My last blog explored the parallels of the recruiting and dating – but what happens when the couple of met and they have decided to move in together? After the initial excitement, the thrill of the chase, when reality sets in what happens then?
When we discover what each other is really like how can we prevent the sheen becoming not quite as sparkly as in those first few meetings? In many organisations engagement levels drop after the first year, equally many personal relationships often run into difficulty in the first year of living together.
“I didn’t know that you’d spend every Friday with your mates down the pub”!, equally – The boss cancelling one to one meetings or teams meetings because something more urgent beckons, is not the best way to build trust or confidence. How many organisations ask for a candidate to start on a particular day, and the manager is not there to welcome their new hire?…. It’s a little like me staying in the pub for an extra pint when my partner has slaved over a romantic meal. She has made all the effort, but this goes unappreciated and nibbles away at the trust built up. (needless to say I am single)..
In today’s world trust is one of the most precious commodities. As individuals we are becoming less trusting of our governments, public bodies, politicians and each other. Organisations ignore this at their peril if they want to deliver long-term success.
At this stage in any relationship, the initial excitement maybe over, but this doesn’t have to mean mundanity, drudgery and dissatisfaction. If the foundations are right, a long and successful relationship can be built, based on trust, growth and honesty. In early days of ‘cohabiting’ the reverse can also be true.
My point here is not to lay the burden on one party. Both sides have a duty to make an effort to ensure success. More often than not one party simply forgets that responsibility and the how the other party is feeling.
Setting expectations is crucial for clarity and comfort. Failure to do this leads to confusion and worry and ultimately disappointment. Building trust is easy to do but much easier to destroy by not following through. Staff engagement surveys often site the company as not delivering on promises. This can be as small as not clearly pointing out that pay reviews are limited because of economic conditions and arguments about car parking. Managers, never promise what you can’t deliver!Checking for clarification is ok – it’s the same as promising that luxury trip to the Caribbean but spending a week in Wales.
Finally, Feedback and Recognition are critical. Taking the other for granted is a stake through the heart for most. Not feeling appreciated and valued is demotivating. That bunch of flowers on a Friday night after a long week works wonders…. Equally, feedback, the need to express areas for change or improvement is critical. Handling this in an adult and calm way is better than the unexpected outburst that has been kept in for months and months….
Maybe if these areas are handled well, the chances of a long and happy relationship are increased but, as we know so well, in the modern world, needs change, interests shift and separation is often the only option. More of which in the next instalment.