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In January of this year, Aaryce Hayes wrote a blog on Building Positive Relationships in which she emphasized the elements of care, respect and dignity, trust, and time as being the important ingredients in the process of building healthy relationships. In The Mandt System, we define teamwork globally as “relationships in action”, and that is our focus today – the action part of teamwork, and how actions can build or teardown relationships.

In one of the activities in Chapter 1, we focus on the characteristics of healthy relationships identified by Julius Lundy. I will highlight the words that I think are important in the process we call teamwork. As we act, we need to act with Fidelity. Being true to the goal, the plan, the mission are necessary if we are to act in a way that not only builds healthy relationships but also achieves the goal.

Once we start to act, and do so with Fidelity, we need to make sure we act with Integrity. Integrity is defined as “Moral soundness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive; — used especially with reference to the fulfillment of contracts, the discharge of agencies, trusts, and the like; uprightness; rectitude”.

In the Liability and Legal Issues chapter of The Mandt System, we talk about the need to do what we should do, and not do what we should not do. In this way, we can limit the possibilities of being sued. Integrity leads to following through, so our “yes” is just that – yes, I will . . ., and the same is true when we say “no.”
Acting with Integrity and Fidelity will absolutely build up a team, and in the same way, acting without Integrity and Fidelity can tear a team apart. What we need to remember, though, is that we are all human. We will all make mistakes, and at times we may not follow through, and we may not stick to the plan.

The final word for the day, then, is Forgiveness. It will take a lot of courage (another of Lundy’s words) to act with forgiveness, and it is absolutely essential to a well running team. Self-righteous team members who expect perfection out of everyone (even themselves) can unwittingly destroy a team. We’ve all made mistakes, and as we say in Chapter 1 of The Mandt System, when we have trust in place, mistakes are just that: mistakes.

In April, Tim Geels wrote a blog about Performance Management and Strategic Goals. Forgiveness should be done when mistakes happen, unless the same mistake happens over and over again. In this case, performance management tools need to be used, with Integrity and Fidelity. We want to build healthy relationships in the workplace, and we need to get the job done in accordance with law, regulations, policies and procedures. There will come a time when judgment must be applied, and that is the subject of another blog!

Bob Bowen, CEO – The Mandt System, Inc.