“Good morning,” Bill said with as big a smile as he could muster. “Allow me to introduce Tim Smith. Tim is a very successful and talented account manager coming to us from our Florida market. Tim, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself?”
Immediately Penny was lost in thought, “I wonder how long this guy will last? He looks sharp. Sounds like he knows his stuff … how long?”
It looked like a revolving door from the airport had been installed since their new general manager, Tom, had stepped in … a classic micro-manager … perhaps a “control freak” driven by his insecurity. While no one could put their finger on it, something just wasn’t right; no one trusted him.
“I wonder how long Bill will look the other way?” Penny mused. “Everyone knows turnover’s limiting our performance. How long do we have to put up with this?”
Who’s Going to Do the Hard Work?
Penny’s probably right. Tom’s got his insecurities. But with her eyes focused on his problems, she can’t see her contribution to the employee turnover mountain or how she could be part of the solution. Have you ever been “Finger Pointing Penny”?
You can develop a healthy, robust team and enjoy both the results and rewards only when you do the hard work of getting along with others. That includes treating each other with dignity, honor, and respect, even when you don’t feel like they’re treating you that way.
What describes how you show up and treat others?
- Dignity? Do your behaviors suggest proper seriousness and self-control? Are your words and actions worthy of honor and respect?
- Honor? How do you show respect to someone you admire?
- Respect? Respect is extended not only when you admired someone, but when you understand that someone is important and deserves to be treated appropriately. Respect given because of their value as a person. How well do you show respect to others even if they don’t meet your expectations?
These three qualities are relationship-based. Getting along with others is hard work. When we give others the dignity and honor they deserve as people we act respectfully. And that requires wisdom.
Wisdom is how you see
Wisdom is the ability to see from an unselfish perspective. It’s vastly different than pointing fingers.
Practicing the qualities of resonant leadership — mindfulness, hope, and caring — sets you free to see people as people and then, connect. Such wisdom is characterized by getting along with others.
How well are you doing as a peacemaker? Would your team say you are gentle, accommodating, reasonable, merciful, sincere, impartial and not hypocritical? Are you positive? Supportive? Helpful?
Frustration is the plentiful
The expectations we have are as plentiful as the oxygen we breathe. I can’t think of moment when we aren’t expecting something of someone or something, can you?
It starts with the alarm clock, the light switch, the automatic coffee maker, the water faucet labeled “hot” — we expect the car to start in the morning, the garage door to open, the mobile device to deliver perfect directions to that place we’ve never been.
And that’s just our expectations of stuff. What about the people in your life? What are your expectations?
- How well did you communicate your expectations?
- How realistic are your expectations?
- What might hinder them from meeting your expectations?
- When did you get their “buy-in” or commitment?
- What are the consequences or rewards?
Un-communicated, unrealistic, unexamined, and unfulfilled expectations are common … and so is the frustration when they are unmet. It takes wisdom to see from another perspective. And wisdom extends dignity, honor, and respect to others, not pointed fingers. Why? Because they’re people. And the business of business is people.
Create Space for Reflection
Rate yourself on how you show up and treat other people.
- How dignified are you? Are your actions worthy of honor and respect?
- Who will you honor today? Who will you show respect to just because they are another human being?
- Who do you need to show some respect to?
Where are you frustrated today? What expectations do you have? Review your own story using the five questions around setting expectations. That way you’ll look less like “Finger Pointing Penny” and begin experiencing connection.
Here’s to your commitment to hard work,