Preface: One of the ‘elders’ in our Ho‘ohana Community is an ‘Ike loa learning habit, a month-end practice we named Rapid Fire Learning (RFL). It starts as a private journaling practice, handwritten for self-reflection and much shorter than what follows: I’ve opted to post an excerpt of my own RFL this month here on the blog to transcribe it more clearly, and to curate the sources of my learning.
Learn more about the process here: Rapid Fire Learning.
RFL for February, 2019
What have I learned, or re-learned with fresh attention and energies this month?
I have followed our RFL process as usual, penning a list of 5 things I feel I learned in February—5 ways the month made an impression on me. They were brief yet easily remembered, and included the full scope of the month, like what an episode of lost business in severe weather taught me, and what I have decided to do about posting on Instagram going forward.
What I wanted to capture here on the blog however, is how I believe the value of Mahalo gets stamped into a manager’s management style —What will managers do, illustrating how Mahalo is truly a value which drives their behavior?
February was month 2 in our two-month value immersion on Mahalo, and this was my 10-minute brainstorm as those two months drew to a close:
How do managers demonstrate the value of Mahalo in the workplace, to consistently express that they are thankful for those they work with, and appreciate what they have to offer?
—They say “Thank you” often, and they say it sincerely, but not so often that it is ever offhandedly said, flippant or meaningless. They say it because they observe the workplace well, and take notice of positive advancements.
—They interview their people at least once per year, and not only upon hiring. They understand that people’s lives change, and that the environs of their lives as a whole will always determine the quality of their performance at work. Managers can be interested in others and informed on what matters to them without being nosy and while respecting boundaries.
—They build workplace relationships with the goal of creating co-working business partnerships. People are not treated purely as ‘labor.’ Managers who seek co-authorship are exceptional finders; they know they do not rule as answer givers ready with the next edict from above; they work with the heart of the seeker.
—They give them the gift of the Daily 5 Minutes. In doing so, they consistently demonstrate they are ready and able to listen well, and listen completely, with no other agenda of their own in mind beyond their sincere desire to hear what others have to say. D5M is never another meeting to them, it’s a good conversation.
—They follow-up on what they hear, and with a gentle wisdom born of experience, as expected of them as managers. They consider requests promises-to-keep, and they don’t avoid the hard stuff—they plunge in.
—They honor the common workplace expectation of giving staff an Annual Performance Review because they want to, and not because they have to. They want their people to stretch, set goals, and grow into their full capacity, and they want to coach them, celebrate their wins, and stand by their side.
—Beyond annual appraisals, they give staff performance feedback on a regular basis, so it is timely and relevant, rather than a forced memory. They use their feedback to coach and train, to open all circumstance up to the opportunity to ask more questions, and to prevent the forming of bad habits.
—They catch people doing something right, and verbally acknowledge it to recognize and encourage people, much more often than they catch people doing something wrong.
—When they do catch someone doing something wrong, they confront the behavior and correct it—they never hesitate, turn away, and pretend they weren’t aware of it. They never allow tacit approval to start a cancer in the workplace.
—They don’t have favorites. Everyone is their specialty. Unique. Each and every one.
—They’re obsessed with safety, in three ways: 1. They want the workplace to be a safe place to be in, and a place which offers safe tools to work with, nothing less is acceptable. 2. They want people to perform work well, and with optimal competence; thus they make it safe to ask for help. 3. They want people to feel they can always speak up, and not avoid difficult conversations.
—T.M.I. is not part of their m.o. They show their people they believe in them by telling them what’s important; they trust them (because of the relationship they have built), and they trust in their ability to make the best use of that information.
—They extend exciting invitations constantly. The invitation to be more curious. The invitation to question the status quo. The invitation to experiment. The invitation to team up and collaborate. The invitation to learn and explore alternatives and improvements. The invitation to be less serious and more playful.
✅ Your call to action! The comments are open, and I’d love to have you add to my list!
What would you add to my tactical, practical Mahalo brainstorm?
What will you begin to do, more than you have up to now?
People who apply for jobs, love to tell their interviewers, “I’m a people person.” Managers who practice the value of Mahalo and groom it as their management style, really are.
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be,
and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832),
German writer, scientist and philosopher
What have YOU learned, or re-learned with fresh attention and energies this month?
Archive Aloha to revisit on Mahalo: Chapter 16 of Managing with Aloha’s Second Edition.
More on Rapid Fire Learning: The RFL Index.
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Preview of Managing with Aloha, Second Edition, released Summer 2016
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business