Culture Rule 3: If they don't qualify, don't pay any attention to them, must be making sense by now. I expect you to take and apply it, one step at a time.
The story behind the next culture rule is quite strange, but as I have expressed in all my letters, I have had good, bad and strange experiences during my lifetime.
Culture Rule 4: Know the story, behind the story.
I got this rule from the life of my supervisor; he headed the purchases department of the supermarket I worked in over 60 years ago. He was a very hard worker and practically excelled at everything he did, except one: the way he behaved around people was questionable.
Almost every staff member I knew had something bad to say about him; how he talked and behaved. In fact, we all said he wasn't a people person. However, it never disturbed the performance of his duties.
He would be the first to resume work and the last to leave, thus, management loved him. The fact that he wasn't a people person didn't bother our boss.
It seemed odd to me. How can a person be so hard working but didn't get along with people? Experience had taught me that it is very hard to live in this world if you can't get along with people. Who knows? Maybe he needs help.
It was tough, but I managed to pull it off. Although I don't recall the exact time we bumped into each other, all I know was I needed to get some packages from the store and when I got there, I saw my supervisor trying to fix the door of the store.
I greeted him and asked if he needed any help. He said all was well and I left it at that. When I entered the store (which was quite large by the way) to get what I wanted, I heard a loud noise and then a scream coming from the store entrance, where my supervisor was.
I ran to the entrance and noticed the door was closed and my supervisor was lying on the floor, holding his thumb quite tightly. When I asked what had happened, he said he unknowingly slammed the door on his thumb. In an attempt to remove it, he mistakenly broke the handle of the door.
In other words, my supervisor was injured and we were both trapped in the store.
My child, it felt like being trapped with the devil in hell. The thoughts that raced through my mind were terrible. How on earth could this happen to me? We both shouted and banged on the door, hoping someone would come to the store upon hearing all the noise.
After 30 minutes of shouting and waiting, it was obvious we were going to be there for a while. I went over to the chocolate cookies section, took two packets and headed back to the store entrance. I handed my supervisor a packet as he looked up at me with the strangest expression you can imagine.
I said it would be better for us to make ourselves as comfortable as possible in here, until someone notices our absence and begins to look for us.
Suddenly, my supervisor began to laugh. He laughed so loud and hard that I started laughing too. I didn't get what was hilarious, but I guess it must have been his way of making the most of the situation. I think we laughed for almost 30 minutes.
I can't explain how I got the boldness to ask my boss if he knew what people were saying about him and how I felt they were getting the wrong impression. I knew he had some good in him somewhere.
His mood suddenly changed. He told me that he didn't want to act that way but he came from a family where the belief was: if you smile and play with people, they won't respect you. So, he tried to live by that rule all his life.
I was shocked and had to explain to him how incorrect that belief was; it didn't work here at the supermarket. The way people are managed is never the same. Methods must change, for everyone is different.
While we talked, we suddenly heard someone passing by the store so we banged on the door again; this time, we were heard. Within moments, a carpenter arrived and the store door was opened.
That experience made me realize, there is always a story behind the story of people and events. Although my supervisor didn't change overnight, I now understood where he was coming from and he had seen the consequences of his methods.
Everything has an origin, everything is connected to something else and everything can either have a positive or negative outcome.
We need to see people, things and events that way, thus, we need to SEE IN SYSTEMS.
So, I got the next letter 'S' SEE IN SYSTEMS
Dear Child, it simply means nothing just happens; there is always a story behind every story. If we take the time to find out what the story is, we will understand people and situations better and not jump to unnecessary conclusions.
Also, whatever you do, there is a consequence; it is either positive or negative. Take the time to think about the consequence your decision could bring, before you finally go ahead and do it.
In my next letter, I will tell you how I got the next Letter for the Culture Matrix.
Remember, Culture is everything.
Copyright © 2011 HiZen-3 Ltd
This story is a series of letters written by Segun Cadmus, Manager, HiZen-3 Ltd, a company created to be the Ultimate guide in Culture Management at work and life. Please visit us at: http://www.hizenworld.com for more information about what we do.
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