We have a word around our house that my daughter affectionately calls the “C” word. That “C” word is consistency. Consistency is a huge part of leadership in all areas of life. Our evolution of the “C” word came through the challenge of disciplining children. I discovered early on when my children were young that consistency was a very important part to raising successful children. I realized that when I gave direction or issued a threat I had to give the same consequence every time the direction was not followed. Probably the most memorable example was when my son was about 5 years old. I sang in the church choir so he sat on the front pew until I was done and came down to join the congregation. He knew if he was loud or acted out I would take him out back. I had already issued “the look” from the choir chair a couple of times. After I joined him we were about half way done and just had the sermon left. The warning “looks” apparently were not sufficient. Long story short – I ended up leaving the service 5 times during the 30-minute sermon. Consistency, that day, was exhausting, embarrassing, and unexpected. It also taught a lesson and I never had to take him out of church again!
What about in the workplace? How does the “C” word apply? Being consistent with policies, procedures, and people can help prevent another “C” word – conflict! Here are some benefits when you keep consistency in your workplace:
- Stability – when things are stable, staff members are comfortable and feel in control
- Calmness – when processes and procedures are not changing constantly, there is calmness in the office
- Productivity – when there is consistency, staff is at a high level of productivity
- Clarity – when there is little change in the office, everyone is clear in what they are to do
I’m not saying there should never be change. Change should be well thought out and have a consistent procedure that is followed each time. That will ensure that there is adequate time for implementation of the change, the staff to learn new procedures, and everyone to get adjusted to the change.