Do any of these sound familiar?
- …Sales won’t listen to Engineering about limits to customizing the product line!…Two different service groups are competing for the same customer!
…The Marketing department complains that IT won’t respond to their system needs and is not supporting them well!
Do you have two units or groups that critically need to work together well…and they aren’t? Here are three questions you need to consider.
- Is their low cooperation and poor communication hurting the level of service your organization provides?
- Is it affecting your bottom line yet?
- What will the costs be if you do nothing about this?
A serious breakdown between units or departments calls for a serious intervention in the working relationship. It calls for dialogue.
The dialogue process we recommend and facilitate for you could take place between just the top manager from each of the units/functions involved. Or, it may call for including both their management teams in the same room. On rare occasions, it can involve all the employees of both departments.
There are many approaches to having a dialogue process, from one day spent together in a room to several shorter meetings, with commitments made and the opportunity to follow through on them in the interim.
The first goal of a facilitated dialogue is to bring each party to where it feels 100% understood–not necessarily agreed with–by the other. It is well nigh impossible to work out a mutually acceptable solution when the other party doesn’t at least “get” your point-of-view and situation.
From a platform of mutual understanding, both parties having seen the situation from the other’s frame-of-reference, you greatly increase the potential for them to move to a mutually satisfactory solution or way of working together.