How do we stay civil and retain a strong and professional corporate culture in today’s ever changing, turbulent, politically charged environment? Below are three ways to help ensure your culture continues in the right direction.
Leaders should display the right tone at the top. Having a positive and civil attitude in work interactions will help promote others to do the same. Civility is even more important when there are divergent views or disagreements within the workplace over strategies and decisions. Listening and being respectful, even when there is a difference of opinion, adds value to your culture. It helps to ensure that it is okay to “agree to disagree” while keeping the culture as a whole can be kept intact.
Be thoughtful and purposeful in written and vocal communications. If something is going to be said, be sure that it is something that should be said. One of my son’s teachers calls it the “T.H.I.N.K.” method: An acronym that helps you walk through a brief analysis prior to opening your mouth or pressing send: Is it True? Is it Helpful? Is it Important? Is it Necessary? Is it Kind? Well, the kind point may be more geared toward the second-grade audience, but it seems to me that kindness has universal application (see above). And, even difficult conversations can still be kind, even if the content is serious (e.g., performance reviews).
There is enough chaos in the external environment for many organizations. Be receptive to new ideas and discussions, but ensure those are done in a thoughtful and purposeful manner. Be a consistent and calm presence in the eye of the storm.