Do you have a set of principles that help you and your team stay on track when it comes to not only the work you do, but more importantly, how you interact?

Creating a Culture Compass with your team is a practical way to review what matters most, so you can stay on track and navigate difficult circumstances together.

company culture

The most powerful aspect of the compass is the South point: Qualities. These form the rules of engagement.

This is how I ran the exercise with a team last week:

List your Dos and Don’ts:  On your own, write three ways people can work best with you, and three things NOT to do if they want to get the most out of you (and not annoy or upset you).

The team members then shared their Dos and Don’ts, clarifying points as we went along. They got to know each other very intimately as a result.

One team member shared that they felt awkward during this exercise. They realised they had been unwittingly upsetting others. They felt disappointed in themselves as a result.

When we become aware of our impact, it can be challenging at first. Not many of us deliberately set out to trample on other people’s feelings! We don’t live inside each other’s minds, so it’s up to us to share how we experience each other – good and bad. If we stay open and curious, this is a very powerful exercise for developing empathy and understanding.

The next step is to hold ourselves to account. In the next team meeting, ask each team member to self-assess against the shared agreements. How did they go in honouring working better with others?

The self-assessment process encourages us to look honestly about our behaviour and intentions. It also sets the expectation that we will talk about the tough stuff, in a safe and caring environment.

By doing this work, we make the workplace a little more compassionate and understanding. It’s definitely work worth doing.