One of the most fascinating parts of a mountain is not just the view from the summit, or even from the base, but the micro-climates that are woven throughout its structure. A microclimate is a local set of conditions that differ from other surrounding sets. In other words, the base of a mountain has certain conditions that the peak does not. Each is its own micro-climate and has its own unique characteristics and unique perspectives. Businesses are very much the same, especially when it comes to company culture and the perspective of each unique individual.

Each department, individual, wing, or group within a business, or even the business itself, are micro-climates. Each has its own set of characteristics, perspectives, aspirations, and missions. The business owner, CEO, or entrepreneur has a responsibility to ensure each micro-climate works in tandem with the other. When you put operating a business in this perspective and consider each factor in each micro-climate on a mountain, it makes us realize how difficult running a business can be. The culture of each department, each business, and the perspective of each individual play a huge role in the shaping of a company although it may go unseen. For the entrepreneur and CEO, what are the steps you take to ensure that the culture and individual perspectives work together rather than in opposition?

From experience, we can tell you that the following number of steps have helped build a strong company culture, and make sure each perspective is valued:

  1. Assume nothing.
  2. Seek to understand first, then to be understood.
  3. Start from the position you “don’t” know, vs. you “do” know.
  4. Ask clarifying questions.
  5. Restate what you heard, get confirmation, and then answer

Leading in this way provides your team a “voice” in the refinement of your culture.