Ecological Human Services Management: Internal Transactions

The following Internal Transactions activity is adapted from Leadership In Child Protection; Schneider, Crow, & Burtnett, 2000, page 56-57 and is one you may want to add to your management tools when working with employees and especially when working with Leadership Team members. It is a quick way of assessing the quality of employees’ interactions at a specific point in time. More importantly, it is a strategy to improve their interactions with each other over time. This serves not only to improve their interactions with each other but serves to improve their interactions with other agency stakeholders. Additionally, it clearly lets employees know what you value and what you expect from them as they interact with each other and with agency stakeholders.

Interpersonal excellence starts inside your agency. The success of your Leadership Team depends, in part, on relationships, people interacting with people. Think about a single transaction, one person interacting with another. This elementary transaction is the smallest unit or building block from which connections with stakeholders develop.

Your agency’s Leadership Connections can be no stronger than the cumulative strength of the thousands and thousands of transactions in which your staff participate over time. What’s more, you should assume the quality of your staff’s external transactions, interactions with stakeholders, is the same as you see in their internal transactions, interactions with each other. Assume they relate to stakeholders as well or as badly as they relate to each other.

Below is a list of transaction elements you can use to assess your agency’s internal, interpersonal environment. You do this by rating your staff’s typical functioning on each of the ten elements. Rate your staff “5” on the element if it is most always present in your staff members’ transactions with each other. Use “4” for usually, “3” for much of the time, “2” for sometimes, and “1” for usually not. …