Give me Culture!
Energies are high. People feel ready to accomplish more, and they want to feel some traction. They’re stirring with a good impatience for more momentum.
I do agree that culture-building is a good objective as the means to achieve those things.
When a business is personified by a healthy working culture, that culture will essentially grab hold of all business initiatives and run with them in dynamic, unifying ways. The work of a vibrant working culture is essentially Ho‘ohana (as worthwhile work) and ‘Imi ola (the pursuit of mission and vision) on fire, and as such, it is work which is more likely to be value-aligned:
What is culture?
Great managers know that CULTURE is simply a group of people who share common values, and operate within those values.
Culture is learned. Culture represents a series of agreements based on value alignment, and results from honoring those agreements.
The great manager, and the great PERSON, manages their own behavior by tapping into their values as their source of human energy. It’s the way they “lead by example” conducting themselves with ALOHA distinction, and it’s the way they inspire the culture they operate within.
Source: Collect stories. Dispel myths.
Where to start?
The definition of culture is rather straightforward, however it encompasses quite a lot. Or so it seems.
Managers are often overwhelmed, and unnecessarily so. When calling for some coaching assistance, they’ll share their To-Do wish lists with me, and it’s easy to see that overwhelm in the variety of tasks and projects they wish to tackle.
They will ask me, “What do you recommend we work on first?”
My answer is always the same, no matter the company, no matter the kind of business, no matter the manager —and it is rarely found anywhere on their list:
“I suggest we work on your communications, and identify your best practices within them. Tell me how you achieve your Language of Intention.”
The #AlohaIntention I strongly suggest we immediately work on, is Speaking with Aloha, and we need a common understanding of what that means, and what it encompasses as a manager’s m.o.
Managers need to rally their troops, and not go it alone. They need to operate as part of a team culture, and not as solo mavericks. An important distinction here, is that cheerleading alone doesn’t cut it.
“A different language is a different vision of life.”
— Federico Fellini —
Key 5. LANGUAGE OF INTENTION:
Language, vocabulary, and conversation combine as our primary tools in business communications, just as they do in our lives: What we speak is fifty times more important than what we read or write. The need for CLEAR, intentional, reliable and responsive communication is critical in thriving businesses — and in learning cultures, for we learn an extraordinary amount from other people. Drive communication of the right cultural messages, and you drive mission momentum and worthwhile energies. Communication will factor into every single value in some way as its primary enabler. The Managing with Aloha language of intention is inclusive, and is therefore defined as the “Language of We” with the value of KĀKOU as guiding light.
Speaking with Aloha is Less about Technique, More about Feeling
In I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou famously wrote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Such a wise insight, and one I have always associated with Speaking with Aloha as the workplace bridge of connection. I hope you will begin to make this association too.
Just as Angelou describes it, the how-to of fostering good feelings is something we learn given the context of each relationship we find ourselves in.
Therefore, wise Alaka‘i Managers make sure they make time for investing in communications to achieve the relationship-building that is always the precursor to culture-building. They remind themselves to focus on person first, task second, doing so consistently.
Consistently means Daily
You will not connect with everyone daily, I know; we managers juggle so many relationships! However connecting with someone daily can absolutely be your habit when it is your Aloha intention. Over time, I guarantee you that having a daily relationship-building habit will assure that you connect with more people more often than you otherwise would. It can be as easy as scheduling one conversation per day, similar to what you do with The Daily 5 Minutes.
Make no mistake: The well-functioning relationships wherein people who work together feel good about it, represents the strong glue of healthy culture.
Think of a healthy culture as a kind of enthusiastic receivership for meaningful work:
—Without a good relationship in place to best receive training and direction, you can’t train, and you can’t direct well.
—Without a good relationship in place to best receive thoughtful questions, you won’t hear any of them.
—Without a good relationship to receive delegation, you can’t delegate well.
—Without a good relationship in place to stimulate self-motivation, you can’t motivate anyone, nor can you inspire them to share their ideas with you.
—Without a good relationship in place to receive partnership or award promotion, you can’t partner well, and you’re unlikely to promote.
The key? A good relationship is a trusting one.
Trust requires several emotional connections wherein “people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Related Reading: Be the Best Boss