The standard you walk past, is the standard you accept
This powerful idea has been something that always resonates with me. Setting the expectations for your workshop and starting the session in a thoughtful and intentional manner is vital.
During a workshop this week, after I established the working norms and session protocols, a participant turned away from me and said to another participant “Why are we doing this HR crap!”
It was a moment that presented a choice for me. The words were unkind and attempted to undermine the validity of our work at a critical moment in the workshop. They were overheard by the whole room. What would you do in that moment?
I decided to address it immediately and invited the person to express the sentiment to me more directly and explain a little further. The same sentence was repeated. I refused to accept that inaccurate and unkind judgment. But I was still curious about why that view had been formed.
I stood firm on the principles I valued, the expectations I had set and highlighted the inaccuracy - but then I followed up with questions. I wanted to know why that view had been formed and what was the missing piece. Needless to say I turned that perspective around and helped the person reconnect with the workshop, and they contributed effectively for the remaining two hours.
I was aware of the signal and I refused to let is slide. I didn’t walk past it. My curiosity helped me understand better and guide the participant back to a purposeful disposition.