1: Getting better at getting better is what RiseWithDrew is all about.

Monday through Thursday, we explore ideas from authors, thought leaders, and exemplary organizations.  On Friday, I share something about myself or what we are working on at PCI.

1: Hi, this is Drew Clancy.  My RiseWithDrew blog is all about learning, growth, and development.  I call it: Getting better at getting better.

Creating an engaging workplace culture can seem mysterious.

But it’s not, Daniel Coyle tells us in his book The Culture Code.

Daniel spent four years researching and investigating eight of the world’s most successful groups, including a special-ops military unit, an inner-city school, a professional basketball team, a movie studio, a comedy troupe, and even a gang of jewel thieves.

What did all his research reveal? 

Workplace culture is something we do.  Not something we are.

2: “Cultures are created by a specific set of skills,” Daniel writes. 

As leaders, we must do three specific things to build a dynamic workplace culture and high-performing teams.  We need to (i) build psychological safety, (ii) be willing to be vulnerable, and (iii) establish purpose for our group or team. 

Daniel found that when leaders lead in this way, teams behave in a remarkably consistent manner.

  • Close physical proximity, often in circles 
  • Profuse amounts of eye contact 
  • Physical touch (handshakes, fist bumps, hugs) 
  • Lots of short, energetic exchanges (no long speeches) 
  • High levels of mixing; everyone talks to everyone 
  • Lots of questions
  • Intensive, active listening
  • Humor, laughter
  • Small, attentive courtesies (thank-yous, opening doors, etc.)

3: At PCI, our extended leadership team, which includes everyone who manages a team, has been reading and discussing The Culture Code.  During our meeting this week, we broke into smaller groups and had all of our leaders share their specific strategies to create psychological safety.  It was a great session with lots of sharing of best practices. 

More next week!


Reflection: As a leader, do I take steps to create psychological safety on my team?  How often do I share a mistake I made or a weakness?

Action: Discuss with a colleague.

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