Mutual Respect:  Key to Collaboration


Full FFWO success depends not only on adherence to a clear and fair process. It is enhanced or reduced by the collaborative skills of the participants. New ways of working require the shedding of old habits and assumptions and the mastery of new skills and behaviors.

We have concluded over the years that the core of this skillset is what we call the “Mutual Respect” standards and skills, summarized below. Some organizations already practice these behaviors, cultivating an environment in which managers and employees work together creatively on issues such as scheduling. Others have developed a more rigid and traditional approach.

As we suggest throughout the site, it is possible to do the bare minimum. Businesses can comply with the requirements of the FFWO by treating requests by the book and drawing on acceptable business reasons to say “No” more often than not. It is also possible to respect the genuine needs of both employees and the business and collaborate for the best possible proposals.

The Mutual Respect standards and skills can be applied for superior outcomes. Or they can be promoted and taught where needed to improve the overall scheduling environment. For more detail on such training, see the Rupert & Company website.

Collaborating Through Mutual Respect

 We avoid assumptions Rethinking schedules requires reexamining habits that block progress and replacing them with more productive ones.

 We always pay attention As managers consider requests for change, it is critical to focus on real possibilities and impacts – both gain and loss.

 We listen attentively & speak directly Clean, clear communication is the heart of collaboration and must go both ways for the best outcomes.

 We delegate and develop fully This is an opportunity to redesign the way work gets done. Shifting some duties can allow development opportunities.

 We provide feedback consistently There is no more important practice in the request process and making new schedules work than robust feedback.

 We resolve conflicts respectfully Regular schedule changes can lead to conflict, and everyone benefits by simple skills that resolve them smoothly.

 We do what we promise Collaboration without follow-through can be as destructive as the inability to work together. Commitments should be kept.


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