Should I Stay or Should I Go? When The Culture Just Isn’t Working For You

Woman travelling - airportLast week we talked about organizational culture and how important it is to have your values and preferences match the way your team does things. If you clearly can see that leadership or managerial behaviors in your firm and consequently the behavior that is tacitly endorsed in the company is out of whack with how you operate then you have to think about whether you should stay or go. This question often comes up in coaching sessions because of three situations.

When there is:
  1. Perceived unethical/unfair behavior or perceived total inefficiency yet no way to address it without a negative consequence for the person working there (woman or man although the issues manifest slightly differently despite root cause being the same)
  2. No career pathway in sight.
  3. Gendered roles and behavior. If you want to spot this, look for trends across the board, such as women are relegated to support roles even though there are a few women at the top (usually marketing and HR) but they behave worse than the men ( sound familiar?) and are not interested in mentoring and developing other women because they are unconsciously forced to play ball to survive in a culture that dictates one way of succeeding and it probably revolves around very traditional traits that we have all historically attributed to male leadership.

Think about what work gets done? What gets rewarded? What gets people’s attention? Who gets rewarded? What gets tolerated? List 2-3 examples of work to help you understand what your workplace culture is!

By Nicki Gilmour, Executive Coach and Organizational Psychologist

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