Building Meaningful Work Relationships: Part 5

This is the 5th and final part of the series of building meaningful relationships based on Bartholomew’s Adult Attachment Typology Model. This is the section that would focus on secure relationships which is a positive model of self and others.

First though a bit of housekeeping, I am sorry for the delay in getting this post ready. I was in two classes at the same time, which is not normal for me. The one class was the first part of creating my dissertation. It took quite a bit of focus. While I was attending that class, I was also promoted from my current role effective taking on twice the responsibility as before. There was certainly an adjustment period. At the end of the day, something has to give. It was my blogging that had to wait on the rest of my life to calm back down..

OK . . . enough excuses . . . on with the post.

Ultimately, this is a safety blog so this is the post where I will really tie this process back in to the how safety needs good working relationships to work. The whole idea of having a positive model of self and positive model of others is classified as “secure.” A very fitting title.

Many behavior based safety systems focus on the peer observational process. This process has had many praise it and it also has many people who criticize it. My thought has always been that there is a time and place for BBS and the culture of the team and organization has to be ready to embrace that level of openness and change. At the very forefront of BBS is the idea of a “secure” organization.

What this means is that as an employee of a company I am open to give feedback and I am open to receive feedback on safety behaviors. If I am not secure in myself, I may choose to not give the tough feedback or become defensive when having to face a potential mistake. If I have a negative model of others, I would feel that my work or feedback would be wasted on someone who would not use it or not care to hear it.

Without the security of knowing that it is okay to build a relationship in which I can openly give and receive feedback, the process of creating a fully integrated safety system cannot come to fruition. As an organization, we have to admit that there is still opportunity for improvement and as individuals we have to be willing to admit that the change starts with one person making a choice. The goal is accountability throughout the organization in which there can be a full exchange of what is working and what is not.

Security also comes from knowing that the team has my interests in mind when it comes to safety. If I am about to do something that might get me hurt, I want someone to speak up and tell me. I want to be cautioned. I also want to see that same interaction continue with each individual for each task. The only way that this can be effective is if the the team has build truly meaningful relationships in which we are each secure and ready to accept responsibility for the individuals and the team.

The background information comes from the Third Edition of Broderick and Blewitt’s textbook “The Life Span.” The photo of the chart is taken from the same text.


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