Here are some action items taken from the episode to help you put your company’s core values to work:
Step 1: To get your company values off the wall, and actually working in your organization from top to bottom, make sure INTEGRITY tops the list.
Without integrity, your other values are just suggestions.
Step 2: Define integrity. Don’t take for granted that everyone knows what it means.
Many companies define integrity as, “do the right thing.”
The problem with that is… people can and do argue all day about what the right thing is.
A more practical definition for integrity is Consistency. Consistency of thought word and action. You, your company, me? We have integrity to the degree that our actions are consistent with what we say, is consistent with what we think.
Step 3: Get everyone’s explicite buy-in. If you don’t have a shared commitment to integrity on your team, then every other value will collapse when it becomes inconvenient enough.
So, Integrity provides structural support for everything you do as a team. Including the primary driver of performance, growth, and fulfillment? A tool that’s difficult to wield: FEEDBACK
The shared commitment to integrity helps you as a leader to overcome 4 obstacles to effective feedback.
1st, the THRESHOLD question: A question I hear from leaders often is, at what point do I have to give feedback? How incongruent, how “bad” does behavior have to be before I have to give feedback?
My answer? Use your shared commitment to integrity to rethink the question. Integrity is all or nothing. You’re shooting for 100%, so every behavior you see either supports your values and goals, or not. So every behavior is an opportunity for kudos or correction. Thank you. That’s the ticket. Or, hey, we’re committed to consistency — and that behavior is inconsistent.
There is no threshold.
2nd, its corollary, the permission objection: Clients tell me, I give feedback, and my team acts put upon. They think I’m patronizing them or they think I’m picking on them. PArt of a shared commitment to integrity is the idea that we’re going to talk about the behaviors we see with one another as a team. “Maybe you already know what I’m about to tell you. In being obvious about what I’m seeing, I’m supporting your commitment to integrity. THis is the expectation we have of each other, and permission is granted in advance when getting everyone on board with integrity.
3rd, the Respect Hurdle: The VP I mentioned earlier had a respect problem. Her team didn’t respect her because she asked for above and beyond from them, but created policies that prohibited them from going above and beyond for the customer. They felt demoralized, and thought she was a hypocrite. As she committed to integrity — and as the company came into consistency as well — the team’s respect for her and the company grew. They became less resentful and even appreciative of feedback.
4th, the self-worth challenge: Acting with integrity, growing ever greater integrity is a matter of aspiration. Inconsistency on occasion is a part of the human condition. And our sense of self worth is tied to it. The more we practice integrity, the greater our sense of self and self worth. The greater our sense of self, the more in touch we are with our responses to one another. We’re more confident both in giving and in receiving feedback with equanimity and balance.
So, growing integrity is also growing feedback capacity — as a giver and as a receivier.
For more on how to give and receive feedback effectively, check out my podcast conversation with Elaine Lin Hering on Episode 16 of the Mighty Good Work Podcast.
Thanks for your efforts to make work good. Together we can insure that people are good for work, and work is good for people.
If you’re ready for High-Performance Accountability Culture in your company, let’s discuss your training goals. Book a call today at TheYesWorks.com.