by Wayne Ezekiel
One day while travelling to visit our offices in the valley I saw horses in a field and stopped for pictures. After a few minutes they came up to the fence to greet me. Two of them leaned against each other.
This affectionate, calming moment is a good example of Affiliative behaviour. We value Affiliative behaviour as one of the key parts of the ideal culture that we are moving toward. This means that we value open communication, good cooperation, effective coordination of activities and showing concern for people.
So what does this look like day to day? We use the word “ours” instead of “mine”—as in our client or our challenge. We confront conflict by sharing our thoughts and feelings. We motivate each other with friendliness and we are tactful in our discussions. We listen with the intent to understand and respond with integrity.
When we are truly affiliative, a client has over a hundred people who will serve them. When one person’s abeyances are behind everyone pitches in to get them caught up. When someone is new we help coach and mentor them. We look for opportunities to share information. We support those who are struggling both inside and outside the office.
Affiliative behaviour can sometimes seem difficult in the busy, stressful work world. But we find that, in the long run, it’s one of the things that really makes the work worth doing.