Tamara Simon's Weekly Blog
Business Insights for RTOs
from my favourite Movies, TV Shows and Books
(and some other bits and pieces)
Is Personality Driving Your RTO?
How letting the minority rule the roost can hurt you and your team
For many RTOs, they often recruit staff and choose clients (organisations) based on how well they get on in that first initial meeting.
But what happens when those personalities turn positive working environments and teams into disharmony and resentment?
People Performance Insights for RTOs
Case in point: I used to coach 2 junior netball teams – one which was really clicking and winning nearly every game; the other hadn’t won a game because the girls were just learning the sport but they improved every week.
During a game, I found out (via my President yelling this information to me whilst I was coaching on the sidelines) that she had been advised by my Manager there was major parent unrest and she was calling a parent meeting to sort it out.
This was new information to me as the majority of the girls and their parents had been very supportive of me and the improvement I had already made with their children’s netball skills.
But unfortunately as we hadn’t won a game, the Manager and two other parents (who believed their daughters were God’s gift to netball) were looking at the score each week rather than the improvement and the happy smiling faces I received when I praised the team for their effort.
Rather than having a conversation with me about supposed parent unrest, they chose instead to shaft me and take their issues immediately to the President who, unfortunately, also handled the situation very unprofessionally.
Now as these three parents had been slowly undermining my authority and been quite negative in front of the girls since day one, after much thought, regret and sadness; I tendered my resignation for the good of the team.
Because I knew the behaviour of these parents wouldn’t change and as a volunteer, I shouldn’t have to battle each and every week, doing something which I loved and was very good at (3 times Premiership Coach).
What happened next was interesting.
The actions of these minority parents and my unexpected decision caused the other parents to rally behind me because their children were very upset at losing their beloved coach.
So, just like a game of chess, the Club and Parent meeting was very interesting as there were varying versions of the truth being discussed.
Thankfully, after me not coaching for a week, a positive resolution was reached as the parents begged me to come back and surprise, surprise, the three ‘unhappy ‘parents left the team.
Result? I returned to a harmonious team and continued to do what I loved – teaching young girls the skills of netball and of life – without being surrounded by negativity and feeling like I was always looking over my shoulder.
So why do I share this very personal story with you?
Because too often, I see people making decisions in business, in sport, in politics, in relationships and thus in life based on whether they like someone or not.
Liking someone should not be the only basis for making a decision.
Yes it helps if we get along with the people we work with, but the fact is we won’t always like everyone we come across, just as not everyone will like you or me.
But we need to respect one another and especially those in leadership positions; be it boss, colleague, coach or Prime Minister.
We may not always agree with our leaders but we should always respect the position and discuss rationally and professionally any differences we may have with each other to then come to a place of mutual respect and understanding.
You also often can’t overcome personality battles because every time you think the issue is resolved, they start stirring the pot again so it’s not worth engaging in the first place.
Hence, my decision to resign because I knew at the time, nothing I said or did would change the behaviour or attitudes of these three minority parents; and I needed to put my energy and effort where it would do the most good.
Now think about your own problem solving process at your RTO.
Are you immediately reacting to issues as they are brought to you by a client, student or a team member and making snap judgments on the run?
Or do you take your time to hear all sides and get the facts and perspectives from everyone involved before making a measured and rational decision, taking into account what’s best in the short and long term for you, your team and your RTO?
Now think about your business systems to support this decision making process.
Do you have clearly documented, easy to understand grievance procedures for both your internal (staff) and external (clients/students) stakeholders?
If not, there’s your homework as part of building a simple profitable RTO business you and your team actually love.
Because if a situation escalates, you don’t want to be making it up as you go along.
Instead, you want a very transparent process which can be quickly followed either by you as the RTO’s CEO/Manager/Owner or someone else in your absence.
And here’s my final thought:
Remember the words of Robert Anthony “when you blame others, you give up your power to change” which can help us all to make more positive decisions based on facts and what’s best for ourselves, our business, our team and our clients; rather than letting the minority tear down our focus and our efforts.
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