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Columns : Coaching for the Workplace - Kaylus Horton Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Tolerance: Its Presence in the Workplace
By Kaylus Horton, Path™ Coach
Apr 13, 2011 - 11:12:53 AM

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At some point in our professional we have all in some minor way tolerated an action / behavior, an individual, an environment or object in our workspace that may have caused these effects and more: 

- violated who we are and what we stood for

- drained happiness

- diluted momentum

- distracted

- threatened priorities

- shifted organizational culture

- polluted service delivery

- derailed the pursuit of organizational and departmental goals

- weakened communication

- reduced team cohesiveness

- paralyzed actions through fear and intimidation

- shifted optimism to doubt and unbelief  

According to www.dictionary.com to tolerate is defined as:

1. To allow the existence, presence, practice, or act of without prohibition or hindrance; permit

2. To endure without repugnance; put up with

3. Medicine/Medical - to endure or resist the action of a drug, poison, etc.

4. Obsolete - to experience, undergo, or sustain, as pain or hardship

(Definitions 1 & 2 speak to the intended purpose and message of this post.)  

As you read these synonyms of the word tolerate, reflect if your workplace, you or your department has or is currently passively or brutally tolerated under the guise of: Allowing, indulging, authorizing, admitting, condoning, bearing, putting up with, consenting to, submitting to, sitting and taking it, suffering, sustaining, living with, receiving, stringing along, having, humoring, hearing, turning a blind eye to, accepting, swallowing, enduring, toughing it out and going along with. 

In the workplace tolerance affects everyone and everything especially service delivery, productivity, associate commitment, customer loyalty and profitability.  Its detrimental influence can be lasting, toxic and an extreme challenge to halt, stop, veto, quit, reject, resist, refuse, deny, disapprove, disagree, disengage, unauthorized, withstand, forbid, prohibit. 

An intolerant workplace is attainable.  It can cause your workplace to be the industry’s benchmark, forming a legacy of conforming to standards, submitting to the rules and procedures, honoring core values and upholding accountability.  

Though the path of intolerance is often lonely and uncomfortable, associates, teams and the workplace must believe and hold firm to their vision, strategic plans and projected goals and see tolerance as mold or any other kind of fungus; an unauthorized destructive resident in a building or body.  

To eliminate tolerance will require that all associates bite the bullet, take the bull by the horns and draw the line in the sand through establishing and enforcing rules, standards, policies and procedures.  

To maintain and strengthen spaces where tolerance was eradicated, executives must establish programs, implement improvement initiatives, and take a deliberate approach to periodically measure and inspect the workplace for compliance.  In addition, communicate messages of who is allowed, what is allowed and how “it” would be allowed is important for consistency, understanding and cooperation.   

Warning! There may be an exodus of customers, even associates from you to your competitors if the new standards of intolerance no longer benefits them; as the saying goes in The Bahamas; “no more slackness.” 

You cannot progress with excellence against that which erodes standards, values and rules. 

Copyright @ 2011 Kaylus Horton 

Kaylus Horton is the Principal of Renaissance Group of Companies. As a Certified Path Coach she facilitates learning and discovery for the focus, direction and the pursuit of vision. 

For more information about coaching in the workplace visit www.renaissancebahamas.com or send an E-Mail: info@renaissancebahamas.com  

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