Giving Face Time

Beautiful faces, indeed!

Beautiful faces, indeed!

When I left the corporate world nine years ago, it was one of the best choices I ever made. There were aspects of that journey that I’ll gladly walk away from and other experiences that I continue to embrace and value today.

Today, when coaching work teams, managers and executives, I draw on past lessons learned. Since clients know my business background, I’m frequently asked to share what I believe to be foundational business practices; the simple things that have deep and lasting impact. Having always valued relationships (be they business or personal), it’s easy for me to invite them to consider the following:

  • Be Clear. People deserve a clear understanding of what behaviors and outcomes you expect. Many managers are so unclear, employees think that they are intentionally being obscure. Providing precise vision for important goals and initiatives is vital to success.
  • Be in Integrity.  Most people say they are honest. In any given day, however, many people will break their word repeatedly in small ways. People are quick to spot mistakes and slips in integrity by their managers and peers. Instead of confronting problems directly, they blame, gossip and whine. We all must live by integrity and keep our word.
  • Value and Reinforce Ideas.  According to an Employee Involvement Association study, the average employee in Japan submits 32 ideas for improvement per year. The average employee in the U.S. submits 0.17 ideas per year. The ratio of Japanese to U.S. improvement ideas equals 188:1.  The root of this issue stems from the fact that only 33% of U.S. employee ideas are adopted, compared to 87% from Japanese workers. If we expect people to create and express ideas for making work (and/or life) better, we need to be serious about considering and implementing their contributions.

I’m a fan of facial expressions and body language.  As you purposefully engage in relationship building, consider the impact of: a smile; being fully present; listening intently and; integrating these three simple tenets into your thinking and actions. People want to engage with you when you communicate with clarity, authentic consideration and real face time. And I’ll bet you do, too.

2 thoughts on “Giving Face Time

  1. With so much time being spent nowadays communicating and working with others digitally, there are folks out there who feel it’s impossible to connect as deeply as we used to before social media and telecommuting became the norm.

    In my opinion, those same relationship-building strategies CAN be used to develop strong “digital” relationships. It takes a bit more effort and a few smiley face emoticons, but it can definitely happen.


  2. Ah, the RPS (Relationship Paradigm Shift). Relationships have withstood the test of time. Humans have been adapting, changing, reconfiguring and redefining relationships since the Neanderthals. I want to believe that in our increasingly digital world we can use similar relationship-building strategies to continue strengthening relationships.

    There are obviously different thought camps on this, each which make strong cases for traditional relationship practices and views versus rapidly evolving ways in which people are connecting in cyberspace. Sure it can happen yet one question that begs is, will relationships (from casual to committed) still be as deep as we’ve known them to be?

    To intentionally remain ‘on the fence,’ I’ll suggest that varied answers to your question might require semantic or definitional clarification. In other words, what does “deeply” mean? Will new relationships be comparably ‘substantive?’ Or will we become less connected as a result of being superficially linked? What do other readers think?

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