Leave Your Baggage Behind

Leave Your Baggage Behind is a piece featured on Intereum’s blog site, betterwaystowork.com. The article and video kicks off a beginning to a new relationship with Employee Strategies and Intereum. 

Human behavior is complex.  We work with individuals from all walks of life and spend hours upon hours trying to understand their behavior and how it relates to a leader, a purpose, and a workplace.  Within our discipline of Organization Development, we, in effect, become like medical doctors of the workplace.  While this simile falls apart the more you unravel it, it works to explain some basic premises of our work.  Essentially, our clients present a problem and we work to address that problem or the root cause of the symptom that may exist a few layers below the surface.

A few years ago, we had a client that was moving across town.  By outgrowing their existing space, it became necessary to find a bigger office.  The move and the senior leader were met with some serious resistance.  The leader couldn’t understand why.  In his mind, he saw an expensive new office with more collaborative space, furniture that wasn’t forty years old, and closer proximity to some fun restaurants.   The logic didn’t add up and he couldn’t understand why his team wasn’t excited about the move.  So, he called us.

As we sat down over breakfast, he explained that people were furious about the move.  In his mind, the presenting symptom/problem was that employees were losing their private offices.  In our discussion, we talked about the lack of trust he was being afforded.  His organization didn’t trust him to make a series of decisions in their best interest.  The prevailing symptom to address wasn’t the loss of a private office, but rather the lack of trust between employees and the leadership team.  We decided to work together and we started a “Leave Your Baggage Behind” campaign.  The play on words to the campaign was intended to be lighthearted, but also address the very real concerns that had been festering for years.

One of my favorite quotes comes from Stephen Covey, “To listen well is the psychological equivalent of giving air to someone who is oxygen-deprived. It meets a deep, profound human need.”

Read full article on betterwaystowork.com

Blogging by J. Forrest