Fresh from a Rural Women’s Gathering in Scone NSW, former city slicker, life coach and author, Robyn Pulman, is back on her red earth property in outback Queensland, where she divides her time between helping her clients to create winning habits and the family farm.
Recently, a newborn calf was rescued from the paddock, abandoned by its mum (pictured). Bernard, as we’ve now called this sweet defenceless little fellow is now thriving on his three times daily bottle feeds.
Yesterday while feeding my little mate, one of the working dogs, Adam, kept stalking Bernard, and then backing off. I told Adam to stop. He took no notice of me. I told him again. Still nothing.
At that point, my beloved bushie walked over and told me to stop saying anything because each time I spoke and got no result with the dog, I was diminishing my power with him. My voice was just ‘noise’—hot air—to Adam.
That got me thinking about my office world. How many managers have banged the table and said, “This behaviour cannot go on in the company” and then not followed up with any consequences of ongoing bad behaviour?
Countless Codes of Conduct are created in businesses all over the world. Fancy booklets and posters are created highlighting them. They are introduced in Induction Programs and brought out once a year at all-company staff meetings where their importance is emphasised. Oftentimes staff are even asked to sign a document stating their agreement to follow this conduct. Then no action is taken to follow through when the behaviours in the Code of Conduct are breached.
In all instances, the recipients of the lectures quietly smirk and think, “Here they go, ‘banging on’ again. I can go back to doing what I’ve been doing because nothing ever happens”.
When I am invited in to help organisations change their culture because ‘their people are so negative and disruptive and rude’, the first question I ask is, “How do you review, monitor and discipline behaviour around here?” If there is no intent on the part of senior management to hold people accountable, they are wasting their money and my time by engaging me.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a manager is to stipulate non-negotiable behaviours and then tolerate them. Just like me with Adam, the working dog, you lose all power.
If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.
Words are cheap. Action speaks volumes.
For more information visit Robyn’s website at creatingwinninghabits.com