Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Set the Context for Community

NEURO-TIP: When we say ‘no’ or reject people, our bodies go into self-defense, turning on our proactive-disengagement system, but when we say ‘yes’, our bodies turn on the social engagement system that connects us to others.*

As you reflect on the condition of your organization’s culture, you must understand the dynamic tension between protecting what you have and creating what you aspire to have. Understanding the pushes and pulls of these tensions gives you a better handle on driving energy in positive ways and reducing the negative pull of downward spirals.

Consider the following 'I' vs. 'WE' behaviors that might be holding back your organization from becoming what you know it can be:

Exclusive: Power-over
1. Only talk to those one level up; corner office; get my coffee
2. Senior executives own the strategy; information kept close to the vest
3. Using status to impress; keep the distance
4. Exclusion; closed doors
5. Lack of respect

Inclusive: Power-with
1. Senior executives discuss the strategy with employees
2. Information about company’s health, wealth and business strategy shared with employees
3. Employees included in change process; involved, engaged, empowered
4. Inclusion, open door policy
5. Respect abounds

To shift an organization from exclusion to inclusion, a leader must be willing to help people understand the direction of the company and how to be a part of creating success. Discourage “we-they” thinking.

Help reduce your co-workers fear and stress caused by exclusion by cultivating an inclusive work environment. Set a positive and inclusive tone and help people feel that they are all working together toward common goals and strategies. Create a sense of “WE are all in this together.”

How does your company fair on the inclusion/exclusion spectrum? What are the practices that are holding back company progress without you even realizing it?

*Neuro-tip Source:
Receptive-Reactive State of Being
Researcher: Daniel Siegl, MD
July 2010

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