When I was a younger ambitious employee trying to climb why way through the corporate ladder, I was quick to judge and fast on my feet. I would spew out an email back to someone in a rapid heartbeat – without a genuine thought in my head for my response. My emails had a TONE to them, but at that time, I wasn’t concerned. I was leading the way to my climb.
Then, I got into my 30’s and the challenge to become a leader for my team was apparent. How could I lead my team not to do things that were inappropriate when they saw me lead by example on the attack?Being defensive and being in attack mode in the workplace was killing the culture in my department. In fact, negativity spread like wildfire quickly. I saw it was like a high school cafeteria. And the worst part – it took a week to undo negativity that happened in 1 hour.
When I decided to step back and look into each situation before my reaction, I started to see things much more clearly. My perception and assumption of the situation could change 20 different ways at a point. And then I needed make sure that the situation as I saw it was reality and not just in my head. The difficult part was perceiving what that other person involved was really trying to get across to me. Was I taking it the wrong way?
So I took a different approach. I would investigate more. I would ask more questions to get to my conclusion before giving a final answer. I would try my hardest to figure out where that others person’s head was, what were they trying to get at?
Then, I figured out that working out company problems and problem solving as a team was the winning attitude to have!
Besides, this company isn’t about ME, it is about the company and US. When I was able to calm down, research the situation and give an intelligent answer and solution to the issue, the other person started to respect me.
From there, my team saw me working well with others and I received their respect as well, they would look up to me. That actually turned the department culture around 100 degrees! And we had many pleasant days after that. Now don’t get me wrong, things arise and that is okay. But setting the proper example from the get-go goes a long way. That is how you develop culture.
I am rolling out an amazing program in a couple weeks on how to develop your business culture. I encourage you to check it out when it rolls out. Let me know if you are interested in checking it out!