Do you believe your thinking can shape the culture of your workplace?
I know it can from experience! If you want to learn how to use your thinking to create a more optimal team culture, keep reading!!!
Your thinking CAN shape the culture or the feel of your workplace
Often, we leave the culture of our team up to chance and rarely consciously think about our role in shaping it.
The culture is how it feels when you walk into a team meeting, one of the residences, and even how you feel when you get an email from someone. The unwritten rules of a team play a role in defining the team's culture. For example, what happens when someone is late for a meeting?
How to define workplace culture:
Every workplace has a specific culture - a feel to it, an impression that it leaves. Your workplace and every other workplace have a certain intangible quality that makes something about it distinct and decidedly different but difficult to define or describe.
You know whether you like it or not, want to be there or run away quickly.
Creating cultures requires cultivation
Culture comes from the word cultivate, meaning to tend to. So, just like the garden, we need to tend to 🌱 the culture of our teams. So often, though, many of us do not care for, grow or nurture the culture of our organizations. We are too busy chasing fires, dealing with crises and solving problems.
Reacting to problems is often too late to shape the culture
Let's look at what often happens on a team. Things are OK. People are getting along fine. But then you sense that things aren't quite OK. But you don't have time to deal with it, and you hope they'll get OK soon on their own. But they don't! Then one day, things go sideways fast! Something blows up on the team, and we react.
Too many nonprofit leaders don't believe they have the time to...
This crisis-driven mindset in the nonprofit world leaves us constantly feeling overworked, overloaded, and overwhelmed. As a result, we find ourselves one step away from falling apart and living in survival mode. Because of this, we don't believe we have the time to be more intentional about building the culture of our team, and it gets left up to chance.
We don't think like this daily
Don't get me wrong, most of us have the odd conversation about what type of work environment we want. Perhaps we annually review our mission, vision and goals. If you have that discussion with your team, you may also talk about the type of values your organization espouses to. But do you talk about them again throughout the year? Do you ever consciously THINK about how you do this daily with your team?
We say it...but do we live it?
Consider the following statements I pulled from various nonprofit job postings:
I'm sure organizations do have enthusiastic workers and supportive leaders, and employees are proactive in their work with clients. The problem is that enthusiasm ebbs and flows. Somedays, teams work wonderfully together. Then, the next day, not so much. And valuing trust is very different from behaving in a trustworthy manner.
Creating workplace culture is not a one-time activity
The "things" listed above are not static. They don't happen once and then never again. They must be etched into the culture of your team through daily actions and regular habits. As the leader, you need to be intentional, conscious and deliberate about how that happens. But how do you do that?
Workplace culture is created over time, with thoughtful daily actions
You MUST create time to think about how you can and will do those things.
As we've explored thinking over the last few weeks, you've learned that it doesn't take a lot of time to:
Thinking shapes your culture positively, when you do it intentionally
These intentional thinking processes help you cultivate the workplace culture you desire.
Steps to THINK your way to a positive workplace culture
It's our conscious thinking, instead of unconsciously reacting to everything, that cultivates the culture we desire.
First, take some time to contemplate the culture you wish to create.
Then be strategic about how you will create that type of culture.
Finally, plan the way to develop that daily.
It's conscious thinking that will take you and your team to the next level!
IMPORTANT: After thinking comes the DAILY ACTIONS to create a positive workplace culture
I am guessing by now you may realize that often, the most challenging part of creating the workplace culture you desire is having the courage to take action. Working through your own personal growth journey will let you address the elephant in the room, talk about the hard things, admit failure, ask for help, ditch perfectionism, and so much more.
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Women leaders often hit a point where they find themselves in over their heads and wondering if they have what it takes to lead.