Ask the Coach – October 2021

Q. My partners and I are struggling these days with Tolerance – How do you know when you’re being too tolerant … or not tolerant enough?

A. This is a great question and one that requires further exploration – see some “good and bad” examples below…

Examples of Good “Healthy” Tolerance in a Professional Environment –

  1. Tad walks into the office wearing earphones, casually dressed; he waves to peers as he passes the water cooler and sits at his desk …
  2. Sally often asks to leave early or slots her time as “busy” on her remote calendar without cause or reason; she works remotely, with flexible hours and always gets her work done, albeit at odd hours during the night and sometimes on weekends …
  3. Brian is a newer partner at the firm and has been giving a department update at the monthly partner meetings; Dave is a senior partner at the firm and he is sometimes contradictory to what Brian reports on – urging him to be more specific or offering another perspective on the statistics he is sharing …

Examples of Bad “Toxic” Tolerance in a Professional Environment –

  1. Tad walks into the office over an hour late looking tired, disheveled and with a strong body odor. He doesn’t make any contact as he walks over to his desk; if he had an office, he’d shut the door …
  2. Sally regularly calls in to say she will be late or simply is MIA / unresponsive to e-mails, calls or other instant messaging among members of the team; when pressed for explanations of her absence / unresponsiveness, she always has excuses – mostly about her personal issues – and her work has been suffering as a result.
  3. Brian is getting frustrated at monthly partners because a senior partner, Dave, regularly interrupts him and is dismissive, often chiming in with stories that elevate Dave’s ego and distracts from the report Brian is trying to give on the department’s accomplishments …

Do you still need some guidance to help you understand when Tolerance should and shouldn’t be applied?

Try This – Do a body scan and ask yourself some questions:

Is anyone else in the office affected by this seemingly negative or detrimental  behavior?

Has anyone – more than 1 person – every complained about this before?

Who is offended? Other staff, clients, visitors to the office?

Has the reputation of the firm been tarnished as a result of behavior – actions and words of all professionals reflect the firm and so this is an important skill to master …

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If you have any questions about this content or would like to schedule a complimentary coaching session, please e-mail lisatierney@comcast.netLisa Tierney, CLSC is a certified life strategies coach and a marketing strategist who has empowered professional service providers in the accounting and law professions for over twenty years. She is founder & President of TIERNEY Coaching & Consulting, Inc. which offers a unique and highly effective blend of traditional consulting in tandem with professional coaching to address all the nuances of success – including mind, body & spirit. The professionals who work with TIERNEY coaches enjoy increased self-confidence and higher self-esteem, adopt a more relaxed, yet authoritative demeanor, start asking power questions, treat their clients with a more consultative approach – and benefit from a natural growth in their practice or service area. They usually report a significant increase in their overall satisfaction of their professional experience.

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