When you have low morale, disgruntled employees or rampant distrust, the temptation can be to go straight to hitting the reset button on your culture.
Shiny new initiatives. Shiny new committees. Shiny new intentions.
Unfortunately all this bling is slimed and undermined by what got you to that tough place. The gunk from the past that’s weighing down your team hasn’t been dealt with – and you can’t just pretend “its no big deal” or hope everyone will “just let it go.”
You have to create a cathartic release for your team to say what’s in the space – to share the impact of what happened (or didn’t happen).
Repressed feelings fester. When shared it releases tension and anxiety – clearing the way for real deal conversation, empathy and access to truly “let it go.”
Once gone, then you can renew, revive and rebuild. But not until then. And no amount of pretending, hoping or even begging will get you there.
Your team will rise to meet you when they are encouraged to give voice to what’s been taboo. There’s no way to rise when one feels repressed, squished down.
So pause the sparkles and positive goodness and humbly request your team to share what’s been in the way. And then…
- Listen like there’s nowhere you would rather be in the world.
- Acknowledge the courage and commitment of those who speak up.
- Really get their world, their experience and their perspective.
- And before you speak, ask, is there anything else? And then listen until there is nothing more for them to share.
- Acknowledge how hard it’s been. Own what there is to own (if you’re the leader, I suggest you own it all.)
- Then through dialogue, discover and uncover with your team what would make the difference going forward.
The team at Choose People has been working on some extraordinary culture goodness over this past year and we are beyond excited to share this goodness with you. On 9/9/19, we will exclusively reveal to you, our loyal culture followers, our latest innovation – The Culture Works System. Here’s to one big step closer to shifting the national conversation around work from one of misery to one of joy!