I’ve read several articles of late that mentioned what was needed to climb the ladder of success. What struck me at the time was how often success was seen and measured by a vertical marker and rarely a horizontal one. Success is about achieving something you wish to attain or experience and it will mean different things to different people. Perhaps it’s time to ditch the traditional ladder notion of success and encourage and support individuals to define success in their own terms.
The other day I saw a sign on the back of a large van that simply said: hurry slowly. It was apt, given the truck was on a busy, clogged street in Christchurch (NZ), one rich with road works, safety cones, one lane and many drivers wanting to be let into the traffic. Despite how keen all the drivers were to get somewhere in a hurry, they couldn’t. the situation was simply, as it was. The only way the drivers could get somewhere, was slowly.
It’s a perfect cameo of what happens in businesses or in our own personal world. On some issues, we may want to hurry them along yet known and unknown constraints may slow us down. All we can do is keep the end goal in sight and hurry slowly towards it, one step at a time.
Every day, in every way, we’re bombarded with information. While some of it comes in bite-size portions via tweets or texts, a fair amount comes from within the workplace, in moderate sized-morsels. And like any snack or meal, too much may not be a good thing. Information overload is fed by meeting minutes, reports or other documents loaded with corporate speak and padding – the going forward, push back, socialising the issues, back stories and other such gems – and calling a spade anything but a spade. Make it easy for people to easily comprehend and digest information by using plain English and a generous helping of exactitude, on the side.
A great resource that’s now available is Margaret Morrell’s book ‘You Deserve Good Supervision’. It’s a simple step-by-step guide for supervisees, so they can get the best from their supervision. The books are selling fast so contact Margaret at firstname.lastname@example.org to order your copy.
It’s the simple things that count. A saying attributed to Ella Wheeler Wilcox reminds us that “a pat on the back is only a few vertebrae removed from a kick in the pants, but is miles ahead in results”. What’s the cultural norm in your own workplace or in workplaces you have dealings with – encouraging or discouraging?
Staff in roles that deal with people in crisis or emergency situations receive specific training in how to de-escalate and manage difficult situations yet, can the same be said for others in ‘front line’ roles? For example, as a matter of course, do teachers, tutors at universities and polytechnics, social workers, probation officers, health professionals and receptionists get this training? I don’t believe they do, which in itself poses a real health and safety workplace issue. Employees in all workplaces need to be in a healthy workplace environment and de-escalation training is one way of helping people keep themselves and others safe.
To keep a close eye on things in your business, have a WRAP – a weekly review and action plan session.