Brighton Leadership Group

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SmartStart© for Successful Leaders

Successful working relationships begin with a SmartStart©. This is an intentional conversation that sets expectations from the start.
You can use this guide as a conversation prompter any time. The purpose is to develop successful working relationships.  It’s even more important to start smart in a virtual working environment. When people are not in the same location, to prevent guessing, have a SmartStart conversation.
We’ve practiced a SmartStart© approach for many years and wanted to share it with you. Download a copy of this useful tool today.
Take advantage of the SmartStart© relationship accelerator with these tips:

  • Stop and listen. Many working relationships are focused only on getting work done. While its essential to achieve results, a relationship plus a focus on results makes everything happen faster and easier.  The purpose of the SmartStart© is to build a relational foundation for successful work.
  • Manage Expectations. Missed expectations, unmet expectations and unstated expectations all create relationship breakdowns. Set expectations through the SmartStart© and then manage them. This means if something changes, reset the expectation.
  • Ask Questions (don’t assume.) Workplaces are increasingly diverse which means there is less and less common understanding among employees. Rather than misunderstand, ask, get clarity and be sure that what was said is what you heard.
  • Trust. If people don’t trust you, it doesn’t matter how well you communicate, they will not believe you. Trust is the glue that makes a workplace magnificent or miserable. A SmartStart© helps build trust because it involves self-disclosure. Neuroscience research tells us that we trust people we know and are suspicious of people that are unfamiliar to us.

Why SmartStart works: when people start working together they can get down to the business of working more quickly when they invest time in learning about each other’s personality, frustrations, expectations and working style. There is less guessing and less frustration.
There was a brilliant article in the Wall Street Journal about a leader who always sat down with new team members and shared insights into who he was, how he worked and what he needed from them. This ensured that no one had to waste valuable productive time guessing about his style, what he wanted or how to play politics to get on his good side.
Download a copy of SmartStart and build successful working relationships starting today.
How to use SmartStart: Any time you start working with someone – start smart! Schedule a meeting where this is the entire focus of the conversation. Prepare. Make time in advance of the meeting to decide which questions are appropriate and what you are going to self-disclose. In the meeting, listen, set expectations, ask questions and begin building a trusting relationship that will serve you well as you lead.

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