Your office has been slowly taken over by the Joker, Lex luther and Cat Woman. Together they’re hatching plots, setting traps and threatening to tie up, poison and throw you and your colleagues off the side of the nearest building.
The work environment that used to be collegial and collaborative has become a world of back-stabbing gossips. People are protecting themselves while throwing each other under the bus. Laughter and connection have been replaced by fear and mis-trust and no one feels like lingering by the Nespresso machine for a Monday morning chat anymore.
Where did this come from? Perhaps you have a team leader or boss that micromanages to the point where people lose their sense of agency and excitement about their work?
Or, maybe you have an employee that is hell bent on building himself up by putting others down?
Do you have an information hog? Or, a “rules don’t apply to me” direct report?
Every workplace has dealt with the ups and downs of humans finding a way to work together. But sometimes, there is too much “down”, and the environment becomes toxic. The villains begin to win.
Time to change the workplace culture
Before things get any worse and you lose all hope, you know you need to call in some help. But who? Who is the super hero (ine) that will show up and save this day?
Guess it’ll have to be you.
Coach Me Quick tips for dusting off your super hero(ine) equipment and saving the day:
- Morale Booster: You know the adage “be the change you want to see in the world?” How can you give what you are not getting right now? Who can you give a boost to? Maybe an “atta-girl?”
- Put on your X-Ray Specs and look underneath the issues you see. What is driving the Joker? Not enough love in his childhood? You may not be able to fix that problem, but perhaps taking the time to listen and finding some common ground, will help him to stop playing so many tricks.
- The FORCE: Naming what works and what doesn’t work is a way to disarm even the most confident Cat Woman. Be calm, speak directly and name the problem. If she is micromanaging, you might note that she seems concerned about the work getting done on time and then ask her what she needs from you to feel more comfortable with the time frame. I’m betting those claws will retract a bit if you deliver the message without judgement.
- Enlist a Trusty Side-kick. Find people at work who are seeing what you are seeing and work together to save Gotham.
- Use your Invisibility Cloak when people behave badly or gossip about how terrible things have become. When we engage with this kind of communication, the challenges increase. Instead, use your cloak to become neutral. Become a master of ignorance and deflection. Only come back for the good stuff – positive statements and goals that can be achieved.
You are up to the task.
And there’s no one else to do it.
Change the culture – all you need is your cape!