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Let's Start Out RIGHT, Week 3

During team formation is the best time to work collaboratively to develop a philosophy about how work is going to be done, expectations and boundaries of social expression, and standards that all agree each personnel will follow. The depth of the rules can be defined BY the team, FOR the team.  By completing the rules together, all members of the team have a clear understanding of how behavior, decorum, and tone will be interpreted.  Of equal benefit, a person new to the team can be easily oriented using the agreed-upon language and defined standards.

Good RULES help foster a good CULTURE.

Many organizations have developed standards of behavior and/or values statements that guide the work of the organization.  This is a critical step to building good culture. However, it is often not deep enough for teams to truly embrace the detail of accountability in the workplace. 

Teams should be encouraged to use the established values and behavioral standards as their guide and go deeper to operationally define the words found in the corporate statement.  For example, teams could deeply assess what it means when they see the rule: “bullying will not be tolerated in our company.”  What does that really mean to and for this team and what does it look like when it happens?

By making rules when we are happy, the highest benefit is that people will be on notice to monitor their own behavior.  The second benefit is that groups of people will “self-norm,” holding each other accountable and de-escalating undesirable situations before they are allowed to become the norm.   And, when it is necessary to hold someone accountable through performance management, the rule book is the buffer that says “This is what is expected of you at work and your behavior is not meeting that standard.”

Has your team implemented any unique rules to help create a positive team and organizational culture? I would love to hear from you. Simply hit reply and tell me your story!

Our series on Make Rules When You Are Happy...So You Implement Them When You Are Not is at an end. We discussed the downfalls of creating and implementing rules when issues arise and how allowing teams to create rules lets them set the norms to improve culture. To help you keep this information handy, I am sharing my Fast Answers Coaching Sheet for this topic. Simply click here to download and refer to as a refresher when this topic comes up in your leadership journey. You are able to see this newsletter series on our website as well here.

Do you know a leader that would enjoy or benefit this content? Please share!
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Leading in the Moment is produced by Margaret Sumption of Sumption & Wyland. Margaret has over thirty-five years of experience assisting hospitals, nonprofits, and other organizations move their business forward. She is a popular, dynamic, and effective speaker for nonprofit professionals, associations, and policy makers. Margaret is frequently sought after as an executive coach, serving leaders in hospitals and nonprofit organizations.
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