Every business has a workplace culture. Workplace culture is difficult to point out or describe. It may be easier to describe the air we breathe. We know air exists and we understand our bodies respond to it differently depending on its qualities. Consciously or unconsciously we respond differently if air is clean and refreshing, or when it is polluted with toxins, allergens, or smoke. We may smell a bad odor that is harmless and just unpleasant for a while. We may walk into a smoke filled room and decide to leave. Or, we may not even know about the toxic air we are breathing until we get sick. It may take a few minutes or even several years of experiencing poor air quality before we realize the symptoms. Yet, most of the time we never think about it. However, if it is cut off, if we are underwater, or just have a cold, then we are aware of how important air and breathing is and at times may even be desperate to get it.
Business Owner Newsletter - Page 18
The last four weeks we talked about resolving conflicts. However, the lack of conflict within your business isn't always something to be excited about. In fact, it might be a warning sign. Conflict helps your business innovate. It helps you test and challenge assumptions you make before implementing new ideas or even products. No conflict could mean that your business culture isn't embracing conflict and you could be missing out on opportunities.
This month, we've talked about how you can collaborate with others when there is a conflict. As we've repeated many times this month, conflict resolution STARTS with you, but it's not just about you or just about how your business operates. There are other parties involved. This week we want to focus on how your business can be prepared to work with your team when there is a conflict.
This month we've discussed the idea that conflict can be handled peacefully and how your mindset will influence the outcome of a conflict. This week, we want to focus on a few tips that will help you approach any conflict and will help influence collaboration. Before we jump into the tips, there's a few reminders to remember:
Last week we left you with a challenge to look at how conflict is approached in your business. We asked if you approach conflict expecting a confrontation or a conversation. This week we want to explore that mindset a bit deeper.
What? Who? How? When? Where? As you ask these questions, you are most likely requesting specifics about a person, place, or thing. However, when you ask "why" you are seeking reason, thought, and insight. "Why" is a powerful question that makes the recipient take a moment to articulate their perception of the question. At times it may make them uncomfortable, or dig deep into their minds for the answer. The answer to a "why" question is often subjective based on the person's experiences and values.
When you are ready to involve your team in discussing metrics it's important to look at and understand the language that you will use to introduce the concept to your employees. Sure, setting metrics is nothing new, but if handled wrong it can create the wrong mindset with employees.
We once overheard a client referring to Quantification as that 14 letter word. It made us laugh, because we've also felt the pain of trying to decide how and when to quantify results. It seems simple enough, but the truth is sometimes it's a struggle. This month we've been discussing the importance of metrics to a position and we've mentioned the need to track metrics in the last insight, but it's important enough to dive deeper.