Companies and individuals have this in common: we do not perceive a "problem" until the pain of ignoring it captures our attention. As an employment lawyer hearing the stories of many employees and different industries, one theme is common among them: companies have problems because they do not take proactive steps to put in place long term solutions to problems.
Stephen Covey describes "Quadrant 2" [Q2] as activities that are important long term, but not pressing with urgency. These activities are the long term investments in improving overall resources and systems so that problems do not reoccur. To work in Q2 requires discipline and careful scheduling.
As an employment lawyer hearing the stories of many employees and different industries, one theme is common among them: companies have problems because they do not take proactive steps to put in place long term solutions to problems. One of these areas of problem behavior is bickering and fighting, undercutting, and ongoing low level hostilities among employees. Eventually these reach intolerable levels. Morale and productivity deteriorate.
What would a Quadrant 2 activity look like in addressing this problem? It would seek to establish a set of positive team relationships rather than react to a set of negative employee exchanges. It would treat listening and cooperation as priorities before the collapse of communication resulted in arguments and alienation. It would seek to build trust before distrust caused projects to stall.
Until then, I see situation after situation that presents the potential for liability against companies for discrimination and retaliation. Recently I have become whimsical. Wouldn't it be interesting for companies to hire me as a Q2 mediator to explore the way things are working, the why of how positive work relationships break down, and to guide employees in learning the superior "win-win" payoffs of affirming, supporting, and encouraging one another as team members? As I said, companies do not see me as an early internal mediator to prevent or resolve discord. They tend to view me only as the enemy who attacks after the internal dysfunction is out of control. I would love the chance to unsettle their set perceptions.