If we know culture is the most important part of any successful business, what is your organization doing to create a positive and healthy culture?
How much is your company spending on creating the culture they want? What are they spending in time? In money? In thought? In discussion?
Saying that culture is important without purposefully investing in it is like saying exercise/meditation/food is important without having an exercise plan, a meditation practice, or a sensible diet in place.
“’Culture eats strategy for breakfast’, a phrase originated by Peter Drucker and made famous by Mark Fields, President at Ford, is an absolute reality! Any company disconnecting the two are putting their success at risk. . . . Organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so don’t leave it unattended.”(source: https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/culture/organisational-culture-eats-strategy-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner/)
If your company isn’t creating the culture it aspires to, the culture will create itself, and it’s likely not to be too healthy.
What is your organization doing to improve its culture?
No, I’m not 45. I am older. That’s what the woman in the meeting said out loud to her colleagues.
There are a myriad of ways this is expressed:
“This is the way I have always been, I’m not going to change now.”
“My mother/father was this way, what do you expect?”
“I’m an old dog, I can’t learn new tricks!”
“I’m Italian/German/Jewish/Catholic/Southern…this is just the way we are.”
“I’m a millennial/Gen-Xer, this is how we do things.”
“I’m just a dumb jock, what do you expect?”
When I was in college, my mentor said to me, “At what point will you accept responsibility for your own actions rather than blaming them on your background/parents/education?”
What a powerful question. Have you stopped?
Receiving feedback can feel like a gift, or feel like a hard slap in the face, can’t it?
So I have a lovely neighbor who is full of love and light. When she sees me, she always finds the positive to report on.
“I love to see you pounding away on the pavement.” she compliments.
“Did you see how slowly I am going? I never make it to a fast jog like you.” I retort
“Yes, but you are out here and every motion you make is a positive one.” she replies.
Likewise, I have another neighbor who also notices both my actions and inactions.
“You have trash all over the yard. Looks like you left the recycling out on a windy day again.”
I am thinking, “While you were talking, you could have picked up a piece or two.”
And as much as I don’t always appreciate her comments, she is the one who alerted me that we had lost a shingle, and she is the first to let me know when our dog has taken another unaccompanied walk.
Feedback at work is the same. Sometimes it’s just the encouragement you need, sometimes it’s something you already knew and sometimes it’s a blind spot that you aren’t excited about, but nevertheless, you needed to hear it.
Feedback at work is one lense into how others perceive you. It can also give you some ideas to help you plan your own development and that feedback can help you reach your full potential.
Tips for effectively receiving feedback:
- Take long, deep breathes; they are free, take as many as you can.
- Listen carefully – paraphrase to make sure you heard the message correctly. This also demonstrates to the other person that you are sincere in wanting to hear his or her feedback.
- Ask for examples – direct the conversation by saying, “Tell me more” or “What have I specifically done to make you feel that way?”
- Acknowledge – you don’t have to agree or disagree with the person. It’s appropriate to recognize the other person’s input by saying “You’ve given me something to think about.”
- Think objectively – evaluate the feedback. Ask yourself if the feedback is valid and important. Have you heard it from someone else? Are the person’s standards and expectations valid?
- Think about what you are going to do with the feedback – you don’t have to act upon the feedback right away. Spend some time thinking about the feedback and then determine what action, if any, you wish to take.
In my programs I sometimes ask for examples of feedback that have really helped participants. I would love to hear from you.