Enough already: Be nice, it works
By Gregory Hale, InTech, Editor
Stop it. Just stop. You can see, hear, and feel the finger pointing and the protectionism taking hold.
You see it in the headlines every day. Congress says this. Companies say that. The White House reacts and says something else. If that isn’t bad enough and a bit out of our immediate control, you walk down the halls or sit in meetings and you hear and see the same things only on a much smaller scale. Enough. Just stop.
The automation industry is a brilliant aspect of the global economy. Some of the brightest minds in the world toil in plants across the globe every day making sure processes run as efficiently, safely, and profitably as possible. But yet, instead of keeping their eye on the true big picture, companies continue to fall into the trap of petty squabbling over who will run what enterprise and who will get the most recognition. It can make you scream.
Yes, we have technology that will help enable manufacturers to reach new levels of excellence, which means profitability. But the real factor that will allow those manufacturers, or any company for that matter, to reach those levels is people working as a team for the common good.
Working as a team, people can pull the world through this economic quagmire. No one person will be able to strong arm, bully, or sweet talk his or her way through this. There needs to be a total team effort where everyone understands and is willing to give for the greater good. No egos. No power plays. No politics. Just good old-fashioned hard work and brain power.
Workers with expertise in one area need to share with others and have them understand the nuances and the importance of why they are doing things a specific way. No selfish “it’s all about me” attitudes.
Instead, how about getting along and working together as a team. As if that wasn’t obvious from the start, research now shows being nice—meaning willing to listen to others’ points of view—could give you and your company a real competitive edge.
The study said project managers can get much better performance from their team when they treat team members with honesty, kindness, and respect, according to research from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., co-authored by NC State’s Dr. Jon Bohlmann.
The study focused on cross-functional product development teams, which bring together engineers, researchers, and business personnel. The very different backgrounds of team members means there is a focus on finance and marketing, as well as design and functionality, from the beginning of the product-development process. But that diversity also makes for effective communication by ensuring team members are collaborating rather than working at cross-purposes.
“If you think you are being treated well, you are going to work well with others on your team,” Bohlmann said.
The study showed, if the team perceived its leader as “basically being a nice guy,” then “team members showed a significant increase in commitment to the team’s success and to the project they were working on,” Bohlmann said.
Again, something that should be a basic staple in everyday work life now has research backing it up. A positive work environment where everyone can work together to a common goal is much more effective and gives a company a competitive edge.
Look around your company and your work area. Is it easy for everyone to get on the same page, or do folks have to jump through hurdles to try to accomplish any goals? In this environment, solid dedication and smart communication will keep everything and everyone moving ahead.
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