Meaningful Partnership At Work

Meaningful Partnership At Work

By Seth R. Silver, Ed.D. and Timothy M. Franz, Ph.D., ©March 2021

Two in a Canoe – A Metaphor of Partnership

All of us work with others. Sometimes those professional relationships are important enough that we call them a ‘partnership’. But what does partnership in the workplace really mean? What makes some of our partnerships exceptional while many are mediocre, frustrating or even a disaster? And why do these work partnerships matter so profoundly to our well-being and success, regardless of our level or role? Let’s begin with a defining metaphor that we will refer to often.

Take a deep breath. Now imagine the following. You are in a canoe, on a calm quiet lake. Imagine you are with another person. One of you is up front, the other in the back. One is paddling on the left, the other on the right. Both of you dip your paddles into the water, then take long smooth strokes. Without speaking, you are paddling in sync, matching the force of the other’s stroke, pushing the water hard behind you. Both in tune with the other’s timing and skill. Even your breathing is synchronized. As you dip, stroke, and lift, and then repeat, the canoe is gliding forward swiftly and gracefully. The collaboration is exhilarating yet comforting. You are working together, supporting each other, mindful not to tip, miss a stroke, or steer in the wrong direction. Satisfying and successful. Two in a canoe. That is what great partnership feels like!

What others are saying about Meaningful Partnership at Work...

  • Wayne F. Cascio, Distinguished University Professor and Robert H. Reynolds Chair in Global Leadership, University of Colorado Denver and former President of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
    When teams work remotely, managers often ask, “How can I manage them if I can’t see them?” Whether virtual or co-located, however, Meaningful Partnership at Work offers an eminently workable, practical approach that managers and team members will find indispensable to the performance management process.
    Wayne F. Cascio, Distinguished University Professor and Robert H. Reynolds Chair in Global Leadership, University of Colorado Denver and former President of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • William J. Rothwell, Professor of Workforce Education, The Pennsylvania State University and President, Rothwell & Associates, Inc.
    Meaningful Partnership at Work by Silver and Franz represents the next step beyond traditional thinking about employee engagement. While many treatments of engagement focus on how to build passion and commitment among individual workers, The Workplace Covenant focuses on how to build a corporate culture where the promise of engagement matches the corporate culture. Are you a manager or HR person looking for a way to take your organization to higher levels of productivity? If so, you really must look at this book…
    William J. Rothwell, Professor of Workforce Education, The Pennsylvania State University and President, Rothwell & Associates, Inc.
  • Fernán R. Cepero, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, YMCA of Greater Rochester, Association Office
    This work does not fall under the category of “must read” but instead “must do!” Meaningful Partnership at Work is very timely and much needed by all organizations regardless of size or scope especially during times of upheaval and uncertainty.
    Fernán R. Cepero, Senior Human Resources Business Partner, YMCA of Greater Rochester, Association Office
  • Augustin Melendez, Chief HROD Officer, Hillside Family of Agencies
    Meaningful Partnership at Work is the essence of employee engagement at the highest level, a true partnership between employees and leaders to transform the working relationship at all levels. A must read for HR leaders and more importantly for line leaders in their quest for true employee input, exchange and engagement.
    Augustin Melendez, Chief HROD Officer, Hillside Family of Agencies
  • Paul M. Mastrangelo, Principal Strategist, CultureIQ
    These unprecedented times demonstrate how an organization’s culture must be grounded in having shared purpose and respect for human dignity. Silver and Franz provide all the details necessary to create a powerful team intervention that affects these exact elements.
    Paul M. Mastrangelo, Principal Strategist, CultureIQ
  • Thomas A. Kayser, author of Mining Group Gold and Building Team Power
    Meaningful Partnership at Work by Silver and Franz tackles a too often overlooked process for improving team effectiveness. This book provides a sound, step-by-step methodology for implementing covenants within your workplace. Backed-up by excellent examples along with compelling research, these pages are your roadmap for building strong, committed relationships as a means to improving team performance.
    Thomas A. Kayser, author of Mining Group Gold and Building Team Power
  • Babak Elahi, Head of Liberal Studies, Kettering University
    The Workplace Covenant is both meaningful and practical. The ERTAP model--empathy, respect, trust, alignment, and partnership--is something many of us espouse without having named it. We might go as far as empathy, respect, and trust, but without the steps of aligning expectations and developing partnerships, these are only sentiments or attitudes, at best, not actions. As leaders and managers, we talk a great deal about building culture, but rarely take concrete, measurable steps in that direction. Silver and Franz give us specific steps to actually achieve this stated goal of creating a culture with leaders and followers full and conscious participants.
    Babak Elahi, Head of Liberal Studies, Kettering University

Coming in August 2021

Authors Seth R. Silver & Timothy M. Franz