Overworked, Overloaded, Overwhelmed?

Free PDF Survival Toolkit!

One Way to a Stronger Organisational Culture

What is organisational culture? I decided to ask wikipedia:

Organizational culture encompasses values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of a business. The organizational culture influences the way people interact, the context within which knowledge is created, the resistance they will have towards certain changes, and ultimately the way they share (or the way they do not share) knowledge.

As I read through wikipedia’s definition, I formed an assessment that organisational culture is effectively the “way of being” of an organisation. Further, how an organisation is “being” generates the organisation’s “doing”, that is, the actions that an organisation has available to take, both through its individuals and as a collective.

Culture as a Way of Being

In humans, an interpretation of way of being is that it is the coming together of what is going on in the language (thoughts, words and listening), emotional spaces and body of an individual. How an individual is being has an impact on the actions that the individual has available to take. An individual with a way of being based in fear may not be able to have courageous conversations or make simple requests, because fear won’t allow them to do so.

Similarly, the way of being of an organisation will impact the actions that the organisation (through its people) can take. An organisational culture (way of being) where everyone feels micromanaged and judged for making simple decisions probably won’t encourage people to make strong decisions and own those decisions because they may not feel empowered to do so.

If the way of being of an individual is the coming together of the language, emotional spaces and body of that individual, then it makes sense that the way of being of an organisation is the coming together of the language, emotions and body of the people within that organisation. This, I think, leads to the following question:

How does the way of being of the leaders of an organisation impact the culture or way of being of the organisation as a whole?

How the Way of Being of a Leader Can Impact Culture

Think about how you were being today. What was happening for you in language? What moods and emotions were present for you? How were you holding your body? This is your way of being. How do you think it was serving you?

Imagine for a minute, a leader who accepts that there will be issues occasionally, has a can-do attitude, encourages people to approach them, trusts their team, is curious about how they can work with the team, and is curious about how they can help the team to achieve.

– How might a team member react to a leader operating from this way of being?
– How might the team member react to dealing with this way of being constantly?
– How would it be if the majority of the organisation felt this way?
– What might this do for organisational culture?

Now imagine a leader who is resentful about their position in the organisation, who won’t trust the team because “the team doesn’t know how to do it like I do anyway”,  and who is so anxious and fearful about their place in the organisation that every action taken is from a place of self-protection. Imagine secrecy, refusal to share information, and a disrespect for opinions.

– How might a team member react to a leader operating from this way of being?
– How might the team member react to dealing with this way of being constantly?
– How would it be if the majority of the organisation felt this way?
– What might this do for organisational culture?

The important point to note here is that, often, we don’t notice the way of being that we are operating from. Further, although we are always operating from an emotional space, we often don’t notice what those moods and emotions are. And, if we don’t know what our way of being is, or what emotional space it is centred in, we can’t know what actions are being made available to us, or the impact that we might be having on others. And if we don’t know any of that, we don’t know the impact that we are having on organisational culture.

Our behaviours as leaders can inadvertently change organisational culture. Just. Like. That.

This, I think, demonstrates that we have a huge responsibility as leaders to understand what is going on for us in our way of being. There is, in my assessment, a lot riding on it.

How Can a Leader Contribute to a Stronger Organisational Culture?

By understanding what is going on in each of the domains of language, emotional spaces and body, a leader has a greater understanding of why they are taking the actions they are taking, how useful those actions are, and what would be useful to shift if we would like different actions. One possible way of achieving this is by making a habit of living from the following questions:

– What is happening in my way of being right now?
– What is happening in my thoughts and spoken word?
– What is happening in my emotional spaces?
– What moods are present? What emotions?
– What is happening in my body?
– What parts of my body are feeling tense? Relaxed?
– How is my breathing?
– What else is happening?
– Why am I speaking and feeling and reacting in my body in this way?
– For the sake of what am I taking the actions that I am taking? How is this serving me? How is this serving others?

Upon Reflection

– How are your actions as a leader impacting the organisational culture?
– How would you like your actions as a leader to be impacting organisational culture
– What would need to be different in your way of being for you to contribute
to the organisational culture that you would like to have?

As a leadership and life coach, I am able to help people who are interested in developing or further developing leadership skills. If you feel that it would be useful to have a conversation with me, please feel free to contact me and we can arrange a time to talk.

 

%d bloggers like this:

Subscribe Form



START TYPING AND PRESS ENTER TO SEARCH