Partnering with many highly technical leaders throughout the years, I have come to understand the direct communication style. They get to the point quickly, using as few words as possible, with a purposeful tone. They exude an air of authority. This past week was no different. I presented a leadership program to a group of senior leaders who were experts in their technical abilities and very firm in the way they shared their insights. They commanded a stage-type presence with a “been there, done that” attitude. So walking into a room filled with these confident seasoned leaders seemed a bit daunting. Well sort of.
Rituals are important to the survival of any organization as they contribute to the unique culture of a workplace. Rituals can mean honoring our co-workers’ birthdays with cards that everyone signs and a special birthday cake or making Wednesday “Bagel Day” for the firm. Some teams embrace the ritual of a monthly Happy Hour to connect with everyone in a less formal setting while other teams support a “Field Day” filled with outdoor activities to get to know one another better. Whatever the ritual, to feel part of our work worlds we honor those routines and behaviors.
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This week I had the opportunity to speak with an extraordinary young leader who shared their passionate journey of how they arrived at their current job and career. The leader began their education and first job in a very artsy industry but ended up in a start-up. There were also a few crazy sales jobs in between that helped them to develop marketing skills that eventually led them to their present dynamic position. The trials and challenges brought us laughter and connection. Some of the leader’s choices worked out better than others, but in each situation, the individual was always willing to grow and try new things.
It’s easy to give up on team members or colleagues when they don’t meet our expectations. When co-workers don’t pull through in the way we thought they would or should, we often become angry or feel let down. We even may become defensive and be ready to go on the attack.
Have you faced any of these frustrating situations in your workplaces or collaborations?
- Missing information for a project
- Deadlines that are ignored or miscalculated
- Being omitted from an important email
- Not being part of a team decision
- Overlooked to be part of a Happy Hour after work
This past week I needed to replace my old gas lines with new pipes to connect with an updated system. Although going through the process was a bit uncomfortable, there really was no choice if I no longer wanted water in my gas line. To make this happen, the gas company had to dig deep to locate my current hook-ups and re-trench my property with the new pipes. Holding off was just a temporary solution and a poor choice at that. I had to embrace this total property upheaval if I no longer wanted to lose heat or hot water.