Work Life: Changing a Culture of Blame

I recently relocated my family to Denver from the East Coast for a pretty significant promotion – significant enough for us to pack u and move 2,000 miles! While I fully expected a learning curve in my new position, I was not prepared for the “culture of blame” I was about to be submerged in.

I should start with what my leadership style is:

  • I believe in setting people up for success
    • Give them the tools they need to succeed
    • Show them how to do what is expected of them
    • Be available to answer questions and provide guidance (aka know how to do the job you expect them to do)
  • I believe in holding people accountable
    • Don’t let people continue to do something wrong or incorrectly. Provide constructive feedback so they can take corrective action
    • Set attainable goals
    • Monitor progress
  • Give praise
    • People like to know what they are doing well. Don’t bombard someone with only constructive feedback. Give praise when deserved
  • Don’t expect overnight change
    • If you step into a role where process and procedures have been not up to standard for quite some time, don’t expect to fix it all overnight
    • Set realistic goals
  • Communicate
    • Provide status updates to all involved
    • Manage up and down
    • Everyone likes to know what is going on, not just upper leadership

That, in a nutshell, is my personal leadership style. That is how I spent the prior 2 years leading people. What I walked into at my new gig was “so-and-so has no experience doing XYZ, they might not be good for that task”. “I don’t think so-and-so understands what they are doing”. “I’m tired of doing their work for them.”

OK….so teach them.

An almost uncomfortable conversation was had in the middle of the hallway in which I had to defend my new staff that I barely know against someone that was barraging them with negativity. I stood my ground on my leadership style and said (in my most professional way), “I believe that I can teach others how to excel in in their role in a way that will guide them to future success. I believe in giving people the tools they need to succeed, and I will do just that with this staff. I have been down this road before, it is not something that is unattainable.”

My philosophy was not appreciated but honestly, I didn’t care. I realized then that I now work in a culture of blame and I need to do what I can to change that culture. Some of my ideas for attaining this goal is:

  • Rounding
  • Sitting down with each individual and going over what their role is
  • Identify strengths and areas for improvement
  • Be available
  • Set standards and raise the bar over time
  • BE FRIENDLY!

I have to be realistic that things won’t change overnight, but I’m optimistic for the future.

What are some of your ideas for improving a culture of blame?

Welcome!

I first stumbled upon the blog community about 4 years ago while on a quest to find a specific DIY post I saw on Pinterest. I did eventually find the post, but not before pulling myself out of the blog rabbit hole I fell into. I’m not complaining – I loved reading how real people were developing real solutions to real, everyday issues! I continued to read blogs in my free time; everything from recipes to debt reduction crossed my screen, and I felt encouraged that I too could conquer similar feats.

After time, I realized that the majority of the blogs I was reading fell into one of two categories: stay-at-home mom blogs or corporate exec blogs. I fell into neither category, and at the time, I had no children. So although I related to the topics in some of the posts, I never felt  “hey, this person is just like me!” It was the lack of this very feeling that sparked the dream of The Gypsy Professional, though it would take a few more years to become a reality.

Fast-forward to 2017. Now I have found myself as one of many others in a similar situation: working mom with career aspirations, trying hard to find a healthy  balance. The only difference is that my family is newly formed and blended (to be discussed later) and I have several cross country moves under my belt (also another story for another day). Where are the blogs that discuss this life? That talk about how to balance human resources with homework, dinner with deadlines, and family time with overtime? Where are the blogs that outline how to keep communication with your partner going, while also not collapsing from exhaustion each night? Where are the blogs about how to be a newly formed full-time step-parent to a child who only had one biological parent present?

Here it is – this is that blog.

I created The Gypsy Professional to share my journey and to encourage and inspire others. I’ll share the good, the bad, and the downright ugly to let you know that this is real life, my life. I encourage and welcome feedback. I’m still figuring this out as I go, and would love to hear how others are making it work for themselves!

Enjoy!