How we work together – Part 1 | Commissioner’s Connect

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Courtesy of Grand County Board of Commissioners

How do you put a new team together? This is the problem we faced with a new Commissioner joining up two months ago. Adding a new person to a team changes dynamics within the team, between existing team members, and also outside of the team. We are working to re-establish trust both within our organization and with our citizens.

Grand County Commissioners Jane Tollett (District 1), Merrit Linke (District 2) and Kris Manguso (District 3).
Grand County Commissioners Jane Tollett (District 1), Merrit Linke (District
2) and Kris Manguso (District 3).

From the beginning we have been committed to working together as a team. Although it is true any two can outvote the other one, it is important that we respect each other’s positions and move on past the voting. We cannot expect the organization to work well together if the three of us cannot. Hence we have established some systems to improve communication and ensure we continue to focus on what is best for the County. “What is best for Grand County” can have many meanings, and we are working closely together to agree on that meaning. We have weekly staff meetings with the Interim County Manager and County Attorney.

We discuss issues that are of interest, educate each of us on any gaps, and evaluate potential and upcoming problems that may affect the county. We plan workshops based partly on these issues, and partly on needs the departments may have. Each of us brings a great deal of specialized expertise to the table. We also use this time to plan the pace of work as well as ground ourselves in what is working – and not working here in the county.

Workshops with the departments have been valuable to allow them additional time with us so that we better understand their work processes and some of the issues they face. It can be a time to break down communication barriers as well as ensure we are aware of their work processes and where we can help. It can be an opportunity for them to ask advice, showcase the good work of their employees, and in general make sure we know how to support them. Our departments are the face of the County government that most people see, and we want them to be at their best.

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