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Champion Leadership Blog

Small Business Owners & Employees Tolerate a Lot! Stop It!

Sometimes the simplest things are the best, aren’t they?

One of the things I enjoy most is to sit in my screened-in front porch and watch the local birds fly in and land on the rim of our bird bath on our front lawn.

Sometimes they jump in and flap their wings to clean up and fly away, sometimes they jump in and out like a little kid, and sometimes they just hang out on the rim for awhile.

One of the simplest things in coaching that is absolutely the best is a thing called the “tolerations” exercise.

It was created, I believe, by the founder of modern coaching Thomas Leonard back in the early 1990s.

Recently, conversations I’ve had with some clients and also prospective clients have led me back to that exercise.

And, something I noticed in my own behavior.

My wife and I have an old SUV. It’s 12 years old and we’re hanging on to it ‘til we can order a Tesla. It may be a while.

For about six months the clip on the driver side seatbelt was constantly falling all the way down to the floor behind the seat.

SeatBeltButton1It was driving my wife crazy.

Me, I just tolerated it and didn’t even think about trying to figure out the problem to try to fix it.

One day my wife comes home and says, “the SUV’s seat belt is fixed.”

I said, “really, I didn’t know it was broken.

She then pulled out her IPhone and showed me the before and after pictures, here.
I guess there is a little button on the strap that keeps the clip from sliding all the way down.SeatBeltButton2

Who knew?

It wasn’t costing us any money or time so it wasn’t important to me.

I probably would have tolerated it forever.

But, I am curious as to why business owners continue to tolerate workplace attitudes, behaviors, and performance that do cost real dollars and cents.

Some of the things people have been tolerating I’ve been asked about helping with recently, include:

  • Employee conflict/arguments in the workplace
  • Passive-aggressive behavior
  • Poor communication that causes duplicate work or rework
  • Lack of accountability
  • Lack of punctuality
  • Sitting through boring, worthless meetings
  • Elephants/Gorillas in the room no one is acknowledging or addressing

What things are being tolerated in your workplace?

Leave a comment below and let’s start cleaning up our tolerations!

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

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