This article is the second one I write on healthy relationships in organizations. It’s based on John and Martha’s story whose relationship was misinterpreted as sexually oriented by their colleagues. From this case study, I proposed how relationships with the opposite sex operate and how to avoid misinterpretations.
Martha works hard in her organization.Married and mother of two children, she also has many friends both men and women. The new recruit John works near Martha’s station.John talks a lot with Martha as he wants to know much about the company .The more they talk, the more some colleagues perceives it as emotional and sexual.
Finally, someone reports to Martha’s husband that she’s having an affair with John. Fortunately, John and Martha were narrating each of their conversations to their spouses.Martha’s husband laughed when he was told his wife is going out with John.But before that, the story causes a lot of grieves and hatred and slowed the outcomes of the business.John was frustrated as a new worker and Martha felt betrayed by those with whom she has been with for a long time.
You recognize the story? You heard or experienced cases where talking with the opposite sex brought wrong interpretation. How did you react? How did you fix the problem?
In my case, I faced it so many times that I drew some lessons on how to build healthy relationships with the opposite sex in an organization.
I worked for eight years in organizations in Cameroon and Uganda , and currently living in the USA, I made some observation on how relationships in Organizations can affect the stability of a business. Emotional tidings could happen between colleagues in workplaces. When professionalism guides those links, they help grow the organization but, if unhealthy, such relations become cancer that kills the business from inside.
From the above example, we can draw some lessons to built healthy relationships in workplaces.
1. Being talkative could be a weakness.One thing to understand is that women fuel their emotional life with WORDS. So, if a man is too talkative, women will develop a kind of unexplained attraction towards him. On the other hand, men fuel their emotional life with RESPECT and they could easily be attracted by women who give them a high estime and respect.
2. Triangulate the conversation. John could also ask information about the company to a male worker; He could also include a third person in his interactions with Martha. By triangulating their conversation that way, he could have avoided misinterpretation and wrong motive attribution.
3. Driving work conversation at home. Martha and John were wise by sharing their discussions with their spouses. I think it’s safe to do so because it helps your spouse understand what you go through at yout workplace and who you meet and their perception of the relationship.
4. The subconscious you! It’s amazing how we can be attracted to someone and cannot explain why it happens so . Psychologists explain that our subconscious is the part of our psychic life that controls unexplained behavior like falling in love with a stranger. Be aware of it because it helps you, later understand who you are and what kind of person attract you or is attracted to you.
5. Perception. This is how people interpret the reality they are going through. Perception is deeply rooted in our cultural background empowered by our childhood education. How does your culture interpret women-Man or, boys/girls interaction affect the quality of your relationship with the opposite sex. From my experience in three countries, more and more people tend to interpret as sexual any exchange with someone of the opposite sex.
I grew up as the only boy and the elder brother of three sisters. Talking with women/girls had nothing wrong until I interact with other people who interpret it as sexually oriented. I had to socially adjust how I interact with the opposite sex to avoid misinterpretations. This means setting boundaries and remain as professional as possible.
I would like to know how you interpret and understand relationships with the opposite sex. Your experience count and can help many.
I found these 3 videos bellow very instructive to complete this thematic.You’ll surely enjoy watching them.