We developed the below principles as a way to foster a culture of quality and of service. Each week review one of the principles as a staff, and identify ways we can incorporate that principle into the work we do on a daily basis.
1. Think, speak, and act from a positive place.
Your thoughts form the foundation for what you say, and what you say influences what you do. When thoughts are negative, it becomes easier to say negative things, which makes it easier to act in negative ways. And negativity is not conducive to productive problem-solving, constructive relationships, or reaching the desired outcome.
2. Recognize "we" is stronger than "I."
P4A is a team effort. The collective efforts of the team are much more powerful than any individual alone. "We" means you share your knowledge, expertise, and skills, so our collective strength increases.
3. Know why you do what you do.
Be clear about the actions you take and how they help reach desired outcomes that ultimately benefit the aging network and those the network serves. You need to know why you are doing something. Ask what purpose does this serve?
4. Be open to multiple possibilities.
There is almost always more than one solution to an issue. If one path does not lead to the desired outcome, another one will. Keep searching for a great solution until you find it.
5. Practice no-blame problem-solving.
How a situation came to be or who was involved in it is much less important than finding solutions. P4A does not blame others or throw anyone under the bus.
6. Listen to understand.
Be generous with your listening. People need to feel heard and understood. When you listen to understand, you build stronger relationships because you more fully understand the other person's ideas, situation, or concern.
7. Speak truthfully, yet kindly.
Do not steer clear of the truth when it could be unpopular or uncomfortable. Have difficult conversations from a place of kindness, thoughtfulness, and respect. Words can hurt. Use words that do not attack, insult, or diminish others.
8. Recognize, affirm, and support the good efforts and work of others.
The relationships you have with others grow stronger when you acknowledge their efforts and work. Even if the work falls short of an ideal, acknowledging the effort makes it easier to work together now and in the future.
9. Be clear about the expectation of continued improvement.
Perfection is an elusive goal, and some people are so concerned with it that they lose sight of the bigger picture. They focus on making sure to cross every "T" and dot every "I." Consistently working on improving what you do makes more sense. Sometimes crossing every "T" and dotting every "I" is not as important as the bigger picture.
10. Ask for what you need.
There will be times when you need support, ideas, feedback, a safe place to vent, and 1,000 other things. You function better when you ask for what you need.
11. Leave your ego at the door.
It's not about you. It's always about the bigger picture. We are here to accomplish things that benefit others, not ourselves.
12. Keep commitments.
Keeping commitments is, in practice, what others come to see as us keeping our word. When we keep commitments, we show others that they can trust our word.