Leadership NudgeTM – No They Day
I just returned to my team this week after experiencing a challenging cross country bike ride. I rode 80-100 hundred miles a day, from Kansas to Pennsylvania. Each night I experienced a different hotel. When I would check in, I would listen for the word “they.” A lot of times I heard things like this; “Your room’s not ready. Let me go check and see if they have it ready.” As soon as I heard the word they, I would cringe because I knew that wasn’t a team. Teams use the word “we.”
I knew I was dealing with a team when I would hear the front desk person say, “We’ll see if we have your room ready.” The “teams” I encountered always seemed to be a little more polite and friendly. They projected a sense of pride and courtesy that was quite welcome after a hundred miles on my bike. So when the front desk referred to the rest of the staff as they, you know it’s not a team. They are viewing themselves as separate teams.
The point is, don’t give a lecture on being a team. Say, “let’s just use the word we.” It will look something like this; “at the front desk, we are going to practice referring to everybody else in the hotel, room service, food & beverage, engineering, as we.” Over time, that will change the mindset and it will feel like a team. People will start behaving like a team.
Our leadership nudge to you this week is this:
Have a no “they” day. Have a day where you are forbidden from using the word they when referring to anybody else inside the organization.
Let us know how it goes!
Enroll for the Leadership Nudge – www.davidmarquet.com
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