Are You a Thermostat or Thermometer?
I read an article by Tarah Marie Carr the other day and in it she talked about relationships and how important it is to be a Thermostat and not a Thermometer. Since then I have been thinking about it in a business situation and I am astonished at how many Thermometer’s I have worked for or been in contact with. Please let me explain.
First I need to talk about what a Thermostat is and does and what a Thermostat does as well. A Thermometer moves up and down with the surrounding environment, IT reacts to changes around it as they are happening. A Thermostat sits in a constant state and makes the environment around it change to meet its needs at the time. Now sometimes the Thermostat can be moved up or down if need be but not without an overriding force from outside.
I used to work for a manager that placed an empty bucket just inside the employee area and when things got stressful for him he used to come out the door and kick the bucket across the room all while pulling out his pack of cigarettes, light one up and just glare at everyone. When he was done he would just stalk away. Leaving everyone so stressed out about what was going on that we wouldn’t speak to each other for hours. Now I know this is an extreme example but it’s very true.
Have you ever worked for or with someone that as times got more stressful they started stalking around screaming at everyone and accomplishing nothing? If so you worked with a Thermometer. On the other hand have you ever worked with someone that was cool as a cucumber as the work load around them increased and things got more stressful? In doing so were they able to reduce the stress level of those working around them, being able to calm the entire group? If this is the case then you worked with a Thermostat.
It is extremely important as you mentor, lead and manage others around you that you become the Thermostat as the guiding force of the group. Now I want you to sit back and answer this question honestly, are you currently being a Thermometer? If so, why? What can you start doing today that can change the way you let your environment affect how you lead others?
As always if you need help in your business or need help personally feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org