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Mutual Respect:  Key to Collaboration

Flexible Work 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, it is possible to do the bare minimum. Businesses can comply with the requirements 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.

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.
This core training can be provided to employees and managers in a wide variety of ways. Manager- or employee-only sessions, single or multiple teams or hybrids of these are possible. It is possible and desirable to do customized sessions that engage and enlist senior managers but are more seminar-like than traditional training.

The length of sessions is determined by the skill level of participants, the choice of skills to be emphasized, the complexity of groupings and the time and resources available. Train-the-trainer strategies are available to extend the impact of any initiative.

To discuss the options and pricing, contact Paul Rupert at 301-873-8489 or


Our Mission

Rupert & Company enables Collaborative Flexibility. We fully integrate employee need for greater control of where, when and how work is done with employer need for greater contribution.

We enhance engagement, productivity, cost reduction and talent attraction and retention. We design the future of flexibility.

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