Reset lies in the air, as teams prepare for getting back to the office.
Alongside the difficulties and stress of the lockdown, many of our coachees have had good experiences during this extended period of remote working.
Leaders have noticed that remote working works: it’s been a productive time for them and their teams. Only the social interaction has been missing, and that’s something many are looking forward to.
Some leaders have noticed that team conflicts have taken a backseat.
They hope that conflicts have dissolved with the increased space inbetween people, and that everyone will come back refreshed and ready for a new start. But some people have pretty much stopped interacting with each other. So for those who have enjoyed a sudden peace and quiet during remote working, anticipation lies in the air:
Will your team fall back into unhealthy team dynamics and unproductive office cultures?
The good news is that you need neither anticipate nor hope. It’s in your own hands to lead the way to something better.
You’re in the driver’s seat. And now is the time to use the RESET for co-creating a work environment where everyone can thrive. But how can you shift the office culture?
Culture is no more and no less than the way everyone behaves. It is “how we do things around here”.
If the office culture has not served your team well, it’s time for a conversation.
You can start it with inviting everyone to get clear about their core values, and how their behaviours reflect those values. There’s tons of good stuff online to do that, and we like Brené Brown’s values exercise the most.
This conversation requires neither a workshop nor an additional team meeting.
Just replace one of your weekly office meetings with a relationship building meeting.
Here’s one way of doing that:
Ask people to share their two top values.
Values are what motivates us. They drive our behaviour and how we interpret other people’s behaviour. Values really are about our identity. Standing fully conscious in our own values, and knowing each other’s values builds trust. Being allowed to share what matters to us and being witnessed and acknowledged for what we stand for, makes everyone feel valued. It opens doors to relationship.
Values are therefore a great starting point for co-creating an office culture, based on mutual understanding and, yes, compassion.
Compassion is needed, because we all tend to trip over our values.
Here’s why: Everyone has their own set of core values, which leads to different perspectives and behaviours. We often take offense, because we make other’s behaviour about ourselves: „I can’t believe they did that to me!“ is a common refrain when someone steps on one of our values.
Knowing what drives your colleagues’ behaviour is worth a million, because it allows you to see their perspective. It allows you to NOT make it about yourself. Because other’s behaviour usually isn’t about you.
This is not a one off team building exercise.
Having shared each other’s values allows for future conversations to resolve conflicts. They are a great starting point for communicating why you see things a certain way. They help you become more curious about how other people’s values show up for them when conflict arises.
Values are a great starting point of a conversation to align around what you both care about.
An office culture of curiosity and openness for each other allows for different perspectives to be respected and valued. It allows diversity to unfold its magic of making a team more innovative.
It makes people feel respected and valued – seen and heard – and that is the most motivating environment anyone can find.
It opens the door to the co-creation of results that no one can achieve on their own.