We have all heard about the best-laid plans, and the fact they never work out as expected. Therefore, we should just plan that our plans are going to require adjustments. This is especially true when working with people. Everything from the weather, full moons, illness and an emergency call in; change your plan for the day.

The Mandt System teaches the crisis cycle and the importance of building the foundation of trust before a crisis, it is important to remember that building positive relationships is not only for the individuals we serve but also for co-workers.

Here are a few tips to building a solid work foundation before a crisis. First, establish a culture where people can speak up when they see something, without fear of reprisal. All too often, employees turn a blind eye to the so-called “little things” to avoid conflict amongst co-workers. Then the little things lead to full blown resentment, disengagement, and ultimately losing great employees.

Second, review the behaviors you are rewarding. Do employees that are consistent in positive work behaviors, get ignored because you are dealing with negative employee behaviors from others? Do high standards take a back seat to a warm body? Recently, a professional young businessman told me that people will do what you tell them is expected, the perspective he was coming from this is very true; but made me think, shouldn’t this be true in the human service field as well. For example, my daughter once told me that some regular education teachers criticized her for setting her standards too high for her self-contained special education students, but ironically they always rose to the occasion: leaving skeptic amazed at what they accomplished.

You always have the choice to be happy. Learn to understand the purpose of life’s hick- ups, grow from them and create positive change in the work environment to make them more bearable. Be honest about your intentions with everything. You never want to build any type of relationship on lies. That foundation will always fail.

Randel C. Goad Mandt Faculty Supervisor