Senior Strategic Partner, Laura Dillingham, knows a great deal about people in general, and especially when it comes to working with teams. She understands the importance of people and being REAL. Enjoy this week’s Power Idea and put some thought to if you (and your team) are keeping it real!

Building a Workplace about People

I read an article written by Tom Terez some time ago and many of his points stuck with me. So I decided to share them in a consolidated format. Every organization needs a product or service, supply chains, business plans, technology and information systems, but every workplace is basically about people. The heart, mind and soul of every organization is fundamentally found in its people.

Whatever role you play in the organization, your job is to bring out the best in people. You need to take action. Installing new equipment, moving offices, coming up with a strategic plan are much easier. Dealing with people is much more difficult – but that’s where there’s potential!

Tom suggests everyone should:
1. Show your emotions – But do it in a constructive way; show if you’re happy, angry, confused, interested, even thrilled.
2. Be yourself, the real you – Be consistent, get to know yourself, be true to who you are. People shouldn’t have to second guess. When that happens everyone benefits.
3. Speak up – Let your people hear news from you. Find stories about internal customers serving internal and external customers and tell them…a lot! Be the leader of raging, positive and true gossip. Shape the culture.
4. Say it – Thank you! People appreciate those two little words and they’re more important on a daily basis than anything else you will do. Set the example for your team to follow.
5. Ask – If you want to engage and empower people ask questions. Everyone knows you have the answers if you’re management, that’s why you’re in charge, but if you want people to take responsibility and be engaged start with a question.
6. Fix it – When there are conflicts, don’t run, ignore or let them persist. Resolve conflicts! They only result in resentment, resistance and ultimately revenge, which doesn’t benefit anyone. Hurt feelings and grudges last forever and impact not only relationships and teamwork, but also the bottom line.
7. Expand your Horizons – We lose focus on the people who do the work. Throughout the day ask people how they’re doing. Management tends to focus on what they’re doing. You’ll get more information from people and your communication will improve. You may even find out something new.
8. Take Action – This is a statement from Tom that I think needs to be quoted directly “Action should be done with people and not to them or despite them.” Anything that affects anyone should include them. Buy-in and communication is critical to action and successful implementation.
9. Dare to be different – As Colin Powell has been quoted as saying, “If both of us are yes men, one of us is redundant”. Don’t surround yourself with people who look like you, walk like you and talk like you because if you do you’ll be missing critical pieces you need. Meaningful goals lead to success and the differences are what get people there in the best ways.
10. Keep people engaged – Your reaction in any situation is critical. When you’re busy it’s easy to let communication slide or even be short-sighted or dismissive. Open your ears, it will then allow everything else to open.

Hope you have enjoyed just a few of these suggestions about building a workplace around people. The next step is to implement at least two and build from there…we’ll be checking back with you to see how you’re doing.