WHAT EXACTLY IS CULTURE?
It’s anything and everything about a space, team, group, city or nation. It’s how people treat each other, the hallway conversations, language used, eye contact and laughter shared. It’s always there and always having an impact, whether we’re aware of it or not.
The tiny lessons it teaches about potential, skill, confidence and encouragement can play a monumental role in the potential for high performance.
This extent of its impact definitely raises the stakes for a bit, which begs the question: how exactly does it get created? What makes one culture healthier and more conducive to high performance than another?
The answer to this question is relevant for everyone, as culture is defined by leaders and perpetuated by everyone.
So, how do you build a great culture? There are a few key steps.
This one may seem obvious, but it’s the critical first step. A lot of people exist within cultures without even realizing it. The first step towards building a healthy, worthwhile culture is taking responsibility for it and actively putting effort into it. When it’s a positive culture, you can totally feel it – that’s what you’re going for.
INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS
One of the next steps you can take towards building a culture that benefits and serves everyone operating within it is to invest in relationships. Having a relationship-based culture that centers on accountability, honesty and support that boosts everyone within it.
What does this look like? Celebrating wins, and creating a safe space for being honest about things that aren’t working. It’s about being vulnerable no matter who you are – as leaders, coaches and team members. It’s holding each other to agreements, promises and goals. If you understand and care about the people you’re around, and they care about you, that alone is a culture that can produce some pretty amazing results.
The last major piece of culture is purpose. What’s it all for? What’s the bigger picture? What are all of the projects, meetings, games and other challenges working towards?
Knowing your purpose as an individual and team is incredibly powerful motivation in the face of adversity. Define this early on and continue to refine and remind people of it.
Come to know your people – what they’re all about, what motivates them, how they learn, what they want. Your best culture, and best environment for learning and growth, lies in the answers to these questions. Empower yourself to learn these things and it will radiate outward through enabling everyone to be the best they can be.