Posts Tagged ‘Office Morale’

Be Direct

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Every employee who disagrees with a policy or a decision has a choice: ignore it, whine about it, or be direct.

Ignoring something you don’t agree with is fine, so long as you feel the difference of opinion is not a serious error. If you feel that a policy or decision is harmful in a way that really matters, you have an obligation as a member of the team to voice your concern.

But here’s the thing: Don’t whisper your concern in a “meeting outside of the meeting.” That’s destructive to the team. Don’t cross your arms, roll your eyes, and whine to your colleagues who have no way to influence the outcome.

If it doesn’t matter, forget it! But if it does, you have an obligation to put your grownup pants on and head straight for the decision makers who can do something about it.

If those decision makers are worth their salt, and you present the idea calmly and clearly, your stock will go up in their eyes.

The Not-So-Innocent Bystander

Sunday, June 5th, 2016

Back in college, my closest friends and I would joke around continuously. We’d laugh and we’d laugh. But sometimes, the joking would go just a little bit too far. We’d joke about someone in a way we wouldn’t do if they were there with us.

In those moments, I’d sit back and tell myself that if I weren’t the one overstepping the invisible boundary, well then, I was innocent. I was wrong about that.

You see, I could have stepped in. I could have voiced my opinion with saying “this is not okay!”

But I didn’t.

How often do you passively watch things occur that are inconsistent with your standard of ethics? Imagine just how easy it would be to step in.

Focus on orchestrating only ‘good things around you. Diligently intervene when you see otherwise.

Standing passively by is not the same as standing innocently by.

Get the chip off your shoulder

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

I’m willing to bet that everyone reading this has known someone with a massive chip on their shoulder. Maybe you’ve even been that person, who knows?

Well, you probably do—and those around you definitely do.

Have you ever noticed that people who walk around with a chip on their shoulder don’t seem all that eager to knock that chip off? They nurture it like a beloved child. As long as the chip is there, they can say “Woe is me” and embrace the victim role because someone has hurt them.

People can’t make you feel bad. You do that to yourself by interpreting their intent and keeping that chip where it is. We all do it—but it isn’t good for anyone.

Instead, change your interpretation of that remark or action that hurt you. There’s a good chance you can see it in a different light, one that helps you climb up out of that hole.

Better yet, talk directly to the person, even if it’s the CEO of the company. More often than not, you’ll find that the intention was not what you thought. Clear, honest, authentic communication benefits everyone.

Seeing informal agreements

Monday, July 7th, 2014


While my son was in India, he called to say, “Mom, you wouldn’t believe how different it is here. There are cars six deep, all blowing their horns and driving around people who are sleeping in the street, missing them by inches, with cows running up and down the road between all of it. And there are no road signs at all, and no lines on the roads!”

That pattern of behavior describes most workplaces! They have their own traffic jams and people sleeping in the way, right? And they have their own version of cows running up and down the street. And worst of all is that last observation—no instructions, no signs, and no lines.

Imagine if you woke up this morning and the streets on the way to work were like my son described—no lines on the road, no street lights, no stop signs and no laws?

That’s what your workplace would be like if it had no agreements.

Fortunately, there’s no such workplace. Workplaces are filled with agreements, formal and informal, spoken and unspoken. Some are obvious—be on time, don’t steal, don’t divulge confidential information.

Some others are less obvious but just as serious. Don’t undermine others with passive-aggressive behavior, for example. If you don’t have an agreement to disallow those unhealthy behaviors, then you have an agreement to allow them.

Be direct

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Every employee who disagrees with a policy or a decision has a choice: ignore it, whine about it, or be direct.

Ignoring something you don’t agree with is fine, so long as you feel the difference of opinion is not a serious error. If you feel that a policy or decision is harmful in a way that really matters, you have an obligation as a member of the team to voice your concern.

But here’s the thing: Don’t whisper your concern in a “meeting outside of the meeting.” That’s destructive to the team. Don’t cross your arms, roll your eyes, and whine to your colleagues who have no way to influence the outcome.

If it doesn’t matter, forget it! But if it does, you have an obligation to put on your grownup pants and head straight for the decision makers who can do something about it.

If those decision makers are worth their salt, and you present the idea calmly and clearly, your stock will only go up in their eyes.