A joke that got some hearty laughs at the end-of-the-year party three years ago could upset someone today and lead to team conflict.
Because times are changing, values are changing, and how we express them keeps changing. And that can be tricky to navigate for workplaces.
Think about it.
We really want diversity. It’s good for humans and it’s good for business.
But we also really want values alignment in work. (How about that bubble?)
So how do we create an environment where we all share similar values, whilst also navigating conflicting beliefs?
It sounds like a minefield, right?
It’s a really tricky balance, and as leaders, we need to lead the way.
You don’t want the conversations on these topics to start with the ‘we’re here to address some recent behaviour and language that upset and offended members of our team.’
When it’s about personal beliefs, people get upset pretty quickly, so it could be a series of very difficult conversations indeed.
But don’t wait to get there. Start today. With curiosity. And with listening with intent.
A leader has the greatest responsibility (read: opportunity) to lead these conversations.
Get curious about what your individual team members’ beliefs are, what their values are. And talk with your team about which behaviours are ok and which ones aren’t. What language is acceptable and what isn’t.
By making these things explicit we also enable our team members to hold one another accountable for the way they communicate. Now seems like a great time to freshen up on those listening skills? Open my Listening Guide for a refresher.