How Lemonade Can Help Your Business!October 5, 2010
Do you want to have a true, open-door policy at work between owner(s) and the rest of the team? Are there relationships within your company that you desire to see grow, communication wise?
Do you desire to have a greater openness with co-workers on your team? Is there a conversation you have been putting off with someone on your team? If you said “yes” to any of the above questions keep reading…
Who would have thought lemonade could help businesses beyond the lemonade stand? You might not like lemons or lemonade, but I bet you would like to learn how it might help you strengthen the relationships within your business. Strong, growing relationships have appeal for all people (even those who don’t share in a glass of lemonade), and today we are going to talk about that. First, I want to give a shout out to Josiah and Greg on my creative team at Sharp Innovations for clarifying this reality for me, and for giving me the inspiration for this post.
I’m using the method for making lemonade as an analogy for building stronger relationships with your co-workers. I have used both standard and sparkling lemonade during two different relationship-building meetings, both literally and figuratively, but feel free to take this as directly as you like to apply these concepts.
How to Make Your Lemonade
As we gather the ingredients to make your pitcher of lemonade today for you to share, reflect for a moment on the relationship(s) that you most need to develop at work. Who do you most need to have a conversation with in order to break-through current challenges and provide opportunities for growth? They are the perfect people for you to invite to share a glass of your lemonade with.
To the employer:
- Owners and bosses, you need to have ears to listen. You need to seek to understand employees before you seek to be understood. You need to take good notes and be quiet (I know it is hard for many of us, me included). Sit down, sip some lemonade and let the other person speak their mind.
- Challenge both sides (including you) to be creative in looking for a solution, no matter how difficult it is to find a satisfactory, outside-the-box resolution. There are no unrealistic goals, just unrealistic timelines.
- Set the stage to have your conversation in a setting that is conducive for BOTH people. Establish a setting that is private and comfortable. Perhaps you can meet for lemonade at an outdoor café, or conduct regular “Happiness Lunches” on a regular basis. Simply focus on taking each team member out periodically to give them a forum to initiate conversation.
- Be specific and hold one another accountable as a take-way from your conversation. Tools like The Impact Filter™ are one approach to creating accountability. If you would like to discuss this approach, please contact me.
- I want to encourage team members to be pro-active. They should be encouraged to initiate a request for conversations with an employer to try and communicate clearly and work towards resolution. Give each other the benefit of the doubt by trusting each other to have a conversation.
- Work on resolving conflict before it becomes irresolvable in your mind. This is what Josiah and Greg did for me as they had questions, concerns and ideas they wanted to present.
Brian Tracy said, “Eighty percent of life’s satisfaction comes from meaningful relationships.” When you look back at life, what will really matter? Just five words… the quality of your relationships. So here’s the question: If your relationships are the most important part of your life, what are you doing to make them all they can be?
For further reading
If you are unsure how to begin, there are many great resources to encourage you as you prepare yourself for your first glass of lemonade. “The 100/0 Principal” by Al Ritter is just one great example, and it may be the most important book you’ll ever read. Ritter is a management consultant who works with CEOs, leaders and teams who are committed to achieving breakthrough results. As a professional speaker, Al has delivered over 500 speeches, workshops and seminars. Simply put, “The 100/0 Principle” is a book that can benefit anyone. It can make your marriage better and greatly improve your relationships with family members, friends, co-workers and even your boss.
With whom do you need to have lemonade today? Progress cannot happen in the relationship without a conversation. If you have questions in regard to this concept, or want to discuss how to best approach this in your business, please let me know. I am glad to have a personal conversation with you.