As much as we like to think of the workplace as a bastion of teamwork and collegiality, in reality it’s often a hotbed of personality conflicts, power struggles, disagreements about competence, breaches of trust, hurts and anger, writes Olivia Mellan, Investment Advisor's Psychology of Advice columnist.
The longer you work with the same people, Mellan says, the more these emotions and conflicts are likely to pile up. Eventually, you and your colleagues may come to resemble a dysfunctional family where everyone pushes each other’s buttons.
How can you nurture the interpersonal harmony that an advisory practice needs in order to operate productively? What are the practical steps you can take, and the missteps you should avoid, to make your advisory firm "family" functional and efficient? How do you build a culture in which all the stakeholders in your firm–owners, partners, employees and clients–feel comfortable enough to give their best efforts while also running an effective firm?
To find the answers to these questions, Mellan, a psychotherapist and money coach who has written exclusively for Investment Advisor for more than a dozen years, interviewed several experts in the field of workplace transformation.
(See Ms. Mellan's most recent column, in the April 2011 issue of Investment Advisor.)
Please read on for summaries of each of the three articles in this series, and links to the articles themselves.
A series of articles by Investment Advisor's Psychology of Advice columnist Olivia Mellan on how to transform your advisory firm into a harmonious workplace.
First in the Series:
In part one of the series on workplace harmony, Olivia Mellan interviews Diane Katz, Ph.D., an organizational consultant who spoke to Mellan several months before the publication of her new book "Win at Work! The Everybody Wins Approach to Conflict Resolution." In the interview, Katz outlines eight steps to restore harmony to a dysfunctional work family.
Read more from the February issueof Investment Advisor.