Leaders Bring the Weather
The climate of a team is instantly sensed and felt by team members and anyone who engages with them.
This atmosphere and ambience is created primarily by how team members interact and engage with one another. Climates vary along the same qualities and dimensions that relationships do. For instance, a climate can be supportive or unsupportive, formal or informal, trusting or untrusting, warm or cold, and so forth.
Whereas organizational culture is a reflection of values, norms, and policies, climate is displayed by how a team converses, debates, disagrees, and works through conflict.
A team’s climate has a tremendous impact on how team members view the quality of the team and on many of the factors that influence their satisfaction in the workplace. It’s no surprise that teams with positive climates outperform and have higher retention rates than those that don’t.
Good leaders are said to bring the weather. In other words, they set the climate within the team. They do this by serving as a role model for the way team members should interact with others. Team members follow the example set by the leader.
Leaders who want to bring the weather debate honestly and fairly, maturely manage conflict, interject humor into everyday situations, serve as a source of support when team members are uncomfortable, and consistently encourage others to do their best work.
They insist that team members treat and engage each other authentically and keep complaints and indirect feedback to a minimum. By helping team members work through their conflicts with others, as opposed to letting struggles fester and become roadblocks to respect and trust, good leaders help establish the goodwill so essential to team climate.
Through their actions, leaders set the tone and climate of the team. Leaders who get this are highly aware of how they interact and engage with others, including their peers. They understand that team climate is unlike the weather in one important way. The weather changes tomorrow. Climate is experienced every day.