Integrity is Not Blind

I prefer all leaders and followers, for that matter, to qualify their thoughts as opinions rather than dress them up as facts. For example, I used “I prefer” but I could have said what “I think” or “in my opinion”, etc etc.

This would open us all up to be more easily challenged, I believe, as unfortunately there are far too many charlatans out their trying to seduce people to endorse their dogma, ie the blind leading the blind.

I don’t think anyone should take the risk of being either. That is, the blind leader or blind follower, and that, to me is integrity.

It’s How We Behave

Misbehavior is a given, it WILL happen, on occasion between people, especially when we disagree. This is how we behave during our disagreements so that they don’t become conflicts or ongoing disputes.

Firstly, we understand the difference between disagreeing versus how we disagree, during a disagreement. We disagree with the content as per usual but we OBJECT, in real-time, to how someone disagrees with us. Then, if we have taken offense to how they behave, we can use one, two or three consecutive, objection phases, as needed.
These are:

  1. Caution!
  2. Object!
  3. Stop!

By beginning this process we are entering our Safe Space and remain there until we resolve the behavior issue and only then do we resume with the content of our disagreement.

1. Caution!

Simply CAUTION! the offender and receive an acknowledgment of their poor behavior or a satisfactory explanation that justifies their behavior. If the offended is not satisfied he or she can escalate to an objection.

2. object!

Simply OBJECT! to their misbehavior now and expect to receive a simple apology or a satisfactory explanation for their poor behavior. If still not satisfied the offended can escalate to a stop

3. stop!

Simply STOP! the offender now and expect to receive an acceptable apology consisting of what was said, why it was said and what the offender will do next time. If still unsatisfied the offended can escalate to the final democratic process

Democratic Process

The democratic process uses a team of peers to adjudicate our ongoing dispute (NOT HR or management). This could be done as needed or on a Friday afternoon during a weekly debriefing.
And of course all participants would need to agree to use Object123 before they started and it would apply to every member of the organization, from the Janitor to the CEO.

What is Object123?

This is power abuse although many offenders would disagree.

Object123 is a simple Social Just Culture tool that we have developed to help stop power abuse in the workplace. We see this as a very important part of workplace health and safety, that is, a Psychological Safety using a Just Culture process. And as Just Culture encourages teams to own up to mistakes by not blaming or punishing them, a Social Just Culture encourages teams to expose and confront misbehavior, in real-time rather than repress it and backbite the offender.

Organization members are encouraged to openly disagree and simultaneously OBJECT to, and acknowledge any poor behavior during the three phase process. Thereby, nipping at the bud, any disputes before they become heated conflicts and saving countless lost hours of gossiping, backbiting, strained office politics and abuses of power.


disagreeing Vs objecting

Firstly it consists of us agreeing to observe and separate our disagreements into two parts.
1. Our content of the disagreement
2. Our behavior while delivering the content
We disagree with the content as per usual but OBJECT to our behavior, in real-time. during our discussion.

During a disagreement we disagree with the content
but object to the behavior or delivery of the content


three phases of objection

Object123 consists of three phases of objection, small, medium and large. Each phase requires an acknowledgement from the offender or they can try justify their offensive behavior. The three phases are:
1. Caution – Receive a simple acknowledgement or escalate to…
2. Objection – Receive a simple apology or escalate to…
3. Stop – Receive an acceptable apology or escalate to…

The 3 phases of Objection

final democratic process

It also includes a final democratic process to ultimately eliminate any unresolved disputes, where the offender and offended attends the Friday afternoon weekly meeting and their case is adjudicated by a team of their peers (not HR or management). Without an acceptable explanation or acceptable apology the offender will most likely be let go, regardless if they are the manager or even the CEO. We want to shift power from the top and give everyone, from the janitor to the CEO, access to social justice.

A team of our peers decide the outcome of our unresolved dispute
Social Justice the Object123 Way

One Simple Way to Remove Psychological Unsafety in the Workplace!

Type “psychological safety” into Google and you will see a bunch of articles on “so many ways to add or create psychological safety in the workplace”. Since the New York Times article in 2016 about Google’s research into “What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team” the buzz phrase has been psychological safety. The number of books written on the subject is exhaustive and exhausting.

Psychological Safety Books is Exhaustive and Exhausting

But what if we chose a new tact and instead of trying to add or create psychological safety we set about simply removing psychological unsafety. You see no one exactly knows what psychological safety looks like, although many have theories, no one exactly knows how to get it as a simple step by step formula otherwise there would only be one book and one way to do it and everyone would be doing it that way.

But dare I say that we have a much better clue for what psychological unsafety looks like and especially feels like. My definition is walking on eggshells. A common idiom we use daily to explain how it feels to be in an organisation that feels psychologically unsafe. Now imagine if we knew what caused this feeling and went about removing it? Hey presto! Problem solved. This presentation is my very simple theoretical solution for removing psychological unsafety and ultimately leaving us with psychological safety, as we learn to utilise the Object123 tools.

Snowflake!

All the reasons you need to keep your big trap shut!

I think that there is too much emphasis on us NOT being offended and NOT speaking up when we are offended. And what we see are terrible arguments, domestic disputes, malicious gossiping etc as the result. That is, very poorly delivered objections, that we have been encouraging people to build up and contain and when eventually released, usually ends up being even more offensive than the original offender’s misbehavior.

This is a tweet from Mark Manson #1 NYTimes bestselling author of “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck”. I beg to differ with Mark as I mentioned to Mark, although I do agree that how we choose to be offended should be done wisely:

And then you have this from his followers….

It is no wonder we have so many relationship issues in our society when everyone is being encouraged to basically “shut the F#*K up!”

Object123 goes in the opposite direction, I believe, by encouraging team members to actively and openly object to offensive behavior or misbehavior in real-time. Emphasizing how and when we object being the most important point and that we agree to use a singular platform to do so. Finally, we can now rightly know that we can even take offense to these idioms, and no longer think we have to accept being called a Snowflake.

The Agree-cultural Revolution

Our written history began around 10,000BC with the Agricultural Revolution. After this, came the Industrial Revolution and we are now in the Digital Revolution or Information Age. My prediction is that the next revolution that builds upon the Information Age will be the Agree-cultural Revolution.

What is the Agree-cultural Revolution? I believe it is where we have created a simple culture within our business and personal arenas that encourage and enable “real” agreements to occur.

I see conversations today, generally with people being obsequious, compromising, acquiescing, assenting to authority and avoiding the asking of “dumb” or “difficult” questions. This is understandable as we don’t seem to have an explicit and standard way to resolve inevitable disputes that occur when we have disagreements and the resultant poor behavior they can cause.

Object123 is our proposal for creating such a safe, agreement culture or environment. Where we make one singular agreement that if person A is offended by anything person B has said or done, person A has the right to pause the conversation by objecting and have a parallel conversation about our behavior. This is done by agreeing to use three consecutive phases, if needed, starting with a Cautioning and then an Objecting and finally a Stopping, if necessary.

I believe the actual reason we have conversation, besides practice, is to form and improve our agreements. That our agreements are supposed to be in a constant state of flux where we can return to them at any time and disagree as we gain new information and renew and improve our agreements. And by using the Object123 Agree-cultural framework we facilitate these agreement conversations, making them enjoyable and not the stressful a chore that we are used to when we are having disagreement.

I hope we agree.

Psychological Safety Singular Framework

It seems to me there are two approaches to creating a Psychological Safety Framework:

  1. Describe all the behaviors that team members should and shouldn’t do and what the team leaders should and shouldn’t do to enable these identified behaviors.

Or

  1. Propose a singular framework for objecting to misbehavior that team members and team leaders could agree or disagree to use together.

The former takes a book or two and months of workshop learning.

The latter takes a paragraph, a one hour conversation and a lifetime of engagement.