You don’t have to tolerate gossip

Gossip (The Office)

Gossip (The Office) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Office politics, back-stabbing, talking behind someone’s back or however you define it, you don’t have to put up with bad behavior.

It starts with a no-gossip culture, which you carefully cultivate. Best practices are these:

  • Talk about it with new hires.  The new hire signs an “agreement to values” form.
  • Managers speak to their people if needed. If they don’t stop they’re let go. “If you don’t confront, you condone.”
  • Managers give this message: It starts with you. If you don’t gossip and you let it be known you don’t tolerate it, others won’t gossip around you.
  • People call each other out with “You need to go to the source if you have a question.”
  • From business consultant, John Bassler: The best antidote to gossip is a leader with a thick skin and a well-advertised tolerance for candid feedback.
  • Make sure your employees get information from the source.  That means regular meetings. Stand-up meetings or sit down meetings, every meeting needs an agenda and a time limit. It can be the same agenda every week but you need an agenda. People need to, and want to know, what to expect. Circulate notes and action items in a follow up email.

It all comes down to communication. If you’ve done the work styles instrument with me you know your communication style. Consider having your team do it.

To facilitate effective communication make up a nameplate for each person’s desk with the color of their communication style on it. A person with a red bar appreciates when others are direct and state the facts quickly. Blue enjoys having all the details and time to process them. Yellow is spontaneous and likes a personal connection. Green is a sensitive person who likes to be approached as courteously as possible. Greens tend to be compassionate and supportive.

Don’t tolerate gossip. Rarely does everyone in a company like each other but half the battle is in their communication.

Professionals Like Us

Is stepping up the professionalism in your workplace at the top of your list this year?
It is at a lot of companies I talk to.  Companies have standards.  You have standards.  How do you get those across to your employees?

To start the conversation you’re welcome to use this one-page survey I developed in response to a client’s need.  Professionals Like Us Survey

The goal is to have a conversation, there is no perfect score, only a workplace where there is employee pride and job satisfaction and where customers are impressed.

How to use the Professionals Like Us Survey

  1. Give it to your direct reports.  Go over it with each person in private.
  2. Use it as a 360 tool. Contact me for versions for a person’s manager and direct reports.  No cost.
  3. Have you given it your all and want some help from outside?  Call me for coaching and team workshops on “Professionals Like Us”.

Well, it’s happening again

I have a new vehicle and now I’m noticing all the CR-V’s there are on the road.  My goodness, everyone in Grand Junction has gone out bought one too.  Hmmm.  How odd.

Oh ya.  It’s the “new car phenomenon.  The number of CR-V’s hasn’t changed but my awareness of them changed.

What we notice tells us how we’re different.  Our differences are our strong points.

What do you notice?  I notice how people grow and succeed and make their lives fulfilling.  I use all that I’ve learned and am still learning about people to help you become successful and fulfilled.

Do you want to become more self-aware?

  1. Use a self-assessment.  That’s what they’re for, to learn your preferences.  The Myers-Briggs is the premier self-awareness instrument.  My client’s line, “It’s so me it’s almost scary”, is my favorite way to describe it.  Call me.
  2. Do your own self-assessment.  Whenever you see your car on the road think of one of your strengths and be your own coach.  Ask yourself How am I using this strength now?  What are other ways I could use it?  What’s one thing I can do to build on it?  Your cue words are:  Now, NewBuild.
  3. Have fun with Pinterest.  Pinterest is a giant tack board.  “An online bulletin board for you to organize and share things you love” is how they describe it.  Okay, it’s not for everyone, but it is cool. Find “pins” that describe you and pin them to a bulletin board. Before long you’ll know a lot about yourself from what you pick.

Notice your differences.  Value your differences.  Be grateful for your differences.

Now DO SOMETHING with what you know about yourself.

Sorry about the caps, but I’m “all caps” about this:  Don’t be held back by No messages in your head.  I can’t do it.  I’m not really that good.  I’m afraid to pursue it, I might get put down. Ignore them. Stifle them. Redirect them. Don’t think so much!

You only have one life. Don’t get stuck in procrastination, stuck in fear. Really, truly, you have nothing to fear, nothing to lose.  No, you won’t please everyone.  You will get rejected. You did put on your imaginary super hero suit under your clothes this morning didn’t you?  It will deflect those slings and barbs of the nay-sayers.  Add a get-it-done mindset and you’re ready to go for it.  I’m noticing.

You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose. — Dr. Seuss

What could you do with a day away to focus on your leadership and management skills? Build your career!

The Leadership Seminar, Wednesday, October 5.

Who Should Attend?
Managers, supervisors, team leaders, prospective managers and anyone who deals with people.

How You Will Benefit

  • Learn your strengths for leading and managing and how to leverage them.
  • Approach conflict with confidence.
  • Become the leader, motivator and coach you want to be.

What We Will Cover

  • How others see you.
  • Communication styles.
  • Holding the difficult conversations.
  • Team dynamics.
  • We’ll have opportunity to tackle your day-to-day challenges.

This is a seminar unlike others. It’s not a room full of people listening to a speaker (“drone on and on” is how we all want to finish that sentence.) It’s a small group where we can discuss your day to day leadership and management challenges in a confidential, helpful way. There’s a lot of sharing ideas and What Works!

From one participant: “The small group is amazing for sharing ideas. So much better than the crowds at the impersonal, canned workshops.”

For more information, click here

3 Easy Ways to Register

Do You Love Your Job?

Do you love your job?  Not a lot of people do right now, it turns out.

In an article about surveys done by the Conference Board and, 83 percent of respondents said they were considering a job change with 61 percent stating they would definitely seek a new position when the economy improves.

Mrs. Lynch and Jenna and Kelli

The little girls snuggling up to Mrs. Lynch and the big smiles on all three faces are pretty much proof it’s a mutual admiration society in this 2nd grade classroom.

Mrs. Lynch says, “No one wants to be around someone who doesn’t want to be there, even a child.  They know if you don’t like them or don’t like being with them. And if the teacher isn’t happy, the students positively are not.” 

Our Suggestions  
What can we suggest if you don’t like your job?  Jeanine would say you need more pictures drawn for you and more hugs.  Not a bad idea!

Dream and Prepare
I’d say if hugs don’t fit in your work day, dream and prepare for the future.  I think it’s good that people change jobs, it energizes people and companies.  But job change isn’t happening in this sluggish job market.  Get ready for times to change.  Get the training you need now.  Dream about what you can do and where you’d like to work (dreaming is a form of planning.)

Start think of what you’re doing now in terms of accomplishments so you’re ready to write the important resume. Give accomplishments this format: P-A-R. Problem, Action, Result. What was the situation?  What action did you take? What was the result in terms of money saved, work made more efficient, or profits generated?

“Optimists are right.  So are pessimists.  It’s up to you to choose which you will be.”
–Harvey Mackay

The Rule of 3

The Rule of 3 and More Lessons from 2nd Grade

She must have some secret signs that only her students understand because I heard no words from Mrs. Lynch to Zach but suddenly the second grader’s head went down and when everyone else went to recess, you got it, Zach had to stay in and have a little talk with Mrs. Lynch.
We’re continuing Lessons from 2nd Grade.  In the last few e-newsletters I’ve been passing on the workforce management tips I’ve learned from watching a skilled teacher, my sister, Jeanine Lynch, manage her “workforce” of 28 children.  She is tasked with teaching a year of knowledge and developing good citizens.  How important is that?!
So, watching young Zach being chastened with no perceptible action on Mrs. Lynch’s part, I wondered what must have happened to set this up, or is it magic? We all remember “the look” as well as the encouraging words that reward and we can probably agree a good teacher does work magic.  But their magic takes work.
Make Your Own Magic
Teachers start communicating classroom rules and standards the first day of school and they don’t stop.  Are you clear on your expectations of your employees?

Teachers give immediate reinforcement on rules and standards?  She sees it, she handles it.  Do you put off addressing bad behavior longer than is healthy for you and your employees?

Here we are again on the topic that comes up all the time in coaching and workshops — avoiding disagreeable situations.  To help you decide when to take action may I suggest you follow The Rule of 3?  The first time bad behavior occurs you notice it. The second time think “pattern”.  The third time it happens speak to the person about the pattern.  Pretty simple.  Tackle it early and keep it low key.

Jeanine and girls

With a look a teacher chastens, with encouraging words she rewards, and with a hug she says I’m here for you and you’re going to do just fine in the world.  They have to work at classroom management but they’re magic too.