Everyone works at something. I don’t care if you are a volunteer or raising a family, it’s work.
I was a “stay at home mom” for a couple of years and wanted to smack every person who said, “Wow, I wish I could just be home with my kids.” I wanted to say, “That’s right. I go to bed at midnight because I’ve been doing forty-two loads of laundry each day, and I get up at 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., and 4:00 a.m. with my six-month-old daughter. Oh yeah, and as soon as I get in bed at 4:00 a.m. my two year-old son wakes up, his feet running as soon as he hits the floor. There are no awards and no adult-interaction, and I actually do NOT eat bon-bons all day, but, whatever.”
After one year of no sleep, I was at serious risk of assaulting the next person who told me how fortunate I was to have two little blessings. In fact, I tried to give said blessings to one particularly chirpy woman at a Hills Department store. Don’t worry. I kept them both and now they support each other.
Yes, everybody works, and within every work situation is a series of relationships that will make or break the environment. I have had jobs where the relationships were positive, and I couldn’t wait to get to work. Believe it or not, one was a waitressing job at Bennigan’s when I was in my early twenties. It was a new restaurant, and the wait staff was all hired at the same time. We covered shifts for each other, trained each other, and were proud of the place that we worked. We also got free food and alcohol, which helped tremendously.
I’ve also had the opposite experience. I had a manager who spun in the door like the Tasmanian Devil, created chaos, and then pinned the problems on everybody else.
The difference in the two experiences was definitely not the work done . . . at Bennigan’s I loaded the Hobart dishwasher and cleaned bar mats and went home with three pounds of grease in my hair. The difference was the work relationships.
So, what creates powerful work relationships?
I thought about this all night last night, after the Redskins beat the Cowboys and I was so hopped up on energy I couldn’t sleep. Here’s a short list that I’d love for you to add to:
We all want to work at the ideal company, but there is no such thing. We can, however, work to build powerful relationships wherever we go.
Those are my thoughts. What else, in your opinion, helps build powerful relationships at work?