You think you're company culture is bad? You feel stuck? You feel management should fix it?
Sorry to say it: Managment can not fix culture.
A good culture is built upon many little acts of mutual respect.
It is your responsibility to seed respect and trust from below.
In this series, I want to show you how it can be done.
A can of tea
Let's start with a simple act of mutual respect.
You and your colleagues are probably drinking tea or coffee every day. Since you prepare a hot beverage daily anyway, why not transform it into a vehicle for changing the situation?
When to use this pattern?
- Departments/people do not talk to each other
- Everyone works in isolation
- There is no synergy between departments/people
- You wish for more openness and humbleness
- It is cold outside
- You yourself drink tea or coffee
How to do it
Cook a pot of tea or coffee every day, grab a few cups and serve them to your colleagues.
Exchange a few words every day. Listen.
After they have received their share, the last cup is for you. It will taste delicious.
Do not start with people, that you do not respect yet.
Start in your immediate surrounding (your team).
When you feel safe enough, offer the beverage to another team.
Start with the friendly people you know there. Then include all the "neutral" persons.
When you feel comfortable doing that expand your circle even further. Maybe to the department/team that you understand the least. Or to the colleague that you have absolutely no respect for.
In the beginning, you might encounter resistance. Both internal and external.
People might ask themselves why the hell is she doing it?
Or you might find, that the offer does not come from your heart at some days. Reflect on this. Why do you expect mutual respect, without respecting the other person.
Do not expect anything in return. Do not stop, because nothing seems to change.
People will start to open up. And even if they don't: You will open up and feel at home at other departments.
Seems like a thing a lovely old lady would do.
You feel respected at her table. You don't start a heated debate over nonsense. And she will feel great as well.
You know it.
Change your workplace — one cup at a time. It is that simple.