Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Setting the Foundation (Ground Rules)


It’s important my employees understand that this work environment is going to be unlike any other work environment they have experienced.  And because this environment will be different, they will need assistance in understanding what is expected of them as an individual, what is expected of them as a “member of the family,” and what my function will be as manager.

Most employees will not believe you at first.  They will just expect this as part of the “Welcome on Board” Rah!! Rah!! speech they usually get at any new company they may start at. All will feel uncomfortable.  And that’s OK.

I can’t expect a new employee to understand, believe, or feel comfortable until they actually experience this new environment for themselves.

What’s expected as an individual.

It’s my job to let them know that what is expected of them as an individual is to be open and honest in all their dealings, to ask for help, to be willing to learn, to grow, to change, and to learn responsibility for themselves as a human being.  They must be willing to “wrap their brain” around new and unusual concepts.  They must be willing to believe in themselves.

I must let them know that they will choose what life they will have and they, ultimately, are the only one responsible for its level of happiness, success, and fulfillment.  Only they will choose to trust, to experience, to be open or closed, to fall down and get up, or to fall down and lie there.  No one else can do it for them and no one else will take the blame.

If a hand is held out, only they can choose to take it.  If a gift is offered, only they can choose to accept it.  If love is offered, only they can choose to return it.  If a seed is planted, only they can choose to tend it.

What’s expected as a “member of the family.”

What is expected of them as a “member of the family” is to respect the inner dignity of each and every other family member, to accept that they are not alone, and understand that what affects one effects all.  They are expected to honor themselves by, first and foremost, honoring others.

.                –  No disrespecting

.                –  No backbiting

.                –  No gossiping

.                –  No alliances

.                –  No sabotaging

Every family has squabbles and issues at times, but a healthy family has a genuine caring and compassion for all that each member is and all that they can be.  Each member compliments what the others already have and brings his or her power to the family.

There is a bond of allegiance and mutual concern for the welfare of all members.  When one member is injured, all hurt.  When one member stumbles, all assist. When one member triumphs, all triumph.

Since “No Man (or Woman) is an Island,” the talents and support of each person is multiplied to strengthen the many, which in turn, strengthens the individual.  The workplace becomes more than a task mill.  It becomes a safe, nurturing, and stable second “home.”

My function as manager.

I tell them that my function as manager is to “serve” them.  I will not judge; I will not manipulate; and I will not coerce.  My main objective is to provide them with everything within my power to allow them to grow to their full potential.  And once they reach their potential, my function then is to guide them in discovering a new and even higher potential.

It is important that the individual hear me say these words, but it is imperative that I believe these words.  If I don’t believe these words, then I shouldn’t say them.  The individual must hear these words come out of my mouth.  These words will sound “corny” to them, and at first, to me too.  But that’s OK.

By reading their body language, I often see their surprise, confusion, disbelief, and sometimes laughter.  I’ve actually had an employee begin choking when they attempted to stifle a laugh.  But it’s OK.  Let them think what they want.

You see, I know something they don’t.  When feelings, values, and principles are followed up with actions, the “corny” becomes priceless.  Most people feel extremely uncomfortable and awkward when someone around them is “being real.”  This is because they have never been given permission to be real – to be themselves.  But once they have been given permission and experience the freedom which comes from it, a person blossoms with a new awareness – a new perspective on life.

(Remember concept #9:   “No one sees reality the way reality really is.  We only see reality the way we are.”)

If I understand and accept there are many different ways to view the world, then I am able to ask myself, “Is there a better, more healthy way for me?”

– excerpt from The Manager as Engineer of the Workplace


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July 21, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring, Personal Development | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] the rest here: Setting the Foundation (Ground Rules) « Manager's Tips and Tools Share and […]

    Pingback by Setting the Foundation (Ground Rules) « Manager's Tips and Tools | HappyTipsDaily | December 16, 2010 | Reply


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