A groundbreaking book titled “Belonging Rules: Five Crucial Actions That Build Unity and Foster Performance” delivers promising insights for leaders and organizations alike. The book introduces five key principles, known as the “belonging rules,” that provide a roadmap for creating spaces where belonging thrives and performance flourishes. In this article we examine the first rule, Turning Into the Power.
The Five Belonging Rules
Turn Into the Power: This rule emphasizes the importance of recognizing and addressing existing power structures within an organization. While it may be tempting to circumvent or ignore these structures, doing so often results in temporary solutions that fail to eliminate the underlying issues. Instead, leaders should engage in respectful and meaningful dialogue to confront power dynamics head-on.
Listen Without Labels: Listening without preconceived notions or labels is the second rule. Effective communication involves setting aside biases and assumptions to truly hear what others are saying. By fostering open and honest conversations, leaders can create an environment where all voices are heard and valued.
Choose Identity Over Purpose: This rule challenges leaders to prioritize identity over purpose. While purpose is essential, identity goes beyond it. Encouraging employees to identify with their roles and contributions fosters a deeper sense of belonging. Acknowledging that every individual plays a unique part in the organization’s success can lead to increased commitment and engagement.
Challenge Everything: Embracing change and challenging the status quo is central to the fourth rule. Leaders should encourage a culture of curiosity and continuous improvement. By questioning existing norms and practices, teams can uncover new opportunities for growth and innovation.
Demand 100% of the Truth: The final rule stresses the importance of honesty and transparency. Leaders should create an environment where team members feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and insights. When truth-telling is encouraged and valued, it leads to better decision-making, enhanced trust, and improved performance.
Turning into the Power: A Closer Look
“Turning into the power” is the first belonging rule, and it’s about recognizing and addressing existing power structures within an organization. These structures may manifest as traditions, policies, procedures, or hierarchies. While some may view them as obstacles to progress, they often serve specific purposes that may not be immediately apparent.
The rule encourages leaders to approach these structures with openness and a willingness to engage in constructive dialogue. Rather than attempting to bypass or ignore them, leaders should seek to understand why they exist and how they impact the organization. This approach helps uncover the underlying issues that need to be addressed for lasting change to occur.
Examples of “Turning into the Power” in Action
Imagine a leader who’s been part of an organization for years. They may have witnessed what appeared to be ineffective policies or processes. However, upon closer examination, they discover that these practices have historical significance or serve a specific purpose in the organization’s context. Instead of dismissing them, the leader engages in open conversations with stakeholders to understand the rationale behind these practices and explore ways to improve them without compromising their underlying purpose.
In another scenario, a small business owner may have grand plans to revolutionize their industry. However, they encounter resistance from their team members who are more experienced and familiar with the current practices. Instead of pushing ahead without considering their team’s concerns, the owner “turns into the power” by actively seeking input and involving the team in shaping the transformation. This approach leads to a smoother transition and greater buy-in from the employees.
The “belonging rules” outlined in “Belonging Rules: Five Crucial Actions That Build Unity and Foster Performance” provide a comprehensive framework for leaders and organizations seeking to create spaces where employees feel a sense of belonging. By embracing these principles, leaders can empower their teams, drive better performance, and build a workplace culture that values openness, inclusivity, and transparency.
Watch our video 5 Crucial Actions That Build Unity and Foster Performance, with special guest Brad Deutser, Founder & CEO of Deutser, Bestselling Author, and Speaker.