One season, we ran a tour with two bands on a tour bus, living on the road together for a month at a time over 9 months. It is typical for folks to chide one another, and it can get pretty tough when they are living on a “land submarine” 12 hours a day!
I realized as we pulled into venues for shows that the band members would often be wise cracking on each other, and the folks we encountered would step back in surprise at how cutting some of the remarks were. Even said in jest they had some truth and no edification.
We made a policy of “no dissing on the bus.” It was incredible to see how this small conscious effort changed the relationship of everyone on the tour, not to mention those with whom we came in contact. We also found other things to humor ourselves with and often ended up laughing together. I still think of those times as some of my fondest memories, even though we were also working our rear ends off!
Any group of people can fall into this apparently innocent practice. But it runs right up there with gossip, and it can certainly breed a very bad environment.
Many times on turn around assignments, I have found that this was one of the first cultural elements we needed to deal with to get the ship back on track. How we interact with others in the course of our day-to-day business will not only change how they feel, but it will also change how productive they are and how willing they are to work with you.
I recently read about a book written by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath that gives some great strategies to help influence our workplace by building relationships instead of tearing them down. Read more… How Full Is Your Workforce Bucket?