Day Three: Presenting the Culture

Icon of one fish leaping out of the fishbowl

We’ve reached the last day – the day you pull it all together.

You know the primary qualities you want to communicate – the cultural qualities you consider the most important for the current reality. Now you need to decide how to tell whether people are living these qualities – and how you’ll communicate them.

The idea here is to make checking in about these core cultural qualities part of the culture. Did you notice that?

What to do

You know the drill by now…

1. Watch the video, or click below to read the transcript.

Here’s the link again to Rachel Botsman’s post on trust: click here.

And here’s the link to her article about consistency: click here.

Want to download the audio? click here.

2. Download the worksheet: click here. NOTE: The worksheet is a form-fillable PDF, which you can fill out on your computer or print and complete by hand.

3. Complete the worksheet!

4. Post a comment, question, idea, insight, awareness – whatever comes up for you – below. Anything considered off-topic or offensive may be deleted.

And – there’s one more bit of information for Day Four!

You’ll see one more email from me tomorrow!

Comments 11

  1. What I really liked about today’s challenge was it “forced” me to think about those specific steps to “walk the talk” which is a point I made in my comment yesterday. It’s easy to put things down on paper but it takes continuous effort to put those words into action. And it’s so easy to be distracted by the day-to-day busyness when everyone is together in the office, yet alone when people are separated by remote work. I liked so many of the ideas on how to continuously communicate the aspects of our company culture that I think are most important (I said Trust, Care and Transparency), and I tried to think about how I could really ensure I was doing this. For me, some easy ways are to make it a regular part of team meetings and 1:1 meetings. That will help in my department, but the real challenge is company-wide communication. As one of the “culture champions” for my organization, this is an area that I need to give more focus and this challenge has given me some really good tools and ideas to do that. Thank you so much!

    1. You are so, so, so correct: “It’s easy to put things down on paper but it takes continuous effort to putthose words into action.”

      I am DELIGHTED that this process has helped you!

  2. I think that one of the competencies or behaviors on must demonstrate to “walk the talk” is to not always talk but to listen. We all know how to listen but the key is to listen effectively. That means not to interrupt, after all if you rearrange the letters of the word “listen” you can get the word “silent” which is something you must do to effectively hear someone. Also, most people do not listen with the intent to understand, they listen with the intent to reply (quote from Stephen Covey). I find this to be true in myself and I imagine others do as well-it’s hard to turn that part of your brain off and just focus on what the other person is saying but with practice it can be done.

    1. So true, Debby – and listening is one of those shockingly difficult skills. We simply aren’t taught HOW to listen at any point during regular education!

      And you’ve made a really important point here that if we don’t listen to what the employees are saying, we miss out on how the culture is actually being interpreted and lived. YES.

      By the way, I’ll add that I think part of listening is knowing how to encourage people to talk. Silence is certainly one aspect of that – I have a friend who talks about silence being a “full partner” in conversation – but there’s more to it, including ways to encourage people to keep going but *without* making them feel interrogated.

      In fact, one of the books in today’s Prize bundle defines tools for doing exactly that!

  3. This challenge was such an important reminder not to be satisfied with the “status quo” of our clinic’s culture. I’m ashamed to say that with the pandemonium that the Corona virus has caused, I have been more concerned with how our individual employees were dealing with the stress rather than properly checking how our clinic as a whole was dealing with the stresses of the “new normal”. This exercise shook me back to the realization that this “new normal” is ongoing and that, as you said, different people hear different things in different ways. No culture is static. It is ever changing. That is why communication is so important – not only between leadership and employees, but also just between employees. We all must work together in order to make our clinic culture the best it can be.

    1. Jeanie – don’t be ashamed of being concerned for individual employees!

      I think we all went into this wayyyy back in March (feels like centuries ago!) expecting that it would be a fairly short-term experience. Obviously NOT. But with a short-term expectation, being concerned about individuals is perfectly normal (and in any-term experiences, being concerned about individuals is always good).

      What you’re seeing, I think, is that you can be concerned about individuals AND about the bigger picture of the organization and the patients you serve.

      A few months ago I saw something posted about where we are with “all this” that’s going on. They called it the “now normal.” I love that term because it makes the point that this IS the “now” – but that it’s not “forever,” and it’s not about going back to some previous version of normal.

      Thanks for your comment here, and those on the other days! Everyone here has really added to the conversation and experience in wonderful ways.

  4. I totally agree with listening being paramount per above.

    I would add that follow up is one of the most important behaviors that we often don’t do. I think this shows employees that we care enough to give feedback, the task or project is important, provides communication and support that builds trust and improved performance, etc. Everyone appreciates follow up. It can offer assurance or direction that makes us feel more confident in what we are doing. Otherwise we can be left “hanging” and never know if what we are doing is accurate or making a difference. Yes, it takes time but saves time on the back end and improves morale. Important part of feedback loop.

    1. Follow-up! YES!

      Following up is both an act of consistency and an act of caring. Consistency, as we’ve already discussed, is a foundation of trust.

      There are so many things that “take time but save time on the back end.” The time everyone has taken to work with the materials here is just one example.

      I’m actually fascinated by the extent to which people *don’t* follow up. For instance, I have a colleague who gave his business card to someone and said, “Call me – I want to hire you!” and never got a call. I can no longer count the number of times I’ve put a question into a Contact form on a website and never gotten an answer. And I could tell a lot more stories.

      My point being – those of us who DO follow up are a stellar exception and will therefore immediately stand out as trustworthy. So important.

      Thanks, Paula!

  5. Wow powerful Grace and very useful. I appreciate the fact that you highlighted that this process can be revisited as needed over time and that it should be an ongoing effort! Nice work. The four points are really right on!

    1. Nina – I’m so glad you found this helpful, because I know it was relevant to something you’re working on with a client (hope that’s okay to say – if not, email me and I’ll edit it out).

      YES. It’s SUPER IMPORTANT to recognize that you can come back to this process over and over again. In fact, I’m going to re-tool it just a bit and leave it up as an “evergreen” resource here on my site. No more prizes, of course, but the material also belongs in my Empowered Leadership program as well. I guess you could say that all those who participated here were “beta testers” for it!

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