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Why Can’t We Be Friends??

We like to be liked.  I don’t know the science behind this and I must admit I don’t have any evidence-based empirical data to support my assumption – I just know what I know from watching people, interacting with people, and oh by the way, being a person myself.  We like to be liked – I don’t think many people would dispute this.

Though it may seem harmless, “liking to be liked” can cause some challenges on the job.  If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard a person say one of the following I’d have a lot of nickels:

“They don’t like me.”

“What can I do to make her like me?”

“I just want to be friends.”

“Why can’t we be friends?”

I wish we could all like each other – but that’s probably not going to happen.

I wish all of your employees liked you – but that’s probably not going to happen.

The fact of the matter is this – you and I have to learn to work with, grow with, achieve with, and live with people we may not like and who may not like us.

Organizational performance, productivity, and results are the priority.  Being liked by everyone is not the priority.  If you’re objective is to be liked by everyone, you’ll compromise the mission and compromise your values to please people who will never like you anyway.

Here are three quick considerations for you and your team:

  1. Our individual petty differences and issues pale in comparison to achieving our mission.
  2. I don’t have to like you to work with you and you don’t have to like me – But we must respect each other.
  3. Just because a person isn’t social on the job, that doesn’t mean they don’t like you.  That could mean that’s not their focus.  Some people go to work, to work – they purposely choose to separate their social life from their professional life.

Bottom Line: We can be friends, but if we can’t, we can still work together.

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Talk To Everybody or Talk to Nobody

“They don’t talk to me, I don’t talk to them.”

“He speaks to her and asks her about her day, he’s never asked about mine.”

“She’ll walk right past me, speak to him, and keep moving.”

“He’s looked me right in the eyes and didn’t even acknowledge me.”

“She only speaks to ones she likes.”

“He only talks to the white people.”

“She only talks to the black people.”

“He only talks to the attractive ones.”

“I don’t know why he doesn’t talk to me.  I don’t care,  I don’t have time to worry about it.”

 Is the setting for these quotes the typical Middle School cafeteria during lunch time — NO!!!!

These quotes come from professional men and women in the workplace.  They’re talking about their Executive Director, CEO, Supervisor, or Manager.

True or not, right or not, agree or not.  This is the perception of some in the workplace.  Maybe even your workplace.

As a leader you can’t solve another person’s personal problems or issues and you surely can’t be responsible to meet all of their social and relational needs.  However; there is one thing you can do.  You can talk to them.  Talk to everybody. Speak to everybody.  Acknowledge everybody.

Believe it or not, there are some people who would improve their performance today, if you just acknowledged their existence.  And yes, leaders, talking to people IS part of your job.

So talk to everybody or talk to nobody.

Hey, if you talk to nobody, at least they can’t say you have a favorite (You know this part is for humor, right?? Don’t pick this option.)


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7 Things Staff Want

Your staff is on the front-line for your nonprofit, government agency or corporation.  Your staff see things that you don’t see, they hear things you don’t hear, they know things you don’t know.  Your staff doesn’t hold the key to your success, they are the key to your success.  ApproachABLE, TeachABLE leaders value their staff and take the time to find out what their staff really want and need to be succesful.

Here’s a brief list of what we’ve discovered staff want.  After reading, please suggest any additions in the comment section.

Staff Want:

1) To be respected.

2) To be valued.

3) To be appreciated.

4) To be heard.

5) To grow and develop personally and professionally.

6) To be challenged.

7) To trust leadership.

So what do you do now that you know???

Spend today respecting, valuing, appreciating, listening to, developing, and challenging your staff and watch them start to trust you.


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Should Staff Be Treated Like They’re Human??

Should Staff Be Treated Like They’re Human??  Silly question, huh??  Every prudent, responsible, mature leader is going to answer yes.  Of course they should.   But maybe the question isn’t so silly considering the stories we hear from staff that believe they’re not treated like they’re human.

Let’s play a game.  The name of the game is Guess Where I Work??? Here are the rules: I’ll give you a scenario and then give you list of work places to choose from – pretty easy, right?  Ok, here we go:

Guess Where I Work????

Managers yell at their staff.  On the right day, you’ll even here a manager curse at employees.  Employees from different departments yell at each other and have no problem telling each other “where to go and how to get there”.  Disrespect is the order of the day.  Staff are treated like they’re children, and to be honest, some act like children.  Managers talk to people from other departments in a condescending, insulting manner – some thrive on embarrassing those further down the “food chain”.  Some mid-level managers are considered a joke – they have no back-bone or credibility, their own staff  disrespect them – they’re just doing time until retirement.    Turnover is high, morale is low, but at the end of the year, we meet our goals.

So where do I work?

1) A Wall Street financial brokerage firm

2) A local trucking company

3) A Human Services nonprofit

The correct answer for this case is #3 – a Human Services nonprofit.  Are you surprised???  Why or why not??

One employee said, “I’m not doing this for the money, the least they can do is treat us nice.”

Another employee said, “It’s ironic, we’re in the business of human services, but we don’t treat each other like we’re human”.

Think about what these two employees are saying – “Treat us nice, like we’re humans.”  Yes, even in the Nonprofit Sector we have to be reminded to treat each other nice, like we’re humans.





Some questions for you to consider???

1) Could this be your organization?? How do you know??

2) What does this example tell you about the culture of this organization??

3) What do you do as a leader to intentionally develop and protect the culture of your organization??

4) How can we achieve our goals/objectives and still maintain a respectful work environment??

Remember, as the leader your job is to keep your finger on the pulse of your organization – if patterns like this develop, you nip it in the bud.  Don’t allow people to be verbally/mentally bullied and abused on your watch.  The fact of the matter is that sometimes you have to protect your people from each other.

By the way, as usual in all of our case studies, don’t try to guess who it is – the names have been changed to protect the innocent.  Also, you shouldn’t be trying to figure out which organization this is, you should be trying to make sure it’s never yours.

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