Are you good at picking up cues?

When you invite someone into your house you assume that the visitor will respect your property, your environment. It is normal to expect everyone to live by accepted social norms and values on which your own ‘house rules’ are based.

But is that always the case?

Well often no!

Let me give an example that highlights the error in this view.

Imagine you are visiting a couple for the first time for whom it is important that outdoor shoes are not worn in the house. Let’s assume that it is not normal for you to remove your shoes on entering your own house.

So how would you know their ‘house rule’.

  • You may pick up some visual cues such as pairs of shoes lined up by the front door. 
  • You may notice they are not wearing shoes.
  • They may offer you slippers.
  • They may just ask you to remove your shoes.

However, often none of these happen. You did not pick up the visual clues and they were too polite to ask. On leaving you may comment on the strained atmosphere you felt, but I leave it your imagination to what sort of comments they made about you when you left!

What’s this to do with business?

Don’t assume all your team have the same social norms and values as you.

They won’t.

How do they know what you expect? Unless you discuss with them they won’t know. If you think it’s just common sense, think again!

You have invited them into your business so don’t be like the polite couple in my example.

Discuss with your team and agree what behaviour is expected.

Then write down the ‘business rules’ so that everyone can understand your company’s norms and values.

It will stop a lot of misunderstandings and will create trust- the bedrock foundation on which All Star Teams are built!

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