Proposal: The Pathway to Building Trusting Relationships Rapidly
Brenda B. Jones, MS, OD Scholar-Practitioner, Jones Consulting
Arlene Scott, Ph.D., Managing Partner, Change Partners Consulting
Performance drives results. But what drives performance? Relationships. As work becomes more complex and collaborative, the ability to build trusting relationships faster distinguishes those who flourish from those who falter. The use of skill groups, an innovative, experience-based learning approach is at the core of the session. Skills groups are adapted from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and NTL's core method. In 'real time', relationships are developed which are a catalyst for rapid application of newly learned skills; this is the ideal learning laboratory to practice and apply leading-edge tools and techniques of relationship building. Better relationships have greater impact and results! Leave this session with a clearer understanding of the impact these skills have on rapidly building trusting relationships.
7 Design Question Answers:
How does your topic relate to the themes of the conference?
Building trusting relationships rapidly is critical to success in each of the theme areas of the conference. In our field, OD practitioners who develop the ability to build trust in relationships transform their practice and the environment responds to the strength of these powerful relationships. Increased influence and enhanced credibility makes it possible to help people do good work in difficult and changing situations throughout the world. OD practitioners require trusting relationships to succeed when working with individuals, groups and organizations. The Pathway to Building Trusting Relationships Rapidly is grounded in a cutting-edge experiential learning approach to building productive relationships Dr. Scott adapted from her work at Stanford University Graduate School of Business
What is the purpose of this session?
Performance drives results. But what drives performance? Relationships. Indeed, as work becomes more complex and collaborative, the ability to build trusting relationships faster distinguishes those who flourish from those who falter. In “real time” relationships are developed which are a catalyst for rapid application of newly learned skills and the ideal learning laboratory to practice and apply leading-edge tools and techniques of relationship building. Using experiential learning, discover the pathway to clarify mindset, skills and approach to influence others and enhance credibility.
What will people learn?
Participants will gain new insights into how to build influence and trust with others. They will be given opportunities to determine which behaviors create connection with others and which behaviors lead to distance with other people. They learn about themselves through the process of discovery. They will experiment with influencing others without being (or being seen as) dominating or controlling. Profound in-the-moment feedback from fellow participants is a catalyst for ongoing re-examination of how others perceive each individual's behavior. And they will learn how to address conflicts without damaging relationships through practice and feedback. With a global context, managing difficult and changing situations includes building trust with people from different countries and cultures.
How will they learn? (Please be sure to describe the experiential approach you intent to use).
The use of skill groups, as an innovative, experience-based learning approach is at the core of this learning method, which develops “real time” relationships between and among participants. The experiences with feedback are catalysts for rapid application of newly learned skills. Following preparation assessments, participants are organized into concentric circles, where each person in the inner circle (the skill group) has a learning partner in the outer circle who pays attention to that person's goals and actions. The outside circle describes positive examples of “relationship moments.”
The skill group member and the learning partner meet to debrief how well the member meets the objectives he or she set. The net result: Better relationships for greater impact and results!
What learning outcomes could they apply immediately in their own work?
Our experience working in organizations has proven how leaders at all levels benefit from learning more about how they are experienced by others. With greater self-awareness fueled by feedback, participants are more adept at building relationships, creating alignment, and navigating differences. We work with people from a global perspective, addressing cultural and value differences. Skills and tools transfer well into the workplace in one on one situations and with groups. “Immediately applied at work” examples from previous participants include: - Speaking up: Getting myself known by others, including managing individual biases and defensiveness - Asking for feedback - Demonstrating empathy to build shared understanding, including diffusing resistance
What impact might this session have on the field of OD?
As a community of practice, OD is challenged to maintain relevance as it is often confused with competing forms of practice holding very different theoretical bases. The Pathway to Building Trusting Relationships Rapidly focuses on the abilities that build trusting relationships. Relationship to the individual, group and organization is the bedrock for OD practitioners and their interventions. Distracting and complex work environments threaten trusting relationships and OD practitioners have a responsibility to look for and develop new ways to strengthen systems and the people in them. This session, an experiential learning process, impacts thoughts and behaviors. It is a safe setting for what can be a profound experience, which each participant carries into his or her practice of OD.
What impact might this session have on the larger world?
OD is practiced and continues to evolve around the world since its founding over 70 years ago. Kurt Lewin's work life, research and influence were catalysts for the genesis of OD as a field of practice. The practice of OD is founded on relationships. Networks are about relationships, some of which we read about and see in the daily news. Any skepticism about the impact of networks and trusting relationships fades with a glance at the global and domestic problems of 2015. It is difficult to find one that would not be eliminated or improved if leaders (and others) possessed the skills to rapidly and continually build trusting, productive, and high impact relationships. OD needs to have this kind of impact on the world, which begins small with ripples of influence far beyond its beginnings.