Have you ever dealt with someone who didn’t seem to understand “how we do things around here”? They didn’t conform to the norms in your organization. They didn’t get it. Ticked you off didn’t it? I think non-conformity will become more challenging as diversity continues to increase in various sectors of society. I also believe we need non-conformists more than we may realize.
There’s a story in the Bible about Jesus visiting a family’s home. While Martha is busy getting things ready for fellowship her sister, Mary, is sitting down listening to Jesus teach. Women didn’t do such things in that culture at that time. Mary is breaking the rules and she knows better. She doesn’t seem to get it.
Imagine Mary working in your organization. She’s hardly ever in her cubicle, repeatedly violating the dress code, and not cleaning up behind herself after she nukes her chili in an uncovered dish in the microwave. You don’t want to be that leader who yells, threatens, or intimidates to get people like Mary in line. Rather, keep calm and attempt to improve the performance of your non-conforming performer. Before you begin the paper trail or give them the axe, consider one of the following approaches to correct their behavior:
The Aha! approach is a creative technique used to produce an Aha! moment in the non-conformist. In II Samuel 12:1-13, Rev. Dr. Nathan approaches King David with a story of a wealthy lamb owner who takes his neighbor’s one precious lamb to feed a guest. Nathan’s story telling method helped David have an Aha! moment and admit where he went wrong with an adulterous affair.
Oprah Winfrey used an Aha! approach to help Jamie Foxx modify his behavior after the movie, Ray!, was being celebrated.
2. Fam, Let Me Holler At You
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to Philemon in hopes of adjusting Philemon’s perspective toward Onesimus, his run away slave. Paul writes in a very gentle and relational tone as though he is talking to a family member. It gives the feel that he is putting his arm around Philemon for a heart-to-heart chat. The Fam, Let Me Holler At You approach can help leaders connect with the people who follow them. It works wonders for leaders who have the authority to take a more severe approach, but demonstrate they’d rather do what they can to help their people succeed.
3. Ashamed Disgrace
In John 8:1-11, Jesus talks with a woman caught in adultery. Surely, she’s embarrassed and He did not put salt in her wound by bashing her. Rather, He showed her a level of love and sensitivity we should imitate when correcting someone who is already ashamed and disgraced over a violation they’ve committed. He didn’t lecture her. He simply told her, “I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more.” This approach can demonstrate you care about your people and drive improved performance.
4. Straight, No Chaser
In the book of Matthew 16:13-23, there’s a conversation between Jesus and His disciples. Peter, like usual, crossed the line by saying the wrong thing. But, this time, Jesus responded with a very sharp rebuke and made it clear He was not playing around. There are times when a very direct, sharp approach is necessary to help get the best out of the people you lead.
5. Fast & Furious
In Matthew 21:12-13, Jesus is on a rampage in the temple area. He’s overturning tables and making it clear that He is livid!!! The Fast & Furious approach is the Straight, No Chaser on steroids. There are times when enough is enough and you have to make it known that YOU…ARE…LIVID!
Correct others with a caring, tailor-made approach so persons are lifted to improved performance. Bring out the best in the people you lead by handling each situation on a case-by-case basis with wisdom and love.