Don’t Blame the Team If They Don’t Know the Rules

What do you assume and don’t say?

My family recently hosted a foreign exchange student at our house for about a month. When he arrived at our house, his first question to me was “What are the rules at your house?” Not wanting to sound like some kind of ogre, I said, “We don’t have too many rules at our house.” And I told him a couple of rules that we had in our house. And I thought that was that.

rules

Over time, I noticed that he did some things that annoyed me. And my thought was “That’s really rude. Why doesn’t he know any better?”

I told him that I was disappointed with what he was doing. Later he told me, “You didn’t tell me what all the rules were.” Then I realized I couldn’t hold him accountable for something I didn’t tell him. He had asked to know what the rules were, but I didn’t tell him what they all were.

This same thing applies to your employees at your workplace, but they won’t necessarily ask you what the rules of your culture are. That’s incumbent on you to tell them. They won’t know how to operate in your organizational culture if you don’t tell them.

Here are the things you need to tell your people so they know how to follow the rules of your culture.

Timeless Wisdom for Today’s Workplace

Five Words that Should Impact How You Work

The Scripture has a lot to say about today’s workplace. Even though it may use words that may seem strange in today’s parlance, it applies directly to the modern day.

timeless wisdom for today's workplace

 

Here are five words taken from Colossians 3:22 and Ephesians 6:5-6 that provide a guide for how to function in today’s workplace.

Who Gets the Credit on Your Team?

How to Create a Team Culture by Creating a Team Environment

Harry Truman said, “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” If it’s all about you, then you won’t get much done. But if you are willing to share the credit with others, then you will end up getting a lot done.

credit

People want to be part of something larger than themselves. When they feel like they are contributing and seeing progress, then they are more likely to want to stay at it. But a leader who doesn’t see the team’s need to be recognized will lose their team very quickly.

Here are three things to implement a team culture by focusing on giving credit to others on the team.

The Road to True Success is Lonely

Most Don’t Want to Do What True Success Requires

True success in the workplace doesn’t look like what most people expect it to look like. They think it means occupying the corner office. Having lots of money. Being a powerful individual. But that’s not true success looks like.

True Success

Jesus said that the Son of Man came to serve, not to be served (Matthew 20:28; Mark 10:45). That model of leadership applies not only to the realm of faith, but also to the realm of business.

Here’s what true success looks like in the workplace.

Are You OK With Uncomfortable Conversations?

Your interpersonal success depends on having those awkward moments

Which conversations do you dread? Are they with an employee or colleague who doesn’t seem to do what they should? Are they the ones with your teenager about what they do or don’t do? Are they with your spouse over who’s going to get their way? Your ability to have success in your interpersonal relations will be as a result of having uncomfortable conversations.

uncomfortable conversations

No one wants to have to talk about that stuff. And yet that’s how you are able to make the relationship progress to becoming better than it is now. But it requires that you persevere through those uncomfortable conversations.

Here are three levels to which your workplace and personal relationships will improve as a result of having uncomfortable conversations.

Leaders Must Always See the Big Picture

And Everyone on Your Team Needs to Hear You Talk About the Big Picture

After I recently guest lectured to MBA students at a local university, one of the students asked me a question about alignment. I explained that one of the most important things for a leader to do is to be able to connect long-term goals to short-term actions. And leaders can do that best when they can share the big picture.

big picture

As a leader, it is imperative that you always remind your team why they are there. Help them to understand the purpose behind your company. Give them a reason to see that the little actions they do every day are important to accomplishing a bigger goal. Help them to see that they are many artists contributing to one masterpiece.

No job is exciting all the time. There are times that every job will have its drudgery. You can either inspire your people to put in their best efforts in even the drudgery, or you can let them trudge on their own just for their paycheck. It’s your choice whether you will help your people see only the little areas they are contributing, or if you will help them see how they are contributing to the big picture.

Here are three ways you can remind your team of the big picture when they are trudging through their daily grind.

How to Give a Real Apology

And it’s not about how you can save face

In today’s culture, you don’t often see people give a real apology. They don’t even acknowledge that they have done anything wrong. They make excuses for their behavior, and they try to skirt around the issue. As a result, they say nothing of any importance, and their relationship with the offended party worsens.

real apology

Today nobody expects anyone to apologize anymore. People want to save face and pretend that they haven’t done anything wrong. Politicians say they are “sorry IF they have offended anyone.” But that doesn’t deal with anything and it doesn’t help their credibility improve.

So what does a real apology look like? Here are three steps to making a real apology and what you can expect to happen as a result.

How to Give Bad News

How to Say What Needs to Be Said

When I was a new manager, I had the hardest time giving constructive feedback to my assistant. When it was time to share with her what she needed to know to help her improve, I couldn’t even get the words out. It was so difficult for me to say, that I had to try multiple times just to be able to tell her—because I was too concerned about saying what she might have thought was bad news.

bad news

My early days as a manager showed one extreme of improper communication in giving performance reviews. Other managers think that yelling the hard truth is the best way to give bad news. They think that it’s OK to say whatever they think needs to be said, without thinking about what it would feel like to be on the receiving end of what they said. Clearly both extremes are not helpful.

So how should we give bad news? What’s the best way to help employees improve? Here are four tips for how to say what needs to be said, even if it’s bad news.

How to Deal with Problem Employees

How to Get the Most Out of Your Team

When you think of the difficult people on your team, what do you think of? How do you perceive the problem employees on your team? Could it be that you are looking at them the wrong way?

problem employees

I’m not saying that everyone is fixable. It may ultimately be better for everyone if certain people don’t work at your organization any more. I think it Abraham Lincoln got it right when he said that people are usually as happy as they make up their minds to be. Nonetheless, you may be the one to help those certain people change their minds.

Difficult people have been through difficult stuff. And hurt people hurt people. If you just pass them off as problem employees then you may be missing a huge opportunity—for them and for you.

I realize that you may not be the pastor-in-chief at your workplace, but you can develop a pastor’s heart for your team. Spiritual insight into their situation can help your team become more positive, more innovative, and more productive.

Here’s how you can get the most out of your team by training yourself in how you look at your problem employees.

Improve Your People to Improve Your Workplace

Why It Makes Sense (and Dollars) to Help Your Team Improve

To improve your company, it’s important to focus on continuous improvement. That’s obvious, isn’t it? But how much do you focus on helping your people improve—and not just in how they do their job?

improve

If you help your people grow in one area of their lives, it will spill over into the other areas of their lives as well. They will reap the benefit, but you will too.

Here’s why it makes sense (and dollars) to make your team improve.