“Why are people so unkind?”

No one comes to work to do a bad job. Mostly, people have great intentions which come undone through the sometimes grating dynamics of working with ‘people like me’ every day. (No one admits that they are part of the problem).

So, how do you appeal to a sense of self that is bigger than the irritating minutiae of each day? How do you motivate and manage a team that get on each others nerves, and in so doing- struggle to focus on service delivery.

We can all change when we identify the shared values that bind and motivate us. Listen to the language of your peers. There will be words used that can be established as an anchor to create a common vocabulary. These ideas may include “less paperwork”, “flexibility”, “more say”, “innovation”.

These terms provide an opportunity to interrogate the motivations for work, that can become stronger than the derailing impact of individual annoyances. Once this dialogue has been established, there are ways to embed the culture in all aspects of your operations and your team will be the best asset you have.

As a manager, the challenge is the need for top down modelling of change. This requires a personal vulnerability that is difficult, but life changing and with lots of ripple affects.

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