Silent Endorsement

What we ignore, we endorse.

Think about how many times you’ve seen behaviors that you find distressing (at home, at work or in public).  The child getting slapped by the angry parent, the bullying employee/supervisor that others fear, or the elderly person who needs help while everyone just looks in the other direction.

Yes. We all have these experiences. Our choice is simple.  Do I take a stand or do I endorse the behavior/situation by ignoring it?

In the workplace, if you are a supervisor you do not have a choice.  You’ve been paid and trusted not to endorse behaviors that are counter-productive to your culture, your norms, your expectations.

The problem is that we are used to looking the other way. It’s a quick fix easy solution that allows us to maintain our comfort. Yet for a company to do well (by it’s employees, consumers and the public), supervisors must never look away.  A leader must keep all behaviors in the spotlight, for it is in the spotlight that we shine. When it comes to negative behaviors, once the spotlight is removed, some people mistake that for endorsement.

3 things a leader can do to ensure they are not endorsing behaviors that are counter-productive to the culture:

  1. Positive reinforcement: recognize behaviors that your employee demonstrates that you do want to consistently see and experience.
  2. Discover their value: recognize the value each employee brings to your team. Then see #1. Lather, rinse, repeat.
  3. Address behaviors that do not meet expectations. It’s not about you. It’s not about your comfort. It’s about your obligation to your employees, your company and your consumers.

As a leader, what are some of the most difficult behaviors for you to address within your organization?  We promise, we won’t ignore you!