Accountability is something we take seriously in the office. When someone does something wrong or is not in line with our values in the team, we call them out. We confront those people and serve them by telling them to do what is right instead.
As of late, I have had the chance to do that to a couple of individuals in the team. How they react and make up for it makes a world of difference and reveals the heart of those people.
This is why I just love God’s Word. It gives unsurpassed wisdom even in dealing with, managing and leading people – which is critical for business.
“Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. “ – 2 Corinthians 7:8-10
In this verse, the apostle Paul confronts the believers in Corinth who were in the midst of the most sinful people during that time. They realized their mistake and repented. This godly sorrow led to real change in their lives that resulted to them doing amazing things for the Lord.
However worldly sorrow is being sorry that you have been caught. This will result in you doing the same mistake again or, worse yet, making sure that you don’t get caught doing the wrong things next time.
One of those people I confronted had worldly sorrow. The person was sorry for being caught and then proceeded to ever-so-subtly share his/her ill-feelings to other people in the team. Causing a form of divide in the team.
Small minded people that listen to gossip such as that, will of course, empathize with this person (our team scores very high on the empathy scale as we are a 100% millenial/centennial team). While people with the mission at heart will know that what this person is doing is wrong and proceed to spit the gossip and gossiper out.
The amazing thing about our team culture is that it automatically detects cancer cell employees and attacks it until it is expelled from the body.
It is just sad that cancer cell employees, like real cancer cells in the medical industry, are cells that have turned rogue, causes the entire body to get sick through its toxicity, and just wouldn’t die.
And like real cancer treatments, where you have to undergo therapy and lifestyle change to get better, you also have to go through the painful process of losing a friend and reminding others that this ‘friend’ is causing all of us at work to get sick by influencing our environment to become toxic.
A person who is earning from his job to feed himself and his family, and is trying to bring his own company down through ill-feelings, gossip and slander is one of the worst people to have in your circle of friends. Because the moment that person has some form of ill feelings towards you, he will gossip about you too.
So why would you want to keep them anyway?
If I know something in my journey to success in business, it is to routinely check your circle of friends to be a circle that helps you succeed, not a circle of gossip and gossipers.
My advice to people who have ill-feelings towards being confronted by management is this: Instead of finding out who was responsible in ratting you out for the wrong things you did, sincerely repent and change and learn from the confrontation. Otherwise, you will be better off looking for another place to work.
Some other place where a culture of gossip is the norm.
Organizational Health is one of the most important things in doing business. I have personally experienced this. Investing and believing in people – the right people – is the only way that you will ever have a great company that you truly enjoy.
So how do you improve your organizational health? And how do you know if your organization is not healthy?
The first signs that your organization is not healthy are:
- Office Politics
- Low Productivity
- Blurred Communication
- Unresolved Conflict
- Transparency is minimal
- Leadership is not cohesive
If one or more of this is present in your organization, you have an unhealthy organization and you need help in transforming it.
Note: If you think you need a consultant to help you in any one of these, please do get in touch with me for the solution.
A healthy organization has these things:
- Minimal Politics
- Minimal Confusion
- High Morale
- High Productivity
- Low Turnover
One of the ways you can change the health of your organization is by being intentional with your company culture. Unfortunately, there is no one easy way to do this. The good news is, there is a systematic way to tackle it but you have to get your hands messy.
You have to dig deep in the mud of people’s hearts.
You see, the problem of most executives and managers today, is the thought that dealing with the emotions of people in the company is beneath them. That office drama and conflict or disagreements (however healthy) is beneath them – or is something that should be resolved by itself.
The truth is, these things will not be automatically resolved. We have to get down on our knees, get our hands in the mud, and cultivate a healthy organization through intentionally shaping the company culture.
Patrick Lencioni says that company culture is like faith.
There is a prescribed way to live life. It’s all in the Bible. And it requires daily discipline. However people think that it’s so simple that they tell themselves “There must be another way.”
Then they go ahead and try what they think will work – but they end up having a miserable life.
There is a prescribed way to impact the organization to a healthier degree. Have a daily discipline to shape your company culture intentionally. However, it seems so simple that executives and managers tell themselves that there must be another way.
So they slap on an ERP or some cutting-edge software or working standard in place – thinking that it’s a one-time set and forget setup that will make everything better.
They do what they think will work – but it ends up making the organization worse.
Organizational health is not about the processes, or systems or software or ways of working. It’s all about the heart of the people. How much of their heart at work is aligned to the vision of the company.
Gossip and Slander are two sly sins that make it through to the list of bad habits in the Bible. Have you ever experienced being on the bad end of these? Are you going to admit if you’re a usual participant in them? What’s so bad about gossip and slander?
I’ve been through a ton of pruning and stretching with my character these past few weeks. This is perhaps one of the experiences I have grown to know the most during this season of my life from the most unexpected people.
Slowly but Surely
Metal is probably one of the most common, tough building materials we have. You most probably will not be able to break one in two, or poke a hole in it with your bare hands. It’s absurd to think that you can shatter metal into pieces even if you slam it on hard, concretely cemented floor.
But what happens when you splash raw metal with water and leave it out on the open? Rust begins to form. It is harmless at first and can be brushed off easily. However if you leave the rust to its business, it will eat the metal up. No matter how strong a metal it is, it will slowly but surely become even more brittle than glass.
Gossip and Slander does not slam or break or poke a relationship. It grows little by little. Biding its time through the mouths of those who are willing to participate and ‘chip in‘ to whoever started the discussion. The thing about gossip and slander is that it is exceptionally intertwined with negative emotions.
This works especially with bitterness, hate, jealousy, despise and anger. Let these things sink in your heart and gossip and slander will seem like the juiciest meat you will ever get your teeth on.
“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends.” – Proverbs 16:2
In short, people who start gossip and slander are more often than not, people who are driven by negative emotions.
A Question of Character
I used to think that gossip and slander is something that are for ignorant and cowardice people. People who cannot confront friends, parents, leaders, etc. But I have come to the recent understanding that it stems really from character and integrity.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts–murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” – Matthew 15:19
Even those people who are not ignorant and who are considered as men and women of courage fall into slander. Why?
Because it is so easy to participate in gossip and slander if you have no conscious effort in holding your ground against it.
And like how it will eat up relationships, gossip and slander will also eat up your character. It pushes you to embrace compromise. To look down on other people. To have a negative prejudicial notion of strangers. And as the saying goes: “Who are we to judge?”
“Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.” – James 4:11
Chances are, you’re not even sure if what you are slandering/gossiping about the person is even true. You just want to get the approval of your peers and inflict as much negativity to the person of your gossip/slander.
Letting Bad Have its Way
Often we are hearers of gossip and slander. It comes our way. While it is true that respect is a virtue highly valued by society, here is a virtue that should be regarded as even higher than that:
“Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people. “Do not stand idly by when your neighbor’s life is threatened. I am the LORD.” – Leviticus 19:16
Taking action against sin. If you hear slander and gossip being spread out by your friend, your relative, your teammate, or what have you, take the time to set that person aside and ask them, “Why do you need to say these things against this person? Don’t you know that slander and gossip separates close friends?”
Zero Sum Game
In the end, gossip and slander will not lead to a desirable ending. If you have a problem with someone, man up. Take your problem directly to that person. Confront the conflict.
“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.” – Matthew 18:15
This is the right way to end a conflict. Not to spread rumors, gossips and slander to people who you know will join your cause – however good it may make you feel.
Gossip and Slander is sin. Face the facts.
If you know in your heart that this is your struggle, or if you have been a recent participant/starter of it – end it. Take a stand.
It’s a zero-sum-game.
Wouldn’t you like to really “win” next time?
“…If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
How would you know if a person is wise or humble? Sometimes humility can come out wrong. Wisdom and humility goes hand in hand. It cannot separate. There are people whom we deem as humble but in reality they are not. There are people who are skilled role-players in the stage of humility and wisdom and people can’t notice the difference. We can say “No, no, please don’t praise me” but deep inside we’re in cloud 9 with pride. There are certain traits of a wise and humble person and for this post, I’m going to talk about the first 3.
A wise and humble person will not defend himself twice | It’s knowing you’ve made yourself clear
When someone is accused, the natural reaction is for that person is to defend himself. A humble person would make himself clear when accused. He will make sure that the accuser and other people would get his point and then keep silent. If the accuser or the people would still throw accusations at him/her, he would keep his mouth shut because he knows that he’s already made his/her point and it’s no use repeating it. He won’t defend himself twice if he knows he’s already made it clear – look at Jesus’ example.
In staying silent, Jesus showed the people His difference from any other person. He was different. His wisdom and humility was enacted when He chose to keep silent in spite of all the untrue, illogical, contradicting and unbalanced accusations hurled at Him. It’s because He knows that He’s made Himself clear. He knows He doesn’t have to repeat Himself.
A wise and humble person keeps silent on gossip and slander | The truth will always come out
When accused and gossiped about, a wise and humble person would stay silent. He would not fight back with his own accusations or his own sets of gossip. He wouldn’t even try to defend himself if he knows that the gossip is false and the accusations are unreal. Why? Because he knows the truth and whatever happens, the truth will always come out. It will always reveal itself in the right time.
A wise and humble person rarely talks about his/herself | because he seeks the attitude and wisdom of another person in order to gain more wisdom
Talking about yourself will make the other person know you more – which is good. There’s no problem about talking about yourself if you’re building relationships. But you can build stronger ones when you let the other person do the talking and you do the listening. There are a lot of talkers in this world and very few listeners. In fact listeners are endangered species in our democracy-rich planet. Wherever you go, people want to talk about themselves in order for them to be loved and fill that void in them that longs for love.
A wise and humble person lets other people do the talking because he knows that they need a listener and he knows that somehow he can get to build stronger relationships and gain more wisdom in listening rather than in talking about himself.
Isn’t it so easy nowadays to say things to another person, especially with the use of technology? Sometimes we don’t even think twice anymore when we send a text message from our cellphones or a personal message from our ym. It has become so easy to criticize a person or to say somethings you don’t really mean. Sometimes we carelessy say things to blow off some steam because it makes us FEEL better. And technology has aided that part of our human nature.
I realized that controlling your tongue starts with controlling your mind. Nowadays we don’t use our tongue much anymore. We use our fingers to type and text. Now it’s “Tame the fingers” rather than “Tame the tongue”
Maybe you’re wondering why I made this blog. It was September 22, 2008 and I was just really upset because of someone who I’ve done so much for but apparently that person doesn’t appreciate or maybe that person just lacks a good sense of gratitude. I am really really upset beyond words by how that person have acted toward me today. And I thought about blowing off some steam here in my blog or in my YM status and I thought about it hard in the bus because I rode home alone so I had a lot of time to think.
It’s so easy to “Flame” that person or anyone for that matter with our technology now. It’s so easy to disregard any good thoughts about that person and just criticize and demoralize that person in front of all of your contacts in that social site you’re part of (Like multiply and facebook for example) and get away with it.
Then I remembered pastor Dennis Sy, my mentor and my friend in Christ and pastor L.A. whom I look up to as well. I read their blogs and I realized that everything that they put there are encouragements and things to get people pumped up in their faith. And then I stopped and thought “Should I still blog about what I am feeling?” Feelings can be treacherous and that feeling of mine in the bus was one of those misleading feelings.
Even if it would help me blow off steam and satisfy my being upset and disappointed, it would definitely not help my relationship with the person I’m “Flaming” (That’s my term for bashing or grinding with hurtful words or “Nagpaparinig” – all of those) and it would not solve anything. All the good times that I’ve had with that person were disregarded when I was on the bus but now when I think about it, it’s not worth “Flaming” that person over what that person has done for a week or two.
I was reviewing the book “How to win friends and influence people.” by Dale Carnegie (Which is probably the ultimate book in dealing with people. It is superb and I am not exaggerating one bit) And it reminded me of Lincoln’s story when he had general Lee within his hand’s grasp.
Taken from the Book: “How to win friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
Yet if any man ever had the occasion to criticize, surely it was Lincoln. Let’s take just one illustration:
The battle of Gettysburg was fought during the first three days of July 1863. During the night of July 4, Lee began to retreat southward while storm clouds deluged the country with rain. When lee reached the Potomac with his defeated army, he found the swollen, impassable river in front of him and a victorious Union Army behind him and. Lee was in a trap. He couldn’t escape. Lincoln saw that. Here was a golden, heaven-sent opportunity – the opportunity to capture Lee’s army and end the war immediately. So, with the surge of high hope, Lincoln ordered Meade not to call a council of war but to attack Lee immediately.
Lincoln telegraphed his orders and then sent a special messenger to Meade demanding immediate action.
And what did general Meade do? He did the very opposite of what he was told to do. He called a council of war in direct violation of Lincoln’s order. He hesitated. He procrastinated. He telegraphed all manner of excuses. He refused point-blank to attack Lee. Finally, the waters receded and Lee escaped over the Potomac with his forces.
Lincoln was furious “What does this mean?” Lincoln cried to his son Robert “Great God what does this mean? We had them within our grasp, and had only to stretch forth our hands and they were ours; yet nothing that I could say or do could make the army move. Under the circumstances, almost any general could have defeated Lee. If I had gone up there, I could have whipped him myself.”
In bitter disappointment, Lincoln sat down and wrote Meade this letter. And remember, at this period of his life, Lincoln was extremely conservative and restrained in his phraseology. So this letter coming from Lincoln in 1863 was tantamount to the severest rebuke.
My dearest general,
I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee’s escape. He was within our easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely. If you could not attack Lee last monday, how can you possibly do so south of the river, when you can take with you very few- no more than two-thirds of the force you then had in hand? It would be unreasonable to expect and I do not expect that you can now effect much. Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasurably because of it.
What do you suppose Meade did when he read the letter?
Meade never saw that letter, Lincoln never mailed it. It was found among his papers after his death.
My guess is- and this is only a guess- that after writing that letter, Lincoln looked out of the window and said to himself, “Just a minute. Maybe I ought not to be so hasty. It is easy enough for me to sit here in the quiet of the White house and order Meade to attack; but if I had been up at Gettysburg, and if I had seen much blood as Meade has seen during the last week, and if my ears had been pierced with the screams and shrieks of the wounded and dying, maybe I wouldn’t be so anxious to attack either.
“If I had Meade’s timid temperament, perhaps I would have done just what he have done. Anyhow it is water under the bridge now. If I send this letter, it will relieve my feelings but it will make Meade try to justify himself. It will make him condemn me, It will arouse hard feelings, impair all his further usefulness as a commander, and perhaps force him to resign from the army.”
So, as I have already said, Lincoln put the letter aside, for he had learned by bitter experience that sharp criticisms and rebukes almost invariably end in futility.
– from the book “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie
This helped me remember a very important lesson and that is to repress anything you want to say about another person that is not good. I thought about my being upset and decided that I’d rather not post it and “Flame” that certain person. I thought “Maybe if I was in that person’s shoes, I’d do just the same.” I had already given that person a lot of benefits of the doubt occasions and this will not be the last. Truth be told, I am still immeasurably upset about what happened earlier with that person, I cannot imagine that that person is capable of doing what that person has done. But it is water under the bridge now, and again, I will give that person the benefit of the doubt.
To everyone who will read this and has read this, please do pray for me. I appreciate each and every prayer for me. Pray for patience, kindness, joy and peace. Thanks and I hope you guys learned a lesson as well from this post. And to all my disciples: I’m always praying for you guys and I’m so happy that you’re practicing the taming of your tongue (and fingers for that matter)
Remember: “God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge man until the end of his days.” – Dr. Johnson.
So why should you and I?