Tribe is defined as “a group of people, or a community with similar values or interests, a group with a common ancestor, or a common leader” (https://www.yourdictionary.com/tribe). We all have our tribes and play different roles depending on which tribes we are a part of. Your core tribe is the group of people that sustain you during the good, bad and ugly times. Other tribes develop through work and social relationships. Tribes are different from your regular relationships and acquaintances. Knowing who is in your tribe helps you to define safe spaces, safe conversations where you ideate, get feedback or just plain old get the truth (even if you won’t like it).
Your tribe is yours not because you were born into it but because you chose it. Choosing it happens organically, over time and irrespective of distance. No matter what tribe you are a part of, or how many people are in it, there are four core elements that are always present and will help you know who truly is in your tribe:
• Support: Not the fake “I am here for you” kind. The kind that gets in the car, picks you up and says “we are getting through this together.”
• Encouragement: Not the cheerleaders…… The ones that are actually pushing you to build your dreams, tell you that you can do it and go to all things that you invite them to and say great job, do it again. Think mom & dad going to your first dance, piano, or other such recitals that are pretty much epic and not at all what we want them to be. They told you that you were great (even though now you know better). That is real encouragement.
• Truth: That friend or family member you love, and then you hate because they DID NOT tell you what you wanted to hear but what you NEEDED to hear. You know who they are.
• Connectors: Those people that come to mind first when you need to figure something out and don’t know where to start. They know people, places and can get you going in the right direction and will not take advantage of you or your questions for their enjoyment.
Mental Health and Work
We have talked about keeping your balance. In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, here are several short podcasts originally shared through the Harvard Business review on mental health and work, being the "only" one and other great candid conversations from leaders on keeping the balance and getting help and support when there is none. I want to thank MaryAnn Cruz, super awesome business coach, for pointing me in this direction! It takes a village. If you would like to know MaryAnn, you can learn more at maryanncruz.co
The Anxious Achiever: Rethink Mental Health at Work with Candid Stories from Leaders Who've Been there
So, what are you doing for you today? For me, today I took some time off this AM from my work to spend the day with one of my good friends. Connecting with friends and loved ones is an awesome way to recharge and get perspective. Next up on the blog list: Let's talk about your Tribe.
While it is true that employees with some frequency change jobs, and sometimes roles within a company, to get away from a non-functioning relationship with a manager, there are times when employees leave the company culture. Company cultures have personalities, quirks and nuances that make them unique. No two are alike and like managers, sometimes the cultures are not self-aware or a good fit for high performing individuals.
Company cultures evolve, develop and change just like managers grow and develop through experiences. Company cultures, however, evolve based on what is perceived as values by employees and leaders. Sure, companies have their mission and vision to define value and goals but these values are colored by the myriad of personalities and interpretations within a company. Sometimes, the culture, as defined, is aspirational, while in action it’s a lot muddier and difficult to navigate.
It’s easy to say that people leave their managers. However, when you see a series of high performing individuals leave, you have to ask the question, is it really management or is this a symptom of our culture? This is not an easy question to ask when companies set values such as inclusive, collaborative, supportive, and innovative. In an age where diversity and inclusion are buzz words, companies really promote the positive aspects of their eco system and may turn a blind eye to other symptoms within the environment that may be reflective of unhealthy behaviors that are inadvertently supported by the culture.
Self- awareness is not something that applies to individuals, it also applies to companies. Companies, through their leadership teams, need to have a full understanding of what employees perceive the culture in action to be. Having real dialogue with employees about how they perceive the culture and being vulnerable enough to ask the tough questions: “are we really collaborative; do you feel included AND that you belong; do you think others feel like they belong; in our supportive environment, do you think you have a voice?; is there anything that gives you angst about working here?” and not discounting these as individual experiences, but really taking in the information and identifying themes will give leaders the opportunity to get a sense for how the culture, in action, is affecting employees.
So, leaders, ready to start a real dialog about company culture?