Managers create the pace
Some managers (and employees) pride themselves on the fact that they are always over-extended. That they have a million things on their plate. That there is no time to do what they need to do.
It’s true that we are often asked to do more with less, creating that chaotic environment. And as I wrote about last week, I don’t subscribe to the view that we can make excuses as a way to justify the bedlam. It’s a matter of establishing accurate and realistic priorities to make sense of the turmoil.
If your work environment is too chaotic, you need to look at what you are doing to perpetuate it.
This past Sunday morning, I caught Grace in an unusual pose. Yes, she does sleep a lot, so that’s not what was so different. She had this very contented and peaceful look on her face as if she didn’t have a care in the world. She was relaxed. Imagine that — Grace relaxed! Unheard of! She’s always on guard, looking for danger. So this got my attention, to see her content, even in her sleep. For whatever reason, she made the decision to let down her guard and be content and composed. It’s something all of us can do, if we want.
Some individuals have a natural tendency to work best in a high energy environment (that would not be Grace!). Other prefer a slower, methodical tempo. There are advantages to both styles and certainly true that each person will do his or her best work when the job matches that pace. Assessments help discover that information in an objective way. You should find the culture that fits your needs.
Oliver, unlike Grace, had been finding trouble in unknown places. (I swear this display of fuzzy dust bunnies on him is no reflection on the general cleanliness of our home.) Where he found this mound of dust to carry around on his head was beyond me. But he clearly had created a mess that now needed our attention whether we wanted to become involved or not. That’s the way it happens. One person instigates a whirlwind of a mess that others have to clean up.
In your workplaces, are you carrying around an ugly layer of dust and old habits that are making you look silly? Or despite your heavy work loads, are you able to find a way to be effective? There is a difference between high energy and chaos and your ability to work within those boundaries. How would you describe your work environment?
For managers that are constantly stirring up the pot, it leaves everyone on the team disheveled, lacking direction. When projects, goals, and tasks are juggled time and time again, without rhyme and reason, you are diminishing the effectiveness of what can be accomplished. It’s better to pick a small number of priorities, focus on those and work to completion, then move to new objectives.
What are the signs of chaos in your workplace? What would you recommend to remedy the situation? Leave a quick comment here so we can all learn from each other!