Work with those you like or those who do a good job?

August 12th, 2015

Man and woman shaking hands isolated on a white background.There’s a very well-worn phrase in Business Networking circles that people work with people they “know, like and trust”. Networking is about building relationships, so you can get to know others, in order to do business with them – whether that’s referrals, collaboration, buying or selling. So, does that mean you will always like the people you do business with? And what about the colleagues around you – very few people build a team completely from scratch, making all the recruitment decisions themselves; there’s bound to be some work relationships based on who was there already, or brought in by someone else.

So, back to the original question – I have worked with many people and I know I didn’t get along with all of them. For the most part, we respected each other’s work enough to get the job done well and that was not in dispute. The problems I see are when colleagues get to know each other, like and trust each other on a personal level, yet are not very good at their job. At this point, the colleague, their friend, struggles to give them the feedback they need to change. It is counter-intuitive; surely the people we know best who have our best interests in mind, should be the ones to tell us when somethings’s not working well? Too often, they are the ones who struggle to do this.

If we had to choose between those who do a good job and those who don’t, surely we’d all choose those who do a good job. But, if that means letting down a friend, or having to give negative feedback to them, what would you do? When asking people why they don’t give feedback to others, the responses frequently include “because I don’t want to upset them”; we like the people we work with and want to be liked by them in return.

Call to action

If lack of quality feedback is holding back your staff and their development and poor performers are not being helped to improve, how  long will you leave it before you change things? If you’d like to help your line managers and colleagues improve their performance, through improved management and feedback, get in touch and we’d be pleased to help.

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