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Champion Leadership Blog

Small Business Owners & Employees Tolerate a Lot in the Workplace

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 that small business owners have been tolerating in their work environment that they’ve asked my help with recently, include:

  • Employee conflict/arguments in the workplace
  • Passive-aggressive behavior, blaming, deflecting when confronted with accountability problems.
  • Poor communication that causes duplicate work or rework
  • Lack of job performance accountability
  • Lack of punctuality on the job, either getting to work on time or to customer appointments on time.
  • Negative attitudes, resistance to change

What things are you tolerating in your workplace?

If you’d like to explore ways to break through your toleration and procrastination on those or similar issues at your company, go here to learn how to get help.

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

‘til next time, remember, Communicate With Power!

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