July 29, 2015

In Part 1 of this series on Fostering a Culture of Candor, I asked you to consider whether or not your organization was stalled and suggested some red flags for concern. One of the earliest signs of the struggle to maintain and increase velocity in an organization begins with employees. Are your team members:

– Disgruntled or lacking enthusiasm?

– Disconnected from leadership and/or disengaged from each other?

– Not living the mission or values of the organization?

– Turning over at a higher-than-expected rate?

Is it possible you have abandoned the fun you and your employees wish for in today’s workplace? Throughout the recession years, leaders were nose-to-the-grindstone, driving revenue retention and operational efficiencies for survival. In the last couple of years, I hear leaders in the C-suite saying how busy we all are… a grand result of the uptick in new business opportunities as we recover.

While my data are certainly anecdotal, I am here to report a decrease in belly-laughs. Years of “fear” and “busy” have oppressed the office joy.  Rushing and rapid action have squeezed the mirth from our work. Recently, I was in a meeting where one participant dropped a hilarious line and a couple of people responded with annoyance at this perceived interruption. Did I mention “Have Fun” is one of their Core Values?

So, what does this have to do with candor? Let’s ask ourselves, and ask our colleagues:

– Am I less fun these days?

– Are we having less fun?

– How do we increase the fun quotient around here?

– How do we delight in each other and our work more?

– Is LOL just what we text and not what we do?

Finding our good humor – lightness and enjoyment, yet not a distraction from the important work of the day – encourages us to share our true nature and to appreciate the true nature of others.

Recapturing the fun gets us to connect to each other and our organizations in meaningful ways. These strong connections help foster a culture of candor and set the foundation for a vibrant, healthy (and possibly hilarious) team.

Coming up in Part 3… a look at candor in hiring.