CORPORATE INTIMACY

woman in blue suit jacket

Is that an oxymoron like jumbo shrimp?

Can you have corporate intimacy? Will human resources or the owners allow it?

This term will make some of you uncomfortable. Not having enough employees is even more uncomfortable.

According to the Oct. 27, 2015 issue of Psyshology Today, ‘”Intimacy” is a word that we probably don’t expect to hear much about in the workplace. But feelings of closeness with coworkers is a crucial factor in how we experience our jobs.” It has even more relevance today and you should be hearing more and more about it.

It boils down to how you are going to differentiate yourself from the talent competition in your neighborhood, community, county, region, state, and country. Statistics prove that employees are looking for leaders and not managers. The traditional way of doing things is out the door.

More and more businesses are engaging with Mid-State Technical College to determine ways they can implement this concept in the workplace. There are several ways this can be accomplished. Let me give you two examples.

I’ve recently been working with an organization on critical leadership skills. The best part of the interactions is that they have been over a period of several months. Leadership and intimacy are created over time through a process. An online webinar or half-day workshop will not shift the needle. It isn’t about checking a box.

The topics we have covered include communication, active listening, problem-solving, time management, team building, integrity, emotional intelligence, positive attitude, conflict resolution, customer service and adapting to change. There are countless other topics and numerous ways to address the challenge you face in the workplace.

It is more than just the content and ensuing discussion that takes place. It is also about taking the knowledge and making a commitment to changing something before the next session.

I always preach when I train, teach, speak, and coach that what I say doesn’t matter but what you do does. I could be the best leadership presenter in the universe but if you do nothing with the information, then why bother. It is about the process.

Accountability is so critical to leadership and intimacy. First, you must be accountable to yourself, then your co-workers, then your organization. Journaling and SMARTer goals are a step in that direction as part of the program.

When you wrap all of this up, you end up with quality culture in the workplace. I’ve talked about this too often but what have you done to impact your corporate culture. Can you define your culture? Do you know what needs to be changed? How have you engaged your co-workers and employees along the way?

Let’s look at example two. I’ve been working with another organization focusing on DiSC personality assessments and integrating the results into the workplace. This really gets to communication which is a cornerstone of corporate intimacy. Oh sure, your staff communicates. Do they communicate effectively? How do you know that? What could improve? What could happen if it improved?

Quality communication and active listening lead to trust among co-workers. Have you measured the trust in your organization? Have you implemented a program to grow trust?

Once we have trust, then an environment for constructive conflict can happen. Too many businesses and leaders want to avoid conflict. Conflict confirms that communication and trust exist if it is constructive. You are all too familiar with drama in the workplace. Drama boils down to how your employees handle communication, trust, and conflict.

Soon to follow is productivity and with a productive culture, talent retention becomes less of an issue, and it makes attracting talent simpler. It all requires work but why allow barriers you know can be addressed.

We live in a world of change and uncertainty. We always have and always will. How we take our teams through that is more achievable through corporate intimacy.

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