When Meryl Streep, in character in The Devil Wears Prada, arrives by car at the front of the building, a tremor goes through the staff with the call of, ‘Gird your loins!’
There is no doubt that organization leaders and managers set the tone at work. And, it is important they do so since others will fill in the void if they don’t. It is equally important that the tone the manager sets is the one that supports the front line staff to work at their best: to understand the direction of the organization, their role in it and how they are doing; not to worry about moods, regular bombshell announcements, or relentless negativity.
You can put your mark on your organization each day by following these 3 Good Morning Tips:
Be in your work character from the time of your arrival at the perimeter of the building.
Some people have told me they want to be genuine and authentic, not to ‘put something on’ just for work. Yes, be ‘real’. However, do put aside your personal ‘to do list’ of plans for your next trip, or what you need to buy for dinner, for example. And, do recognize and manage your mood, even if that morning your dog peed on the floor, the kids were late for school, and the fridge needs to be fixed. Go into the building in your role as leader; you will be setting the tone for your staff. Would you expect them to be beholden to their mood and their personal issues of the day?
Say hello; let people know you see them.
On days you have every minute scheduled be prepared to defer people who want to chat (‘I have a packed day today, let’s catch up tomorrow at lunch’) and ask those who bring you their problems to solve, to use their initiative to figure them out. Ask them to schedule time for a check-in if you know the problem will require your attention. If there is someone with whom you have talked about performance issues, say hello to them as an implicit and gentle reminder of whatever agreement you have for them to improve.
Know the top 3 things you want to accomplish in the day, and which one you will start with.
Spend the first 10 minutes scanning e-mail or telephone messages to evaluate there is nothing more urgent than what you had already selected (another blog deals with assessing urgent from non-urgent, and important from unimportant). Then get on with making that day better for you, your staff, your clients and your boss. See this blog post from February for tips on how to improve prioritizing your work.
By following these 3 tips every morning you will be modeling the tone you wish to see in your team and all staff. You will be creating the space for your own effectiveness and creativity and in turn the resourcefulness amongst your staff.
Please share what routines work for you when you arrive at work to make the day the best it can be.
Next blog: Good Night tips for the Manager