Last week I spoke with two groups. One was an intact team, the other was a group of professionals who manage teams in their respective organizations. Both groups have the same issues. Both groups asked:

  • Why don’t more people act like grown ups?
  • Why don’t people follow the systems we’ve created?
  • Why does everyone assume their problem is my #1 priority?

Both times I told the story of my first baby. It was hot. We had no air conditioning. She was hungry. I was tired. Both of us were crying. When I picked her up and looked in her they eyes and asked, “What do you want??!!!” She immediately stopped crying as the tears were still streaming down her face, and with the same erudite gaze she uses now as a 21-year-old, she looks at me as if to say, “One of us needs to be the grown up around here.”

I’m convinced that the key to detoxing the drama that happens in the workplace is to call toxic behavior when we see it and ask, “What is really happening here?” This entails

  • Acknowledging that we’re human and that maybe someone had a really shitty weekend.
  • Recognizing that many of us jump to assumptions without asking clarifying questions first.
  • Deciding that I’m not going to contribute to toxic behavior any more. It’s time to get stuff done.

Will you tell us your team detox story? Chime in on the discussion.

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