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How’s Your Alignment? Success and Happiness Depend on it. – Business Times Column #97

by Marcus

Marcus Straub

Marcus Straub

Alignment refers to the degree to which behaviors, motivations, perspectives and skills match up. They don’t need to align completely. In fact, they never do. There needs to be enough alignment, however, so people can travel a path together in business and life where there are fewer obstacles to overcome in the mutual pursuit of success and happiness.

Each of us is unique in how we see ourselves and our life and how we go about addressing our realities. This needn’t be a “problem,” though. It’s merely the truth of our existence together. We can use this truth to our advantage by learning to accept the commonalities and differences that exist between ourselves and others, then working forward from there.

Most of the obstacles we face in relationships are born of our misunderstandings of each other, which lead to unfounded assumptions and needless negative judgments. Coming to terms with our commonalities and our differences without negative judgment allows us to make the conscious choice of whether or not to continue with a relationship.

We also have the tendency to place our personal expectations on others. To demonstrate this, simply look at your own experiences, and you’ll see your expectations of others are rarely, if ever, met — especially if the communication between you is poor. When we place our expectations on others, we’re playing a game we typically can’t win. Disappointment, frustration and even anger ensue, and the relationships we have with others break down.

Rather than trying to force your personal expectations on others, work to communicate effectively and create understanding. Then, let others make their decisions (because they will) and make your own (because you will). If there’s alignment, or a lack thereof, it will be obvious. Letting the chips fall where they may rather than trying to force a situation will create a trail of truth that becomes useful to all parties involved.

In business coaching and team building, we inevitably come face-to-face with the fact not everyone is on a similar enough page for business relationships to be as successful as they can be for the owner, team members and customers. Alignment in attitude, attributes, behavior, intention and purpose make for great partnerships of all kinds. The lack of alignment in these areas, however, can create major obstacles to success and happiness.

With greater understanding comes the opportunity to identify areas where there’s a lack alignment with those on your team. This is where high-quality assessments prove invaluable. Through these objective diagnostic tools, it becomes clear where the gaps in alignment are and the specific areas that need attention through professional development.

With the help of these powerful assessments, we’re able to see where a team member’s natural behavioral style, motivators and attributes don’t align well with what’s needed to perform the job at a high level. We discover where they’re struggling and experiencing high levels of stress, why and how it can be effectively addressed.

Assessments also shed light on areas where team members are naturally well-positioned to perform at high levels. Through effective professional development, team members can learn how to leverage their natural strengths for greater results with less effort. Team members who are properly positioned within a business experience more job satisfaction, perform at higher levels and miss work less often. In addition, reduced turnover saves the company time, money and lost productivity.

In every situation where we’ve identified there’s not enough alignment to make the relationship a beneficial one for all parties and have made the strong choice to set a team member and the company free, both have benefited. If a team member isn’t willing or capable of becoming an effective part of the team, then everyone can benefit from a change.

After the change is made, the companies I work with hire new team members through the proven process of Job Benchmarking which uses assessments. This allows us to bring people on board that align at the outset with the company’s motivators and the job itself. With this, owners and team members can travel the path to the success and happiness they both desire.

 
Marcus Straub owns Life is Great! Inc. in Grand Junction. His personalized coaching and consulting services help individuals, business owners, executives and companies build teams, organizations and lives that are filled with happiness and success. He is the winner of the 2011 International Coach of the Year Award, and is also the author of “Is It Fun Being You?.” He is available for free consultations regarding coaching, speaking and trainings. Reach Straub by phone at 208-3150, by e-mail at marcus@lifeisgreatcoaching.com or on the website at www.lifeisgreatcoaching.com.

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This article was written for and published in collaboration with The Business Times newspaper.

Access the article here.