Sitting in a conference room with an HR leader and my client – an executive of a major hospital in Houston – we awaited the arrival of one more person. As our casual conversation hit a lull, I took a deep breath and said, “May I share an observation?” They nodded, so I said:
“There are signs in your nine-story parking garage that say ‘5 MPH,’ yet I saw a lot of people just now taking corners really fast. In fact, one of them nearly hit me. That seems to be inconsistent with the values of one of the nation’s leading health care providers.”
They both laughed and one of them said, “I guess those are only guidelines.”
Right then the third person opened the door and that conversation ended – and I thought clearly my input doesn’t matter.
Two weeks later, I had a coaching session with my client… and as she walked me to the elevator afterward, she said: “There’s something I thought you’d want to know. The day after our last meeting, an email went out to all of our thousands of employees: ‘You are expected to drive safely and obey the signage in all of our parking areas. If you see someone not abiding by this, you have a responsibility to report them.’”