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Systemizing Your Business: Why Can\’t We All Just Get Along?

March 23, 2009 | Diversity, Systemizing, Teamwork | Sandye

Thoughts from your Systems Goddess, Sandye Linnetz, Process Prodigy

Rodney King said it. Chances are he meant it, too. Why can't we all just get along? My guess is simply that we don't all get along because each of us has a need to be right. It's human nature. It stands to reason, then, that if each of us wants to be right then someone has to be wrong. Hard to «get along » when each of us is striving to be right and, therefore, hunting for someone else to make wrong. Sure, it would be simpler if everyone agreed on everything, but is that really such a good idea, either?

Think about the people who are working with you. It's likely that they are very diverse - even if your company is small. Each has a unique point of view, personal biases, predjudices and his or her own way of thinking and communicating. Isn't it the variety; the very diversity of background and thought, that makes your company work?   Different people have different experiences, knowledge and opinions. In the workplace - when it's «safe » - we share them. What would your staff meetings look like if there was no diversity?

If we were all alike... all but one of us would be obsolete.

Hmmm. What does that mean? Well, one collective mind has one collective idea - so who needs conversation? Why not just choose one person to create everything? Who needs a team?

Team building is a huge business. And there's a reason that so many brilliant business experts recommend mastermind groups and brain storming sessions... they work! And they work because, when people are free to share their ideas and points of view without judgment, magic happens. Then, through consensus, we can all get along!

So what's your system to maintain diversity and make sure that everyone just gets along? Didn't interview Rodney for this part, but my guess is he'd tell you that we should all be allowed to tell it like it is for us... without fear of recrimination or incarceration. Thanks, Rodney... we'll atually start there.

Do you hold regularly scheduled staff meetings - even if your staff is very small? Are all participants invited to share their thoughts and opinions without significant risk or fear of being made to look wrong?

Consider these possible rules for running a diverse and friendly meeting that works:

• Schedule a meeting and make sure that everyone has sufficient notice
• Send out a reminder
• When possible let everyone know, in advance, what topics will be covered
• For each topic, invite diverse opinions - even if everyone appears to agree
• Ask speakers to introduce themselves including what it was in their background           that had them end up with the ideas or opinions they share
• No interrupting the speakers (time limits may be necessary)
• Ask if anyone heard a new or unusual idea and encourage discussion
• List any opposing ideas on a board and open the floor to pros and cons
• Have someone take notes for a wrap-up/review at end of meeting
• Group evaluation of both the topics and the meeting
• Acknowledge all who participated - including those who actively listened
• Follow up with an email overview of the meeting
• Call Rodney and invite him to the next meeting

© 2009 Beth Schneider, Process Prodigy, Inc. Want to reprint this article? Feel free as long as you include the following: Beth Schneider, President of Process Prodigy Inc., www.processprodigy.com, along with her team of highly sought after operations consultants, reveal the insider secrets billion-dollar corporations pay thousands of dollars for. Specializing in process creation, Process Prodigy tools and techniques have helped entrepreneurs increase productivity by as much as 600%, and revenues by as much as 250%. Visit www.processprodigy.com/ezine and grab your FREE systems starter kit valued at $297.00.


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