2020 will be a year of great challenge and great opportunity. Division and drama are at an all time high. Globally 85% of workers are not engaged or actively disengaged at work. Yet everywhere we travel around the world, leaders tell us they are craving positive connections and authentic relationships. They are tired of the drain and want their energy back! They are looking for a better way.
Happy New Year! I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to all of my subscribers. I appreciate your support, your comments, and this remarkable community of people who care about better communication and more compassion at work. In keeping with tradition, here are the most read posts from my blog in 2019.
I recently accompanied my mother to a doctor’s appointment. We spent an hour in the waiting room and witnessed something that is all too common in patient care and impacts everything from satisfaction to the reputation of the practice itself.
I desperately wanted to rescue the billing representative during her interaction with a patient. If I could have slipped her a script using the ORPO template we teach in our Compassion Mindset course, it would have said,
Mis-communicable diseases are illnesses passed from person to person through miscommunication. That’s because miscommunication infects people with negativity; inferiority, guilt, shame, and fear. Forget the basic cases of not understanding each other. I’m talking about getting hooked, and the next thing you know, you’re under the weather.
There are three kinds of work conversations; task conversations, relationship-building conversations, and gossip.
Task conversations are the ones focused on aspects of your work; exchanging information about what’s happening, who’s doing what, when it’s due, and what’s next. These are most common between co-workers, at meetings, and between bosses and their employees. These conversations are necessary and should be done within a spirit of mutual benefit and respect.
These three leadership habits destroy culture because they support drama-based responses to conflict.
Hiding behind policies
How many policies do you have that were created in response to the behavior of a few people? Rather than confront the behavior with healthy conflict, some leaders hide behind the policy. This sends the the message that we don’t trust most people and we won’t deal directly with problem behavior.
This article was originally published in SmartBrief on September 6, 2018. Republished here with permission.
People are more involved and connected than ever before. There’s always something going on, and somebody’s posting about it. Are you in, or are you out?
With all this awareness, fear of missing out (FOMO) is rampant. It’s easy to get seduced into thinking that just because we can be involved or included, we should be. Or, that if we aren’t, something bad might happen. The pressure is unbelievable.
The need to feel justified is one of the strongest, most intoxicating and uniquely human conditions. It’s amazing how far we will go to get that fix, how hard we will work to prove we were right about something or someone. How hard do you defend your version of what happened in a “he said, she said” argument? When you send an email and the other person doesn’t remember getting it, how much energy do you spend trying to prove that you sent it and that they are in the wrong?
A few years ago I was asked to coach a manager through firing four employees in one afternoon. Going into it the manager was anxious and afraid. Four hours later, she left work completely exhausted, but with her dignity intact, and the dignity of her four ex-employees intact. A month later she met one of them in the grocery store. The ex-employee approached her, gave her a hug, and thanked her for how she conducted the firing.
Employers inevitably need to let employees go. Many employers approach this situation in a way that shows empathy and respect to the employee. But when terminations aren’t approached the right way, former employees end up bitter and hurt the company’s employer brand.
Five Common Mistakes Leaders Make when firing an employee
A toxic boss can ruin a great work environment and leave a wake of drama. You can let it take you down, or take initiative to stay out of the drama and be a positive influence.
Four signs your boss is toxic:
- Questions motives instead of asking curious questions. Toxic bosses regularly jump to conclusions and assume nefarious intentions. If they would ask curious questions instead, they’d find out that most people are doing their best and trying to do the right thing.
- Motivates with intimidation. Toxic bosses are willing to undermine dignity to get what they want. They believe they are OK and others are not-OK, which enables them to sleep at night even when they abuse their people during the day.
- Lacks awareness. Toxic bosses lack insight into their own behavior, motivations, or impact on others. They are clueless about how ineffective they are.
- Low emotional intelligence. Toxic bosses have a toxic relationship with their own emotions. They don’t know how to express them in healthy ways, and they don’t know how to deal effectively with other people’s emotions.