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Can you handle the 90-day challenge?

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in Leaders & Managers,People Management

Looking to build trust with your team? Start with an experiment.

Commit to going 90 days without complaining, criticizing or condemning. And if you’re really serious about creating a more trustworthy culture, enlist your senior executive team to join you in this 90-day challenge.

When leaders hear about this exercise, they typically reply, “No way” or ”I won’t make it 90 days. I won’t make it 90 minutes.”

By abstaining from the three C’s, you will enhance your communication skills. Employees want to work for someone whom they respect, and it’s hard to think highly of a leader who berates and bellyaches.

Consider how it feels to chat with complainers. You want to escape before their tirade dampens your mood. And you probably think, “That’s not very professional.”

To avoid complaining, skip to solutions. Focus on what steps you and your colleagues can take to improve the status quo.

When you’re tempted to criticize, offer supportive input. What’s the difference? Criticism harps on the negative, while constructive feedback provides a positive road map for better results.

Finally, avoid condemning people with a sweeping generalization. Labeling someone as “weak” or “naïve” can leave lasting scars.

The next time you’re about to condemn someone’s actions or behavior, stop and stay silent. Ask yourself, “What’s to gain?”

— Adapted from “Are You Poisoning the Workplace?,” John Butruccio Jr.

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