Let us create a 3D eBook for you!
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com

Functioning in a Dysfunctional Workplace


Sometimes the greatest challenges lay not within the actions of competitors, or the needs of customers, they come from within one's own company. People new to their positions either through promotion, or as a new hire, are often stunned at the challenges they find waiting for them as they slide into the seat behind their new desk. The business cards have barely been ordered before elements of dysfunction begin to appear at their office door.

Does any of the following sound familiar? Processes within your organization take longer and cost more than they should. Most employees can't explain how what they do specifically contributes to what the company is trying to accomplish. The majority of meetings result in the decision to have more meetings, with very little actually getting acc-omplished. New initiatives are greeted by employees with the belief that they won't succeed.

These are not just the makings of good Dilbert cartoons. Sadly, these situations exist in organ-izations across the country. They are symptoms of a dysfunctional company.

Surviving the challenges of dysfunction is no simple task. A misstep can put you in the quicksand of beurocracy, the line of fire from competing factions, or possibly even the unemployment line. But for those that learn to survive and thrive, the rewards are significant.

Not only do they have the satisfaction of knowing they helped eliminate some of the dysfunction, they are seen, and rightfully so, as people who can get things done. People with that quality are a rarity, and are stars who are always in demand.

Are you faced with functioning in a dysfunctional company? Do the scenarios identified above represent a subset of what you face each day? If so, consider using these tips as part of your survival guide.

#1 Be Part of the Solution Not Part of the Problem

Sociologists have done extensive studies on behavioral patterns among groups and have uncovered some interesting results that can be applied in the workplace. For example, in city areas with empty lots, people were far more likely to throw trash on the ground if the lot already had some trash in it, than if the lot was clean.

Through these findings and others like them, the researchers came to the conclusion that people will imitate behavior which appears to be socially acceptable, even if it is not their normal behavior. In other words, people imitate other people's actions. Stated in the context of a company, people acting dysfunctionally will influence others to also act dysfunctionally.

Being part of the solution breaks the chain. Conduct yourself in a functional way, and you will not only create a positive behavior for others to follow, but you also won't provide a dysfunctional example that others might imitate.

For Example: At the end of meetings take the initiative to help the group identify what steps need to be taken, who is responsible for them, and timelines for getting them done. Be the first to volunteer to take on a respon-sibility. After the meeting, send out a list with the what, who, and timelines and review it at the next meeting.

If it is your meeting, and the attendees are your direct reports, make sure people are held accountable for completing their respective tasks. If it is not your meeting, make sure you get your tasks complete. Again, individuals who actually get things done are stars. Be one of those people.

#2 Share Your Ideas

Don't make the mistake of assuming that what is painfully obvious to you is equally obvious to your peers, subordinates, boss, or other leaders in the organization. Everyone has a unique background and what is common knowledge to one person might be a life changing revelation for another. When you see examples of dysfunctional actions, share your ideas on how to improve the situation. Don't blame or criticize others. Instead, ask people what they are trying to accomplish and then offer up your ideas along with the reasons why you think they will help.

Many smart individuals are too quick to make the assumption "Well, they should know that" when dealing with peers or bosses. This is especially true when people are dealing with bosses that are more than one level above them.

The reality is that either the people do know, and there are other factors that you are unaware of, or they don't know and your ideas may be just the thing they need. At a minimum you will be seen as a person with initiative who has good ideas and is trying to better the company, and you may just be the person who saves the day.

For Example: A common "idea" opportunity exists with processes. What in your area seems to take an inordinate amount of time, requires many different people to be involved, or costs a great deal per transaction? If you have seen these processes done better somewhere else, or can draw from your unique background to provide a simple solution, then take some time, write out your ideas, and let people know.

#3 Be Fearless, Not Foolish, and Bring Solutions

When you have ideas to share, do it in a way that is fearless, not foolish, and if it is a suggestion for improving a dysfunctional problem, make sure you bring solutions. There is a fine line between having the courage to let others know what you believe and telling others that they should believe you. Error on the side of the first alternative.

For Example: Setting up a meeting with your boss to explain why you think the Travel and Expense process is costing the company too much money should involve doing some research on what the process is, how long it has been in place, and why it exists as it does. Once you know all those facts, identify some possible solutions. A meeting after you have done all that, will have a very different feel than walking in and telling your boss the process should be changed because it is inefficient. One is fearless, the other is foolish and without coming up with possible suggestions, it is also just complaining.

#4 Be Optimistic

It is unlikely that the life goal of those who founded the company or those who are running the company is the creation of a place where people spend 40 or more hours per week at a place that is dysfunctional. More likely is that over time dysfunction reared its head, and for some reason has grown and spread.

It could have been the result of competing cultures after a buy-out, growth pains as the organization got larger, or possibly just bad leadership. However it began, like a scene from an adventure movie, where weeds and vines are overtaking a lost civilization, dysfunction is trying to overtake this potentially high performing company.

Be optimistic that you and your fellow employees can cut back those vines of dysfunction.

For Example: In meetings where people are discussing existing problems, resist the urge to join those who are comfortable making statements like "We've just always been poor at that, or "This new plan will never work" or "We've tried that three times already." Instead, offer support for what is being attempted, and give actual reasons why it is likely to work. If it isn't likely to work, then go back to #s 1, 2, and 3.

Success begins with believing success is possible. Be optimistic that the dysfunctional state can be turned around and that people are trying to do it.

Dysfunction can be challenging, taxing, and difficult to deal with. It also represents an excellent opportunity for capable people to step up and make a difference. Follow the four tips and be one of the people who can function in the midst of dysfunction. Then be ready for a promotion.

John Strelecky is the author of "The Why Are You Here Caf", and a nationally recognized speaker on the topic of "Creating The Perfect Company". A graduate of Northwestern University's MBA program, he has served as a business strategist for numerous Fortune 500 companies, and co-founded the Business Philosophy practice at Morningstar Consulting Group LLC. He can be reached through his website at http://www.whycafe.com, at 407-342-4181 or jstrelecky@whycafe.com.


MORE RESOURCES:

Team Building - Google News

This RSS feed URL is deprecated

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Lady Gila Monsters building the team chemistry - Eastern Arizona Courier


Eastern Arizona Courier

Lady Gila Monsters building the team chemistry
Eastern Arizona Courier
After being down by 29 points, Cameron Turner's steady coaching from the bench guided his team to as close to within 15 points. “I told them to believe in each other, believe in the process. We've had a lot of adversity this season but you girls are ...

and more »

Lunchbreak: Well-Rounded Team Giving Vikings Chance at NFC Title - Vikings.com


New York Times

Lunchbreak: Well-Rounded Team Giving Vikings Chance at NFC Title
Vikings.com
Now 16 months later, it's interesting in itself that the two teams who orchestrated such a major trade will face each other in the NFC Championship game. But even more ironic is that it's Keenum and Nick Foles, rather than Bradford, Wentz or even ...
Vikings, Eagles both came out winners after Sam Bradford deal, one team because of it and the other, perhaps, despite it Minneapolis Star Tribune

all 774 news articles »

'Titans' coach speaks of team-building - Williamsport Sun-Gazette


Williamsport Sun-Gazette

'Titans' coach speaks of team-building
Williamsport Sun-Gazette
“These young men taught the world how to overcome your fear of diversity and they taught us how to accept the soul of an individual rather than reject any individual based on the color of their skin, and although from vastly different backgrounds ...

and more »

Leader 2 Leader: If millennials teach us anything, it's that team-building events are important - Tulsa World


Tulsa World

Leader 2 Leader: If millennials teach us anything, it's that team-building events are important
Tulsa World
Many companies do a great job of planning team- building events, while some company leaders really do not understand why they are important. I will say, as a baby boomer leader, I used to be in the latter category. After seeing the impact team- building ...

Video: Ever wonder what happens at a Fine Gael 'team building' night? - Independent.ie


Independent.ie

Video: Ever wonder what happens at a Fine Gael 'team building' night?
Independent.ie
Well, it appears Marcella Corcorcan Kennedy does the cooking, Kate O'Connell serves up the dishes and James Reilly looks after the wash-up. Independent.ie has obtained video from inside the Government party's team building night which took place last ...

Praising Jurgen Klopp's team-building, the brilliance of Roberto Firmino and why Christian Pulisic fits the bill for ... - Liverpool Echo


Liverpool Echo

Praising Jurgen Klopp's team-building, the brilliance of Roberto Firmino and why Christian Pulisic fits the bill for ...
Liverpool Echo
In the latest episode, host Neil Fitzmaurice is joined by Neil Jones and Joe Rimmer - "my Firmino and Robertson" - to reflect on recent events at Anfield. Sunday's game, of course, is top of the agenda. The panel discuss a memorable afternoon, a ...

Multi-star cooking team-building for the kick-off meeting at the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte - ITCM


ITCM

Multi-star cooking team-building for the kick-off meeting at the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte
ITCM
Multi-star cooking team- building for the kick-off meeting at the Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte. Print; Email. Details: Category: Hotel: Published: Tuesday, 16 January 2018 11:30. The Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in Viareggio cooking team ...

Kevin Doyle: Team building on the menu as FG cooks up calm debate - Independent.ie


Independent.ie

Kevin Doyle: Team building on the menu as FG cooks up calm debate
Independent.ie
The email inviting Fine Gael TDs and senators to "a dinner with a twist" was an attempt by the party hierarchy to keep everyone united in the face of a debate that has the potential to divide Ireland. The idea of holding a cookery night after a ...

and more »

APD/AFD enlisted for team building fundraiser - Daily Ardmoreite


APD/AFD enlisted for team building fundraiser
Daily Ardmoreite
Sides have been chosen. The lines have been drawn. In a few short months, the long-standing rivalry between police officers and fire fighters will continue for a good cause. Members of the Ardmore Police Department and the Ardmore Fire Department have ...

LargeFriends.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!
SuccessfulMatchCentral.com - the best dating site for plus-sized singles!

PreLaunchX

© www.KewlOz.com 2013

home | site map | links