Two epidemics kill cultures: end runs and unresolved complaining. Both waste time and energy, and are ultimately toxic to the health and productivity of your company. Luckily, these epidemics can be cured by asking a simple, powerful question.
What do you say when one of your team members asks you to keep something confidential? There’s a dangerous workplace situation that all leaders and managers find themselves drawn into from time to time. I call it the “confidential complaint” trap.
This happens to me when I’m working with leadership teams. Someone will stop me in the hall during a break and say, “May I talk to you for a minute, NOT in the room with the group?”
There’s a natural inclination to say yes to this kind of request. As leaders, we all want to be approachable. We may also want to find out what’s going on inside our organization. But promising blanket confidentiality for run-of-the-mill complaints can be a dangerous slope because it is diametrically opposed to creating a healthy workplace culture.
Every session with one of our Leadership Teams starts with what we call the “Check In,” which generally consists of several questions that help us transition from working “in” our business to working “on” our business. One question is always, “What are your expectations for today?”
I check in after each member of the Leadership Team is done. And my ongoing expectation is always, “Please be open and honest – just say it.” And this is one of the most difficult behaviors for a Leadership Team to exhibit – for lots of reasons.
As we turn the final corner of 2017, many family-owned businesses are preparing to become more profitable in 2018. When I took the helm of our third-generation family business several years ago, I was eager to boost our profitability. But what I found was that there are a lot of profit-eaters in a family-owned business. And they can be very difficult to get rid of without a robust and objective operating system in place.
Want to have a more profitable family-owned business in 2018? Watch out for these profit-eaters!
I recently had a conversation with a friend who was struggling with managing a millennial. She asked me for thoughts on how to best manage her younger staff. As we talked, I realized that millennials take a bad rap for being needy for things that we as leaders and managers should be doing anyway.
I had an epiphany when my friend asked, “What have you seen or heard is the best way to motivate millennials?” Here’s what I told her.