The introvert, the extrovert. The born leader and the humble follower. With four generations coming together in the workplace, there are many opportunities for clashes and conflict. Paul White and Harold Myra help us navigate coworker relationships in their book .
Paul says this is a relevant issue:
“Right now, over 90% of businesses have some form of employee recognition program – but the percentage of employees involved is actually declining. We wanted to get the message out in a way that is easy to digest and apply. Stories help you remember.”
In Sync or Swim, an energetic sheepdog named Sam steps into the leadership of an island business and needs to rally the company to repair the walls around Monarch Island in the face of a coming squall. He quickly discovers the morale is low and everyone feels under-appreciated. Harold and Paul, along with co-author Dr. Gary Chapman, use this fable to illustrate the different personalities we find in the workplace.
What are some common workplace problems they’ve encountered?
• A poor fit for the job
• Employers who aren’t willing to invest in their employees
Harold says we can measure the health of a company by the amount of laughter in the hallways. “[It’s] that sense that we’re here not only to work very very hard, but to enjoy each other and affirm each other.”
Paul offers his thoughts. “You can’t communicate genuine appreciation with a broad brush. Some people need encouragement by spending time with them, some people prefer to have help when they’re behind on a project.”
Harold and Paul suggest using the five languages of appreciation in your workplace.
• Words of affirmation
• Quality time
• Appropriate physical touch
• Acts of service
• Appropriate gifts
The key takeaways from Sync or Swim:
1. There is not a “one size fits all” approach to creating a healthy environment.
2. The most important thing is for each person to feel valued and seen.
3. Tone of voice and body language communicate more than the actual words we use.