Category Archives: #ThursdayThoughts
“Why?” asks the employee to their boss.
“Because that’s our policy,” the boss retorts.
Not a great way to exhibit leadership you might say. One can assume the employee walks away from that interaction feeling diminished, not being able to get an honest answer to their question.
Which in turn offers the question: Do we value rules over the benefit of solid working relationships with our people?
Rules – policies, procedures, behavioral guidelines – are necessary. They govern actions to ensure synergy, compliance and trustworthy actions.
Yet relationships can achieve those same things with more effective impact.
People are more relationship driven than rules driven. When they feel a connection, a place of valuation and inspiration, they invariably give more of a concentrated effort and their performance will be better as a result.
Think of the sports team whose coach demands execution versus the one who inspires the players to be their best. Many of the greatest sports teams that have existed – and military platoons that fought for their commander and companies whose employees were appreciated by their owners – attained that because they worked hard for their coach due to the relationship that was forged. They gave that coach, commander, owner their all as a result of the relationship. Not because of the rules they imposed.
Rules are necessary. Relationships are desired.
Be the leader who enforces relationships, not just rules.
There are generally two types of people:
In any transaction, someone generally creates a good or service for another to consume.
That type of relationship is healthy and symbiotic for business and economics as a whole. But the creator/consumer system is disastrous for an organizational culture, personal relationship or even a political/citizen dynamic.
If one tends to be consumer only, without regard for how they create value to the relationship or cultural dynamic, the institution impacted can cease to exist.
Consider a spouse who demands the other cater to their needs without reciprocating. A boss who wants their employees to do their bidding so they look good and meet bonuses. An employee who sucks all the attention from their leaders, or one who takes credit from the efforts of the team without contributing.
Citizens that demand their government provide for them without being discerning voters. And politicians who gain office to impose their hidden agendas on an unsuspecting people.
In any social situation, there is always a creator/consumer dynamic that always exists. When balanced, with each faction contributing to make the other party better in serving them, the dynamic works.
When it’s lopsided with all consumers and no on contributing, the whole thing becomes in danger of falling apart.
Consuming itself it not an issue. And consuming a lot is not an issue. But if your contributions are dwarfed by your consumer disposition, imbalance has occurred. But it’s an easy fix.
Be mindful to create and contribute more than you consume.
Kids are funny to watch.
The older sibling comes running to her mom because her younger brother “was looking at me wrong.”
Mom’s probable answer might be “Just ignore him.” She is telling her child that it’s no big deal.
It’s somewhat cute when children are engaging in that behavior. Not so cute when it’s working adults.
If we heard someone in our workplace make that same claim, we’d probably think about saying to them the same thing that our mothers told us.
However, many of us make big deals over small stuff that we should – as self-professed mature adults – ignore or overlook.
The crossed arms – probably not a signal of defiance.
The empty look – maybe a comprehension barrier.
The momentary checking out of a meeting – possibly a distraction of thought (and still work-related) and not a knock on leadership.
The short email or text – likely not in anger but perhaps an overwhelmed individual.
Many intentional behaviors – like the younger brother’s – are simply childish and can be dismissed by not giving an audience. But the unintentional ones – due to organizational barriers, physical limitations or unknown factors – can also be let go as many may simply amount to nothing.
We can choose to be worked up on the little things (and the perceived larger things) and make them into bigger deals than they should be.
Give everything it’s place, including your response.
You may not understand the rationale for the other person’s behavior. And in many cases you can exemplify a gracious behavior that can help our society not get worked up over something they perceived to be an injustice towards them.
When it was no big deal really.
(image: Photo by Alex Mihai C on Unsplash)