflection questions like, “Are the outcomes we’re achieving different?” and “Am I engaging in the work in a more productive way?”
Getting, and keeping, alignment with others isn’t easy. But, with intention and effort you’ll be more connected and produce better outcomes together. At work and at home! Happy aligning!
Peace and Progress,