This week I went to elementary school conferences. My daughter is the perfect academic student, but teacher after teacher had something to say about talking in class. At first, I told my daughter this wasn’t very acceptable, but then it dawned on me that my daughter sees the classroom as a reason for getting together with her friends and together they are doing this thing called school, and doing it well.
Today they have kids do group projects and the pressure is relatively intense so the analogy to work isn’t far off. So have you ever considered going to your office to be around people you like and while you are there do the work you do? Is the work you do really more important than the people with whom you work? Would you ruin a relationship to get the work done? Are you?
Healthy relationships are key to collaboration. Healthy relationships are based on trust and empathy. What would happen if we focused on building trust and empathy in our relationships first and the work second? My guess is we’d be more successful and we’d be a lot happier at work. Your teachers might have something to say about having too much fun, but you’d still get a good report card.