Build Rapport Early, Often and Always

Six months ago I made a move from Organizational Development (OD) to Manager of Operations in our Manila, Philippines office. I’ve been staring at a mostly blank word document attempting to determine how to write about the transition. There are many different stories and examples of what I utilize from my time in OD in this role on a daily basis. I believe the main component that helped make this transition as smooth as it has been was building rapport with my new team before anything else. Taking the time to build rapport and trust (with people, slow is fast) is one of, if not the most important, lessons I learned in OD and something we teach across all levels in the organization in different contexts. One of those “easy to say, hard to do, the work’s never done” lessons.

In a previous post I wrote about moving back to Manila after a year in the U.S. It wasn’t a completely new start in a new country, but with the differences in contexts this time around it was pretty close. So, like most that come into a new position, I had a few strategies and ideas that I wanted to execute as soon as possible. This is where it was imperative to slow down, take the time to walk alongside, build rapport and earn the trust of the Supervisors that I would be serving if we wanted these strategies to be successful. This focus on rapport from day one, I believe, was of equal importance to tactical changes we made during this time as it allowed us to construct a solid foundation for our team and culture. But that was just the start. The work is never done maintaining rapport. Listen, remove obstacles, clarify expectations, repeat.

We believe the results of our focus has realized some great performances from our teams, and with that we’ve been able to contribute to our line of business’ ability to gain market share, Associate recognition and positive competitive scorecard performance. The Supervisors and Associates that I get to serve with on a daily basis have done a tremendous job executing the plans we’ve developed over these first six months. It’s a good start and we look forward to continuing this growth into the New Year.


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