A few months ago, I worked with a couple that owned a business together. Their relationship was suffering some strain due to a personal misunderstanding. In order for them to resolve their issues, I understood that they needed to be reminded of why they had chosen to partner each other despite their lifestyle differences. They both answered that they were drawn to each other’s mission.
Every relationship has its good and bad sides. And in those difficult times, we must remind ourselves of why we had chosen that particular relationship. As the workplace enters a different sphere, relationships will be tested. More people will be required to have social and emotional intelligence to make it work. If you have not considered why you entered into certain partnerships or even personal relationships, you should think through why. What common mission are you on with the people you work with? In challenging times, your why will encourage you to do the needed work to mend the strains that may come about. Successful relationships have a balance of influence and influence comes about when we can clearly communicate our mission.
What is a mission? Mission statements are common to see in every organization’s business profile. “A mission statement is a sentence or short paragraph that defines the existence of a business, nonprofit, government organization, or any other entity. Mission statements get at the heart of why a company exists, rather than how it exists. In other words, a mission statement is not a business plan that explains how the entity will turn a profit; it is a statement that defines the motivation for trying to turn a profit in the first place.” (The Balance Small Business, 2020). From the above definition, your mission can simply be said to be your ‘Why?’. When you accepted your job offer, did you have a mission? When you chose your partner to start a business with, did you have a common mission? A mission is simply what you have decided your purpose to be and in order to successfully complete your mission, you must be in relationships that believe in your mission with you.
As businesses work through these challenging times, connection among team members becomes increasingly important. This is the time as a business leader to look at your teams and find out why they have chosen to wade through difficult times with you. According to Imperative’s Research, mission-driven workers are 54 percent more likely to stay for five years at a company and 30 percent more likely to grow into high performers than those who arrive at work with only their paycheck as the motivator. High-performance organizations are linked to being mission-driven companies. Mission statements must reflect commitment to higher social good for the community they serve, both local and global. Authenticity and transparency build trust. Organizations high in trust are 2.5 times more likely to function as high-performance organizations with revenue growth than lower performance organizations. Eighty-one percent of those working for companies with a strong mission stated their stakeholders hold trust for their leadership team, whereas that number was 54 percent for organizations without a strong mission.
We have all around us successful examples of how mission-driven leaders who have influenced to become mission-driven people have seen long-term success. If you can affect the thoughts of another person by the way you act or by what you say, you can influence them. These mission-driven leaders have managed to boldly affirm why their companies exist and continuously act to drive the desired results.
In a Fast Company interview Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook said:”Facebook’s mission is to give everyone in the world the power to share, and to make the world more open and connected. Connecting the world is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation, so this is a long-term effort. As long as we stay focused on that mission, we’re going to keep attracting talented people who share the same goal and want to make it a reality.” This is how he managed to expand his employee numbers from 1,700 to 12,000 employees in five years, and still having a high-performing culture, to adherence the mission. Facebook has had several bouts of contests throughout the lifetime of their existence. And through each challenging phase, their strong mission has been a source of motivation.
As young adults, we suffered strained relationships, both professionally and personally. We may have suddenly felt that the relationships we were in did not serve our purpose any longer. It was always difficult to get our point across so working together was always a disaster. Whenever such distractions come about, we must sit with our partners and ask them if they are on the same mission. People’s missions and purpose can evolve over time and although it is painful, we have to recognize when to let go if the purpose of our relationships no longer serve us. It is tough to play on a team that is not focused on a common theme. Imagine one person on your favorite football team decided that the match they are about to play is not one they want to win. Do you believe they will put in as much effort as all the other team players who want to win? No!
Strong, successful relationships hold firmly to trust. This is both true in personal and business relationships. The secret to high performance organizations is that they are high in trust – both internally and externally. And the central pillar for building trust is a corporate purpose that is defined by a genuine commitment to the social good and embedded throughout the organization. A Deloitte study found that 81% of respondents working for organisations with a strong sense of purpose say their stakeholders trust their leadership team versus 54% for their counterparts.
So how can we work towards have successful relationships in our space of work even when the odds are against us?
- OPEN COMMUNICATION
Honest and open communication is something many people find challenging to do in relationships, mostly in romantic relationships but equally common in work place relationships. Can you remember how many times you have held back honest feedback because you did not want to come across as offensive? Or how many times have we failed to admit that we do not know something, which is perfectly normal. Successful relationships require deep collaboration, which means that communicating openly can save us a lot of time wastage and help us address the core of our problems, if any. How does this tie in with our mission? When teams know and understand what common goal they are working towards, they are motivated to address challenges and find solutions. When my beauty and spa business started to take a nose-dive for the worst, it was the employees who had truly understood my mission who stayed with me through till the very end. They were prepared to do whatever it took to get our ship afloat because they were sold on the mission and on the dream.
- EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
One characteristic of Emotional Intelligence that we cannot do without is the concept of “Know Thyself”. When we decide to move from Intelligence to Influence and then Impact we need to add three levels of knowledge: Knowing our Preambles, Knowing our Patterns, and Knowing our Possibilities. These help us to anticipate the other parties’ thinking, tactics and trajectory to an extent. Research has clearly stated that when it comes to the comparison of emotions and logic, emotions lead a wide margin then logic simply follows. And when we can clearly come to a position where we can leverage Emotional Intelligence as the foundation, Emotional Influence as a layer, Emotional Impact as another layer, we have a consolidated power of Emotional Authority to win at the Human Connection.
- COMMON GOALS
When we have mutually beneficial goals in our business relationships, we are more likely to make better effort. We are more willing to learn from each other and contribute to creating value. It is the mutually-beneficial relationships that prove to be most valuable in the workplace, and in life.
People have this tendency to act that they are listening and miss out on the message that others have to convey. However, that should be avoided to foster a positive relationship in the workplace. Effective listening means that you focus on the message that needs to be conveyed rather than listening to give a response. Effective listening builds trust and fosters respect, making the person you are listening to feel comfortable to communicate more openly. By listening with intention, you will also form a closer connection because you will be able to pinpoint where they may need more support so you can achieve your common goals. They will appreciate your support and get to know you better which is vital to creating a more connected working relationship.
Are you ready for your next successful relationship? Your mission matters!
Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION?
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo: The H.E.L.P. Coach
Dzigbordi K. Dosoo is a Personal Impact, Professional Growth and Influence Expert specialising in Humanness, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Power – H.E.L.P.
A career spanning over two decades, she has established herself as a Certified High Performance Coach, Speaker, Author, Wellness Expert and award-winning Entrepreneur with a clientele ranging from C-Suite Executives, Senior Management, Practitioners and Sales Leaders spanning 3 continents.
She is the Founder of Dzigbordi K. Dosoo (DKD) Holdings; a premier lifestyle business group with brand subsidiaries that include Dzigbordi Consulting Group& Allure Africa.
Dzigbordi has been featured on CNN for her entrepreneurial expertise. She is one of the most decorated female entrepreneurs in Ghana having being named “CIMG Marketing Woman of the Year” in 2009; “Top 10 most respected CEOs in Ghana, 2012; Global Heart of Leadership Award and, Women Rising “100 Most Influential Ghanaian Women”, 2017.
She can be reached on [email protected] and @dzigbordikwaku across all social media platforms.