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Welcome to The JoyPowered® Workspace Podcast, where we talk about embracing humanity in the workplace. I’m Susan White, a national HR consultant, and with me is my friend and co-host, Purple Ink owner JoDee Curtis. JoDee is the author of “JoyPowered®,” “The JoyPowered® Family,” and then a new book that seven of us are writing called “The JoyPowered® Team.”
In today’s episode, we’re talking about civility in the workplace. You know, JoDee, in an era where we’re constantly reading about, hearing on the radio, and watching on television poor behaviors by our elected representatives, government officials, members of the media, heads of companies, you know, it’s really hard to turn around and create and sustain a workplace where all staff members come in and behave civilly to each other. Don’t you think?
I do, I think a lot of our role models on TV and on social media are definitely not setting good examples for the rest of us and, and intentionally or not, teaching us different norms on how to react and respond to, to different issues.
That’s so true. You know, even beyond the bad behaviors that we see displayed by people in positions that should be role models for us and our, for our staff members, how many of us have family members, good friends that we know, that we have difficulty even talking to sometimes or even listening to when when a topic of politics or climate change or gun control or religious or social issues arise? You know, there’s just so much tension…
…that, can you imagine that when any one of these topics come up in the workplace? Fasten your seat belt.
Yes, yes. Well, it’s like, you know, at the Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner when people sort of set rules around what can be talked about or not, and it’s one thing to do it for a day, but to work with people 40, 50 hours a week and not have those conversations is difficult.
Exactly. I’m already starting to dread the 2020 elections, because you could imagine again in the workplace, there’s gonna be some…
Yeah, and the commercials that go before them, right?
Painful. So that’s why we’re talking about this today. We’re going to talk about how important it is that people treat each other civilly in the workplace, they listen to each other, that they think about the virtues that they want to live in life, and then how do you make sure you’re living it in your workplace? So I’m excited, we’re gonna have some interesting guests. Before we jump into that, though, I think it’s important that we recognize if we don’t fix some of the workplace behaviors that are happening or the way people are treating each other, that we could end up with more workplace violence.
Right. Absolutely. Yeah. And I always think, too, what are we teaching our children, what are we teaching our teenagers, what are we teaching college students about this, right? I mean, I hope even… for me, it’s difficult, but I hope I have enough history to rise above it, right?
But what message are we sending to our next generations is really scary.
Right. They’re so impressionable. So in preparation for today’s podcast, I went out to the Department of Labor OSHA website to see what they have to say about workplace violence. So just some facts and items that I found. First was the way they define workplace violence. They say it’s an act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the worksite. Now this can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults, and sadly, even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers, or visitors to a particular workplace. Nearly 2 million US workers report that they’re victims of workplace violence every year, and the Department of Labor suspects that there may be many more, but they go unreported.
That’s unbelievable number to me, 2 million. And in 2014, there were 403 workplace homicides in the United States.
Isn’t that incredible? It’s only 365 days and you imagine only something over 200 actual work days, right? That’s really frightening. Fortunately, most of the time, when individuals display a lack of civility in the workplace, it doesn’t result in violence, but each time an incivility surfaces, I believe it diminishes teamwork, damages relationships, and really keeps your workspace from being JoyPowered®.
Absolutely. You never know what kind of emotional health responses people might be having, right, that maybe you don’t see acted out physically, but are impacting people’s ability to have confidence, right, or certainly, as you mentioned, to be productive in their work, right, but what what message are they taking away on the inside?
Absolutely. So the good news is we do have guests today, they’re going to help us figure out how do we promote civility in the workplace.
First, I would like to introduce Denise McGonigal, a Purple Ink trainer, co-author of “The JoyPowered® Family,” and “The JoyPowered® Team,” and the writer of a blog series on virtue in the workplace.
Hi, Susan. Hi, JoDee. So, so good to be here with you.
Thanks for coming.
Thank you for inviting me.
So Denise, I’ve read your blogs on kindness, joy, trustworthiness, peace, and goodness, all with beautiful points. Are there others that we’d missed?
No, you didn’t miss any. We just have five so far, but I have two in the making. So stay tuned and make sure you click on that blog again, JoDee.
Alright, thank you.
That’s great. Denise, what inspired you to write the series on virtues?
Well, thanks for asking that question. I, as a corporate trainer, and as a CliftonStrengths® coach, I get to talk to many people about goals and what they would like themselves to be, how they would like to change, and how they see – one of the questions I ask when I coach is, what does a better you look like in a year? In a year if you can be a better you, describe that for me? And often lately, I get the answer, I would like to be more authentic. And when I ask, what do you mean by authentic, they have a hard time defining it. And sometimes they’ll say something like, I would like to be more real. And again, though, I have to say but what does more real mean? Real what? And the more I dig, the more I recognize that the more they want to be is virtuous, that they want to be people who hold virtue in their heart and practice virtue in their lives. And virtue is a matter of having convictions that I hold in my heart, and that I live out in my life. And I find that that is really the definition of authentic they’re looking for. So that’s what made me decide to look more into what are some of the virtues that need to be expressed more fully and I guess you’d say more frequently in the in the workplace.
Yeah. Excellent. Was there anything in particular, a few things maybe, that you discovered as you were focusing on each of these virtues?
Yes, I’ll tell you one thing, the main thing that I discovered and, and from a strength point of view, I have Positivity, so I’m always going to look at things from the bright side. But I will say that most people that I speak to want to be good, they want to be known as good. They want to practice the virtue of goodness, and that’s one of the ones that I covered in the blog. In trying to be good though, they have a lot of fears. And I think it’s that, I think, I, I feel like one time in one of your podcasts, you defined fear like this, but as an acronym, False Evidence Appearing Real, and… F-E-A-R, False Evidence Appearing Real. And the fear, the false evidence is that people are going to perceive them as a pushover or someone without a backbone. So goodness feels like a weakness, not a virtue or not a strength to people. I think it goes back to that sixth grade peer pressure, if I look too good, then I’m a goody two shoes kind of thing. And so people don’t want to look good in the workplace from a virtuosity point of view. But what they haven’t learned is that virtue is its own reward, first of all, and secondly, that – well, actually three things, virtue is its own reward. Secondly, virtue is admired and respected and oftentimes copied, emulated by people. And that a little bit of virtue, this is the third thing, goes a long way. You being virtuous can change the heart of someone else, just by you being authentically virtuous in the workplace.
I happened to… spent a lot of time in a workplace where goodness or niceness truly was not valued as a virtue, and I can remember the CEO of a business saying, “Susan, you’re the nicest person I’ve ever worked with and that is not a compliment.”
Not in this environment.
That breaks my heart.
Oh, me too!
I think the message there is you have to do soul searching, that if to be authentically you, if being good and being kind is important to you, maybe that’s not the right environment for you to be in.
That’s an excellent point. Maybe you need to look at your choice to stay.
Yeah. And how did you feel about that, Susan, and making that choice to stay?
I probably would diminish myself. I, you know, probably the real me of wanting to be kind and good. Recognizing that’s not valued, it didn’t change how I was, because I was still kind and good, but I realized that wasn’t respected for that particular quality.
And that’s what people fear.
So I think it’s real. It depends on the environment you’re in.
And that was, although it was a powerful person, it was just one person, too, right, that said that.
That’s a great point.
Yeah. Hopefully, there were many others around you who, who valued that in you, and I suspect with your success they did.
Yeah. I’ve reminded this particular person several times since, we remain very good friends.
Yeah. And every time I bring it up, he laughs. He used to say that he and his wife, whenever they were facing a difficult decision, they’d go WWSD, what would Susan do?
So even though they said in the workplace, they didn’t admire it, they did, at least when it related to difficult moral decisions, WWSD.
Oh, well that was a very nice compliment.
And I think you hit upon the problem of authenticity. Being authentic is being the same at home and at work, being able to be the same person all the time. That’s integrity as well. Always keeping your virtues and your values in their correct order and living them out in your heart and in your life all the time. And that’s hard to do sometimes, if you’re in a workplace that does not reward virtue.
So what type of reaction have you been getting from these blogs? Are you hearing from people?
I did hear from a few people and people have been very sweet. One woman, in, in addition to commenting on the blog, she emailed me and she said, I love your blog, I – she works for a university and she said, I have emailed it to all of my co-workers, was very sweet. And some people have voiced appreciation simply for bringing up the topic of virtue in the workplace, because I think along the way, somehow the word virtue has been replaced by value, and that has a complete different connotation because value is external, but virtue in practice is really something that’s coming from my conviction, my inner conviction, and there’s a difference between virtue and value. Value is beautiful, but more superficial.
Very nice. Very well said. Denise, what other advice do you have for listeners who may want to incorporate virtues in their cultures, in their departments, on their teams, or even just in setting expectations for employee behaviors?
That’s a great question. I think that my number one advice would be to begin by using the virtue of courage, because with courage, you will put yourself out there, your virtuous self out there, and not worry about what other people are thinking about you. So I do believe that virtue begins with yourself. It is nice when it starts top down, but you can be an exhibitor and teacher of virtue at every rung of the ladder in the corporate world, so it doesn’t matter what your job is. Start with yourself and be consistently virtuous. And then if you are in a position in an organization of influence, then I would say start to imbue your corporate language using terms of virtue, using the word goodness, using the word kindness, using courage, using joy, using peace, using patience, all those virtues that you aspire to, start putting them into the language of your corporation or your business until you start hearing people echo those virtues in their language.
I love that idea. Certainly the word integrity comes up a lot in businesses, but that’s, like, the only one I can think of.
I love all the other adds.
Although I will say that kindness has become somewhat of a buzzword lately in the workplace. I’ve heard it in many different places where I’ve been and where I’ve mentioned virtue.
Oftentimes, they’ll say, oh, we are working on kindness in the workplace. And, and kindness is measurable because kindness is observed through the good action that you do toward another. So that’s kind of a… it can be very external, kindness can, so it’s a good one to start with.
Right. I love it.
I would say that if you are, again, in a position of management, begin to specify important virtues in things like your handbook, such as, our employees will always – respect is a virtue, so, our employees will always respect one another. We will be courteous toward one another, so hostile language will never be accepted. So you can start putting that kind of language into the language of virtue without offending anybody, either. Certain things in your handbook, and I’ve even read some handbooks that have virtue in there. I’m not sure if that was intentional. I’m not sure when they wrote it they knew they were talking about virtue, but they’re… in the behaviors they’re describing they’re actually describing virtue in the handbook, but you can do it in a more intentional way where you actually do name it as a virtue.
I love it. Love it. Great advice. Well, Denise, thank you so much for joining us today and how, if our readers are interested in learning more about how they might implement these in their own workspace, or maybe even have training on this topic, how might they get ahold of you?
Oh, you can just get on to our website, purpleinkllc.com, or email me at denise at purpleinkllc.com.
And that is ink with a K. Purple I-N-K L-L-C dot com. Thank you so much, Denise.
Thank you for inviting me. It’s been a pleasure.
You were very kind.
Our second guest is Bryan Bedford, the CEO of Republic Airlines, who’s joining us today to talk a little bit about his perspective on civility in the workplace and why virtues are so important. Bryan, would you mind sharing a little bit about your background for our listeners?
Sure. I’m the President and Chief Executive Officer of Republic Airways, I’ve been with Republic going on 20 years, so this will be my 20th anniversary with the airline. We’re the second largest regional airline in the country. We fly about 1,000 flights a day across the country and we have around 200 jet aircraft and a little over 6,000 employees, so it’s a nice sized business. We’ve been in business for 45 years, so lots of lots of legacy traditions, the best, of course, of which I enjoy’s our culture. So culture is really important to us. It’s foundational into who we are and what we do in the world. And, again, I think the topic of civility in the workplace is certainly important to us and impactful in terms of how we go about our, our daily business with one another.
Very nice. Good.
So why do you think that civility is sometimes lacking at work?
Well, first of all, I think we have to be intentional about it, and in the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes those little things like taking a moment in the stairwell to talk to a coworker or opening the door for somebody, little things that might make a day, if you see someone struggling, you know, carrying a bunch of boxes, you know, just stopping and saying, can I help. Just to show that we, we see you, I see you, I value you, you I respect you, we’re all in this together. I think sometimes in the hustle of, you know, trying to just get through our daily work, trying to get home, trying to get to the kids’ baseball games, you know, those sorts of things, you know, we just… people become a little bit too invisible.
Yeah. It really is so important just to take those extra moments. I know it’s my – I’m a business owner, myself, Bryan, and I still, sometimes I’m rushing in and rushing out and forget to take those extra moments to just check in on people. Do you have any specific examples where you or another leader at Republic was maybe able to instill virtues in the workplace? Was it something that grew over time or has it been intentional throughout the history of your organization?
I think we could go all the way back to our founders, who were literally a mom and pop company back in the banks of Lake Chautauqua, New York, a little city called Jamestown, and they founded the airline in 1974. And I think those family values, those Midwest family values were very fundamental in the early DNA of this company, just treating people like family. And it was this really, really small business back in the day, just a couple of airplanes flying really short haul markets out of New York and Pittsburgh. I thankfully feel those values that our, our original founders created in the business have helped us. Lot of turmoil in the aviation business over the last 40 years.
Oh my goodness. Yes.
I think personally, we, we belong to a wonderful parish here in Central Indiana, Our Lady of Mount Carmel. They have some great programs for, you know, just faith development. I – one of them’s called Christ Renews His Parish, and I went through that the same year that we relocated to Indianapolis and had a real epiphany moment in that discernment process with a bunch of other great gentlemen, which is learning not to compartmentalize, you know, faith in the workplace or faith is not supposed to be in the workplace and sort of being able to, you know, reinvent our culture statement and you know, bring God into the workplace, and through that, recognizing that, you know, we’re all created in the image and likeness of God puts us on a level playing field. We are all in this together and the things that that bind us are greater than the things that divide us. And so that was a real, a real, I think, watershed moment for me as a CEO and how I wanted to manage a business. But to do something that was more inspirational in terms of building culture that I thought would be sustainable. 20 years later, it really has been.
Yeah, I of course, think that’s beautiful. But did you get some pushback on that in the workspace?
Well, we were a private company when we made the change to our, our vision statement, and I fortunately had a very supportive board of directors. So I received no pushback from the, you know, the executive ranks on the front line. Again, I think the the values actually really aligned well with what was already going on in the business and how the company’s basic belief system had been inculcated since its founders back in 1974, so, and when I joined, the company only had 600 employees, so the folks who didn’t really care for it, you know, very quickly left, but I’d say we still have 400 of those original 600 that are still here.
So Bryan, we would love your advice, because a lot of our listeners are business leaders or HR professionals, and sometimes, you know, in spite of the best of our efforts of setting a good culture, we’re going to have some bad behavior in the workplace where people aren’t being good and kind to one another. What would you recommend, or what advice do you have? How do you deal with it when you see incivility, you know, surface in the workplace?
Well, first, I think it all starts from the top. If you have, you know, the boss who has a mindset of, you know, managing to the numbers, am I meeting goal, am I delivering results and if not, you know, I’m going to take a harsh tone with a subordinate, that stuff, good or bad, starts at the top and it trickles all the way down through the business. And I would love to see more of a coaching mindset as opposed to a, you’re not getting the work done and you better figure it out or else, way of how we discipline people at times. And I think that’s been well, well received here. And clearly as a leadership team, you have to hold yourself to a higher standard, and if your team is not delivering on the goods and I ignore that, if I ignore a subordinate who’s a terrible boss to his people, then it really undermines, you know, my authenticity as a leader. So it’s really incumbent on me in our organization as the boss to make sure I’m putting the right management team in place that will deliver that culture all the way down to the frontline. So we do have more of a coaching mindset here. You’re right, I would say 80, 85% of our people are terrific, right? There’s always, you spend most of your time dealing with the 10 to 15% of the frontline workforce that doesn’t care, won’t get on board with the program, fight the program, won’t come to work, you know, and that’s tough when you’ve got, you know, when you have 500 or 600 employees, those folks really stood out and it was easy to sort of manage them out of the business. When you’ve got 6,000 people it’s easier to hide, you know, so you really have to find measurement methods that are equitable across the board in order to, you know, peer evaluate employees and give them feedback and coach them and ultimately, if they are having problems, put them on a path and you know, they sort of self-manage themselves out of the business.
Good for you. What else should we be thinking about or talking about, or any thought other thoughts on this topic of virtues or civility in the workspace?
Well, years and years ago, I think, you know, we, we changed the economics of virtue when we started talking about value, and everything was, you know, are we adding value, are we losing value, are we getting fair value back, and it was kind of a sad thing. I know economically, we think in terms of dollars and cents, investments, are we getting a return on invested capital, but when we talk about values, we really should be talking about virtue. And, and we need more of that conversation in the workplace about, you know, what are the kinds of virtues that we we truly identify with, you know, here. You know, one of the things we created was an Office of Philanthropic Outreach, you know, we couldn’t, as we grew, we couldn’t continue to take on, you know, everybody coming in and saying, hey, I’ve got an idea. I want to do something. We needed to be more intentional with it. But in order to actually have a good philanthropic outreach, we really had to decide, you know, you know, what are those virtues that we identify with and, you know, so we picked things like education, working to eradicate poverty, children and children’s health issues. And so who do we partner with? Well, we partner with Food for the Poor and we partner with a village in Haiti, our company makes trips four times a year down there, we fly our employees down, you know, they see the work of their generosity. So generosity is a virtue. Humility is a virtue we try to, you know, work into the workforce here and the, our outreaches are based on that. So, working with Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital and Riley’s Children’s Hospital, doing our annual airplane pool, helps connect employees to realize that there are families that are in fundamental need, and we can help those families and in turn, we can have a reflection of how fortunate we are. So gratitude becomes one of those virtues that we try to instill in the workforce. So again, it’s all symbiotic when we think about being intentional in terms of who we are and our identity and what we aspire to be and how we want to manage our people. And then how do we reflect that in our community and in the broader world, and, you know, hopefully it’s a 360 at all times back to us. And it’s all virtues based, so I’m thrilled you ladies are trying to talk more about this. I think it’s a, it’s a topic that we need discussed in the general body politic as much as we need it discussed in business. So, like, that’s the final, final challenge we have here is how do we, how do we, you know, find virtuous leaders who are willing to serve. That’s a, that’s a tough thing. And we live in a media world where we want to kill those people, I mean, we just want to tear them apart. So I don’t know. Jesus told us, they will hate you because of me. Right? You know, so we have to have the virtue of courage to, to get out there and tell the truth, even though sometimes telling the truth hurts.
Gosh, well, Bryan, thank you so much. This has really been enlightening. I’ll tell you what, it makes me want to fly Republic Airlines even more.
It sure does, me too.
Well, thank you so much. We’d be happy to have you aboard.
Thank you for not only being our guest today and sharing with our listeners, but for all that you do for our community, and it sounds like other communities and Haiti as well. So thank you so much, Bryan.
Well, you’re very welcome. Thank you for having me on today.
Our final guest is Joe Reitz. Joe is a former NFL offensive lineman for the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens for over nine years, he’s now transitioned to an Associate Wealth Management Advisor position at Northwestern Mutual. Joe, we’d love for you to share any other information about yourself you think our listeners would want to know?
Well, most importantly, I would say that, you know, I’m, I’m a man and son of God first, husband to my wife, Jill, second, third, father to my five beautiful children, Juliana, AJ, Virginia, Johnny, and Anna, and everything else comes after that. And that’s how I’ve tried to live my life, both in the NFL, you know, faith, family, football, and now in the, in the business world, you know, faith, family, and then work and trying to keep those priorities in, in order, which I know is a challenge and a struggle for all of us. So that’s something I’m trying to constantly check myself on day in and day out is how am I doing with my priorities? Where has my time gone?
Yeah. Very nice.
Wow. Well, thank you so much for including podcasting in your time. We really, really do appreciate it.
So Joe, we are considering both you and Bryan Bedford as subject matter experts in this field of virtues and civility in the workplace. How does it feel to be called a subject matter expert on virtues and civility?
Well, I would be careful to put expert next to anything next to my name. On the subject of matter, I’m a large human, so I do have a lot of matter. I think I can feel comfortable with that. But expert, I don’t know if I feel totally comfortable with that word, but I’ll do my best.
That’s great. So Joe, we would love to hear, you know, given your experience in football, and now in wealth management, what type of, kinds of situations have you personally seen or been part of where you feel like virtues or civility might have been missing in the world of work?
Well, I think, you know, civility is one going back to my days in the NFL. And that can be can be tough, right? Because you’re out there and you’re practicing really hard, and within the same team, you have a lot of guys competing for the same jobs, and there’s only 53 spots on every roster, and there’s a lot of guys that want those jobs. So how do you balance somebody that you might know one of us is going to be gone in September and not on the team, but let’s both do the best we can to help each other and help each other grow not only as football players, but as people. So that’s something that I had to balance throughout my time with the NFL, but I tell you what, I had some great mentors early on in my career that showed me the way. And then, so I always felt it was my job to reciprocate that when I became one of the older players on the team. It was my job to seek out those younger guys and try to bring them along and help them, even though it’s weird, at the end of the day, they’re probably gonna replace you and take your job someday. Because that’s, that’s all about paying it forward, and that’s, you know, no one… there’s, there’s bigger things in life than just the game of football.
Can I just say that I really love you thinking about yourself as one of the older guys? JoDee and I are looking at you thinking, oh, man, young!
I’m 33, but when you’re in the NFL, as soon as you hit 30 it’s like, old. It’s like, okay, 29, this guy’s young. He’s healthy. Now you hit 30 and it’s like, this guy’s an old guy. We got to find a younger guy to replace him. 30’s the magic number within the locker room.
So Joe, how can we as business leaders ensure or help to encourage people to be civil and and commit to our virtues and as being lived in our workplaces?
I think one, you have to lead by example. I think, you know, it doesn’t matter what you say. You know, your actions are, are worth a lot more than words. And I think sometimes I found, I heard the phrase before, there’s transformational coaching and there’s transactional coaching. And I played for a ton of great coaches, you know, some really great coaches that instilled me some life lessons I’ll take on with me for the rest of my life, I played with some coaches that only cared about winning and losing and only cared about can I do, you know, job A, B, or C for them so that they look good, so that their bottom line is good. And if you’re going to be a great leader, you’ve got to be that transformational leader, and you’re not worried about at the end of the day your bottom line, you’re worried about the people, am I making a positive impact on this person? And I think I was very fortunate to have a lot of those transformational coaches and mentors in my life. People that said, you know, Joe, I don’t care about what you do between the lines, and how you help us win or lose, I care about you as a person, and there’s a big difference. If you’re a coach, if you’re a CEO, and you walk down the hallway, and you pass, you know, let’s just say Susie, and instead of, hey, Susie, you know, that report that, you know, I told you to get in by four o’clock on Thursday, I need that by three, versus, Susie, you know, how’s your son Johnny doing? I know he had a basketball game last night, right? Those little interactions. That’s huge. And I think so often in life, we pass people in the hallway, how you doing, good, how you doing, good, versus really taking five extra seconds, being intentional, looking somebody in the eye and saying, how are you doing, you know, how’s life, you know, pausing and just, it’s amazing, I think, to me, when we pause, when we take, you know, 30 seconds, a minute, five minutes of intentional time, you might really get somebody to open up and connect with them, realize that they’re struggling with a whole lot of stuff outside of work. And if I need to kind of pause and take a break on, on riding them a little hard like I’ve been doing. We all got things going on in life, but a lot of times we bring those to work and we don’t necessarily know that. That’s where I think I’m thankful for the NFL locker room. The guys were so transparent, so open, so honest, you know, people from all walks of life, age, race, socioeconomic background, and the thing was, it didn’t matter. As long as you’re gonna play nobody cared where you were from, were you black, white, rich, poor, whatever. And I think that allowed me to connect with a lot of guys from different parts of the country who look different than me, who grew up different than me. And let me know that everybody’s got a backstory and there’s a reason why people do certain things. And I might think, you look at the world in a completely skewed way. Well, they might think I look at the world in a completely skewed way, and there’s middle ground for everybody, how can we connect those dots and get to know each other and break down some of those barriers?
Right. Well said.
That is terrific. You know, given that you’ve worked in two really different types of workplaces, anything, any differences that you can highlight or note, or maybe no differences, but between the NFL locker room and the professional world of financial advising, any differences?
I think that, you know, there’s a ton of differences, but I think really, on a macro level, there’s more similarities than differences. You know, it’s all about, you know, being a good person, doing the right thing, you know, living out virtues in the workplace. You know, if your faith is important to you, then don’t, don’t just say it, live it out. If your family is important to you, don’t just say it, live it out. It’s all about relationships. It’s all about connecting people. You know, just like, you know, when you’re lining up on Sunday and the person next to you on the offensive line, I have to know them in and out, you know, that, that trust, trustworthiness as a virtue, I have to know that, because if I trust this person, I feel good about going to them in a place where it’s gonna be super loud, we might not be able to hear each other. But you know what, I’ve been through the fires with that person, and I trust that person. Versus if you don’t have that trust, boy, that’s a world of difference. No different in the financial world, you know, people are trusting you, you know, with their money, with their futures, with their children’s futures, with their grandchildren’s futures, you know, they have to know and trust you 100% and feel comfortable with you, you know, to make some of these big picture life decisions. So I think trust is a huge one for me. The other virtue that I love is humility, and I think humility is so great because, you know, one, you know, the greatest sin is pride, right? It leads to every other sin has an association of pride with it. So how do we, you know, how do we, how do we fight against that pride? Well, we do it with the virtue of humility. And the great leaders, you know, there’s, it’s easy when you’re a great, you know, player, when you’re a great coach, when you’re CEO and everybody’s telling you how great you are, and you’re making all this money and, and ego is a tough thing to deal with. And you look at our world today, boy, there’s a, there’s a lot of egos in all walks of life. The leaders, the CEOs, the business people that have humility, that just are the salt of the earth, people that are so down to earth, that really practice that virtue. You see that in the culture of their workplaces. You know, Bryan Bedford was on here earlier. And I mean, he’s, you know, CEO of a very large, very successful corporation. I mean, I don’t know many people more humble than him, you know, and just how he serves his family, how he serves his church, how he serves others, and you get that when you talk to him. It’s no wonder, you know, when when your leaders at the top have those virtues and practice them, especially humility, that’s going to trickle down to everybody else within your business.
It’s interesting, isn’t it? All the news is about social media innovation and technology, but yet both you and Bryan talked about really the core basics of being kind to others. And both of you mentioned the power of coaching and having good role models and how it’s really the simple things that, that make the difference in our lives, right? Both professionally and personally.
Yes, very much.
Yeah. I agree. 100%.
So, Joe, any other closing thoughts or advice that you have for our listeners?
I would say one other one, you know, in going through the virtues is the virtue of peace. And peace can be really hard, especially in a society where it’s always busy, right? There’s always noise. You can’t get away from it. Social media has amplified that to the nth degree. But I think the biggest thing for me in peace is taking time to pause, to be quiet, and just spend time in prayer and reflection, and I think 5, 10 minutes of just peace and quiet of time in prayer and reflection, that goes a long way into my inner peace, which I know then, you know, gets, you know, it gets transferred out to other people I’m working with, my wife at home, my kids. If I don’t have peace inside, it’s not going to be good for any of those other relationships. So I need to make sure that, that I’m taking care of myself first and that I’m taking that time to pause to spend time in prayer and reflection, so I got the inner peace so I can go out and serve others in a positive way.
And it’s probably hard to find peace and quiet with five little ones.
I was thinking the same thing.
It’s easier for me than my wife, you know, she’s with them all day, and lord knows she gets no peace and quiet. I’m lucky, I can sneak off to work and, you know, leave five minutes early and sit in my car quietly for a little bit. So she’s really the woman that…I gotta make sure I take the crazies out of the house for a little bit so she gets some peace and quiet.
That’s great. Joe, thank you so much for joining us today.
Yes, thank you.
Great talking to you ladies.
Barbara Richmond of the consulting firm HR Impact wrote “Ten Tips for Creating Respect and Civility in the Workplace” in May of 2018 in an article that appeared on lorman.com’s website. So, JoDee, let’s go through each of these 10 tips. I think they could be useful to our listeners.
The first one is before acting, consider the impact of your words and actions on others. It’s interesting, Joe Reitz, you know, mentioned about just pausing with people and looking them in the eye and asking them how they are, right? Just sometimes it’s those very simple, nice things we can say to each other to make a difference.
Number two, create an inclusive work environment. Only by recognizing and respecting individuals’ differences and qualities can your organization fully realize its potential. You know, we talk a lot about creating diverse and inclusive workspaces. I truly do believe that organizations that do it intentionally and truly values that diversity is going to be a place where people feel like they need to treat each other right.
Now, number three, self-monitor the respect that you display in all areas of your communications, including verbal, body language, and listening. You know, we’ve heard that for many years, but doesn’t always mean that we think about it and do it.
True. I loved when Bryan said he has to really check himself and make sure that as leaders, that we’re really reflecting the virtues that we want to see in the workplace,
So number four, understand your triggers or your personal hot buttons. Knowing what makes you angry and frustrated enables you to manage your reactions and respond in a more appropriate manner. One of the things I think is good with that is if there’s something that, you know, drives you nuts, like if somebody looking at their cell phone during a meeting drives you nuts, tell the group, hey, as we get started here, I want you to know one of my pet peeves is people looking at their cell phone while we’re talking, so let’s not do that right. Get it – put it on the table.
Number five, take responsibility for your actions and practice self-restraint and anger management skills in responding to potential conflicts. Yeah, sometimes we just need to walk out of the room or take a deep breath or practice a meditation. You know, I have Positivity and I still get angry at times, right, and, and try and focus on that deep, deep breathing.
Smart. Number six, adopt a positive and solution-driven approach in resolving conflicts. That’s easy for us who have Positivity, right, that we come at it from that direction, but really persist and make it contagious so that we all look at the solution… stop looking at the problem for so long, we start moving toward the solution.
Right. Number seven, rely on the facts rather than assumptions. Gather relevant facts, especially before acting on assumptions that can damage relationships. To me, that’s… the number one rule of giving good feedback, or what I like to call feed forward information, right, is to not make assumptions, to have conversations, to, to comment on perceptions or observations, and, and ask about assumptions first.
Number eight, include others in your focus by considering their needs and avoiding the perception that you view yourself as the center of the universe. I think that, was it Joe who talked about humility, was that ego is a huge problem. And so as leaders in our organizations, we got to remember we are not that center of the universe.
Right, right. Number nine, view today’s difficult situations from a broader big picture and more realistic perspective by considering what they mean in the overall scheme of things. I really like that one and it makes me think back, do we view ourselves as the center of the universe, you know, maybe we need to take a bigger view of the situation outside of ourselves.
And then number 10, our final one is each one influence one by becoming a bridge builder and role model for civility and respect. Act in a manner whereby you respect yourself, demonstrate respect for others, and take advantage of every opportunity to be proactive in promoting civility and respect in your workplace. It’s kind of like be the change in the world you want to see. Right?
Yeah, nice. Well said.
Okay, so JoDee, we do have a listener question.
Yes, we had a question from one of our listeners who completed one of our evaluation forms in order to get SHRM credit. She asked, “How do you handle office dating and what is allowed?”
I love this question, because I do get it a lot. We know that many people have found their partner in the workplace. You know, you spend so much of your waking hours in that workplace, it’s no surprise that you tend to form attractions and relationships, and some of the happiest marriages I know… actually, I found my husband, we worked together in a toy store.
Oh, I didn’t know that!
Yeah, there was a toy and hobby store and I was up front doing the crafts and the games and he was in the back doing the hobbies. And I always tell him, we fell in love in the Fisher Price aisle, which was halfway between the front and the back of the store. So…
But I will tell you that we as HR professionals and business leaders, we really do want to have a policy about this, because if for any reason a manager is dating somebody who’s on his or her team, or you’re in the chain of command of some – if one of the persons is in the other person’s chain of command, it just can wreak havoc in the organization, primarily because those who are not in the relationship can look at it and feel like maybe there’s some unfair treatment or privileges given to the person who happens to be dating or in, in a relationship with someone at the higher level, if the person the higher level controls the other person’s wages or hours or benefits or promotional opportunities, you’re really – the perception of a conflict of interest exists, and it can be very dangerous. I guess and the other point that is a risk issue is, if the relationship does go sour at some point, the person who is in the lower level position could make a claim or file a charge that they were forced into that relationship in order to keep their job, in order to get a promotion, to get the wages they needed, whatever it was, they could feel as though they had been pushed or forced into the situation and they’re the victim of sexual harassment.
Right. No one ever thinks it’s going to end that way, but best to just avoid it.
Exactly. So I would look to put in a policy, and there’s many good sample policies on this. You could use – talk to an HR consultant, you could go out and take a look at shrm.org if you’re a member to see that some sample language you might want to use, but the fact is, I think that at a minimum, you should have a policy that bars any type of romantic relationship more than a personal relationship between anyone who’s in the same chain of command where there’s a person potentially at a higher level with a person at the lower level in that type of relationship, and then there’s going to be some others that you might say, you know what, just based on the role that person has, maybe they’re the auditor, maybe they’re in HR, that you just don’t want to have that person engaged in a romantic relationship. So I would have some type of a policy there when it comes to dating. And these are two people in the organization who don’t have any control over each other’s work or each other’s careers. You may say it’s all right, and… but you want to be clear about it so that people don’t run afoul of that, you know, inadvertently by your not having communicated what the organization really needs.
Right. Well, and I think too, if just two peers who are dating if at all possible, that they can be in different departments or different, you know, roles in the organization can be helpful too. But I agree, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have a policy around that.
Great. And then JoDee, we have best practice sharing for today’s podcast. We asked our podcast listeners in our February 26, 2019 JoyPowered® newsletter, what are your favorite non-traditional settings for meetings? And some things that we heard which I thought were really kind of inspiring for me, one was, “I really enjoy when I’m having a meeting if I’m able to do a walk talk.” So instead of having to go sit somewhere and potentially consume calories that I do not need, I’m out actually burning calories, having a hopefully a good networking discussion, or whatever the particular meeting’s about. There was an article in the Wall Street Journal dated February 20, 2019, entitled “Three Scary Words: Walk with Me.” It was by Te-Ping Chen. And what was interesting was how common these walk talks had been getting that you have to think about, if you’re especially a female and you like to wear high heels, you know, could today be a day where the boss says, come walk with me, and you find yourself walking outside in the woods, you’re walking out on pavement, you got to think about that.
It’s funny. We also heard from a listener that she really enjoyed anywhere that there was a good cup of coffee. So making sure that meeting was somewhere, that may be in a coffee shop or some other place where you could sit down and really let your hair down and have good discussions.
I get a lot of requests for that anymore, just meeting at a coffee shop, and I’ve been getting more and more… I don’t know if I didn’t pay as much attention to them before or I just didn’t attend them. But now that I’m an empty nester, I’m getting more requests for meetings, for a cocktail after work is typically more of a casual type meeting, but certainly still professional meetings or networking opportunities. That is another way to do that as well.
That’s great. Yeah, I think that it’s important when you set up meetings to think about does it always make sense to meet at my office or their office, is there some way that we can make this maybe a little more enjoyable? And tell you what, you got me at happy hour.
So we’re ready for in the news. Today’s in the news topic is a little bit hairy, I think, JoDee. I continue to be fascinated with how progressive the employment landscape is in New York City. It’s a good place to watch as it could be the start of many a trend across the nation. In February 2019, coming out of New York City was some guidance prohibiting firing or demoting employees who wear hairstyles reflecting their culture. Employers are also prohibited from refusing to hire based on hairstyle for companies that have four or more employees.
The new rule is not only for hair on top of your head, but also beards, and specifically protects workers with religious beliefs about uncut hair, including Jews, Muslims, Native Americans, Nazarites, Rastafarians, and Sikhs. If an employer can demonstrate a truly legitimate health care or safety need to require hair nets or specific hair grooming, the rules must apply to everyone equally. A violation can result in a penalty up to $250,000.
Wow, interesting. Yeah. Well, we certainly see lots of different hairstyles anymore, so…
We do, we do and I think one of the basics that we used to always think about when I was with a very large employer is that we just wanted people neatly groomed. We wanted clean.
And neatly groomed. But the fact is, we want to maybe if you, if you’re looking at this New York City rule, you might want to take a pause and decide before you get aggressive on that. If there is a religious belief, maybe you need to ask why the person is coming to work with facial hair that’s ungroomed, unkempt, or unclean.
I think that that definition of hairstyles reflecting their culture, I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t want to be the one to have to make that decision or to think about that decision, about how that applied.
Yeah, this could be challenging.
Yeah. Yeah. Well, if you haven’t signed up yet for our JoyPowered® newsletter to keep up to date on our podcasts, books, and blogs, please do so. The easiest way to sign up is on our homepage, www.getjoypowered.com.
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