Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Silent Killer: 4 Reasons Why Relationships Erode

Have you ever been in a relationship (at work or home) and it deteriorated and by the time you noticed it was too late?

In our Playing Nice in the Sandbox workshop, we use PREP or the Prevention Relationship Enhancement Program to discuss just about every nuance of workplace relationships. Playing Nice is a "researched based approach to teaching healthy and effective communication skills in the workplace. The workshop's objective is to give coworkers the skills needed to work more efficiently and successfully as a team, resolve conflict without damaging relationships, and preserve and enhance a friendly work environment."

Conflict management is a hot topic in the servant leadership world. However, the very term "conflict management" denotes that things may have already gotten out of control. As bestselling author John Maxwell says (see quote at the end of this blog), I think it's important to get to the root cause(s) of the problem.

Therefore, the following are four reasons why relationships erode:

  1. Relationships die slowly. Relationships are much more likely to die of neglect than disaster. For instance, when conflict arises, and you are a conflict-avoider and do nothing to help stem the tide of the deteriorating relationship, you are in essence digging your own "relationship grave." Relationships are not neutral, and in life, nothing stays the same. We either get better or worse. If you're not working to create a healthy relationship, you're standing by and watching it deteriorate and you may not even know it. The "Do-Nothing" approach is a "silent killer."
  2. Unresolved conflict slowly destroys relationships at work. Lack of communication is one of the main causes of disagreements in the workplace. Just because you have a disagreement with a co-worker doesn't necessarily mean there is conflict. In the book, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni says conflict can be a good thing and it is oftentimes essential to the growth of a relationship. 
  3. The key is to use effective communication skills. Being nice, kind, a good listener, looking someone in the eye when you are talking to them, and saying thank you, is just as important to adults today as it was when we were first told this early on in grade school.
  4. Correct negative patterns early. If you're not doing well in this area, re-read 1-3.
Servant Leadership Forum

The first Servant Leadership Forum for 2015 will take place on Tuesday, March 3, in the Community Room at the Pastoral Institute from 12:00 p.m. (noon) until 1:00 p.m. Our guest is Mr. William R. "Billy" Blanchard, Synovus Regional CEO and President and CEO of Columbus Bank & Trust Company. This brown bag event is free and open to the public. Bring your lunch and the Center for Servant Leadership will provide the drinks. Seating is limited, so register early by calling Diane at (706) 649-6507 ext.1204 or email her at dbell@pilink.org.

Business Development 

Columbus Specialty Hospital Builds a Bridge

 Quote for the Week

"Conflict is like cancer; early detection is key." - John Maxwell


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  2. I appreciate the compliment. Thank you!

  3. You are one to talk about an eroding relationship aren't you?


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