Greetings fellow Business Owners and Managers! Today I want to suggest an alternate to wrestling with employees – dancing!
Let’s compare wrestling and dancing. Both require energy. Both typically involve two people. Both involve close contact.
Wrestling wears you out. It is filled with struggle, resistance, and dominance. It is characterized by sometimes violent and aggressive movement designed to bring the competitor into submission. It is definitely a win:lose sport – for one to win, he must defeat the other.
Dancing on the other hand is energizing and fun. As one person leads another, together they produce a beautiful expression of grace and cooperation. There is a mutual submission and cooperation with the goal of communicating affection and friendship. The goal is to lead and follow and flow together. In a great dance, both partners win!
The question I want to ask you is this: Are you dancing or wrestling with your partners, managers, and employees? Are you trying to dominate, control and win, or are you leading them to create a beautiful win:win scenario? Are the emotions often violent, hurtful and aggressive, or filled with enjoyment, fun, and cooperation.
A lot of people in small business feel it is impossible to create such a harmonious scenario. A basic concept that I teach to my clients is to manage “agreements” not people. This means that first of all you have to have tight “rules of the game” for your company as well as what we call “positional contracts” for employees which outline what is expected of them and the repercussions of not meeting those expectations. These “contracts” can be discussed and modified, within limits, with each staff member so that you can both come to an agreement. But once you have that agreement in place, stick to it. If you laid out that coming in late 2 times in a one month period means taking a one week unpaid “vacation,” then make sure you enforce that strictly when it occurs. This communicates that you can be flexible when making agreements but that you stick to those agreements once they are made. Believe it or not, employees will often appreciate this just as much as the owner because they know where the lines are drawn.
It is your business, your career, your job, your team, and your choice. If you are tired of wrestling, go out and find yourself a dance teacher – someone who will teach you and your team to glide gracefully across the dance floor.