Manager's Tips and Tools

by Manager Development Services

Standards (pt. 3 of 4) “Emotional Standards ”

In Open Heaven there is no place for pettiness or politics, alliances or cliques, rumors or innuendo.  In Open Heaven there is no need.  The difficult part as manager is people are programmed for these self-defeating behaviors (the more work experience they have, the more programming).  It’s up to me to reprogram negative behaviors out of them.  Seven simple rules I enforce are:

(1)   No Backbiting – talking bad about someone behind their back demeans me more than it demeans them.

(2)   No Negativity – focus on what is positive about a person or situation.  Negativity breeds negativity.

(3)   No Gossiping – gossip is mean and malicious.  Spreading rumors about others only confirms lack of character.  Get a life.

(4)   No Complaining – whiners make people weary and only perpetuate their misery.

(5)   No Drama – some people crave attention and view the world as their stage.  Drama is for the movies.  Open Heaven allows no soap operas.

(6)   No Chaos – some people thrive on chaos.  Everything is a crisis (or can be made into one).  If you have a particular expertise in handling crisis, then your talents would be more useful somewhere else.

(7)   Check Your Baggage at the Door – everyone has personal problems and issues, but work is not the place to obsess over them.  Lugging your baggage in with you each day not only compounds your misery but affects every other person you come in contact with.

The only thing we really have any control over is our attitude.  Obsessing and worrying give us the illusion of being proactive, but it’s just that – an illusion.  All we are really accomplishing is creating more stress and misery in our lives.  Check your baggage at the door when you enter.  You can always reclaim it when you leave at the end of the day.

I tell my employees that if they just can’t check their baggage at the door or if they really need to complain, backbite, gossip, or be negative, then come and see me – my door is always open.

Emotional standards entail the “Principle of Personal Responsibility.”  Only I can heal me.  Only you can heal you.  We all need help to make it happen, but we have to first become willing to heal.  I can suggest and guide you if you let me, but unless you are willing to accept help and guidance all my efforts are useless.

Story #11   Lana (Cancer)

Our receptionist, Lana, was in her late fifties and was one of those people who always needed to be told what to do.  In the six months since her husband passed way from cancer, her life had become an emotional roller coaster.  She appeared depressed and just wandered around the office at times, sharing how horrible life was.  She was told to take medical leave, spend some time with her kids, and attend a grief and loss support group, but refused.

Then she was diagnosed herself with cancer and began chemo.  Still she refused to take leave as though she believed somehow if she left she would die.  The office watched as her health progressively declined.

Managing from the heart, I counseled, listened, encouraged, and then explained standards.  I expressed how loved she was at the office and how concerned everyone was for her well-being.  I then told her she was being forced to take medical leave and wouldn’t be allowed to return until her doctor gave the OK.  Of course, she threw a fit.

After Lana left, a number on staff commented on how they thought it was long overdue and how much her presence had affected them.  Because they cared, they had not been able to focus on their jobs.  Her baggage had also become their baggage.

Lana continued her chemo, joined a grief and loss support group, saw her kids a lot, and returned to her position after four months – healthy and raring to work.  She apologized for her previous behavior and admitted I was right to make her take leave.  She now realized she had needed time to take care of herself and her stubbornness had just been fear.

NOTE: This is a good example of Misuse of Mercy explained in chapter 18.  Because of her age, her loss, and her illness, I let sympathy, not compassion; allow her to stay long after she should have.

– excerpt from “Inspiring Passion in Your Staff”


August 30, 2011 - Posted by | Counseling Techniques, Employee Coaching, Leadership Skills, Manager Development Tools, Mentoring, Personal Development, Self-esteem | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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