Earlier this year, Positive Alternative Radio (PAR) proudly announced that it had been certified as a
Best Christian Workplace by the Best Christian Workplaces Institute (BCWI). It is a high honor,
which is bestowed—or denied, based on the results of BCWI’s Engagement Survey.
Survey results are compiled from anonymous feedback submitted by the registered organization’s team members.

Here, we will look at the fifth highest ranking result—My organization is well managed—and show you how to reflect those same positive values within your own organization.

Dear Christian Radio,

I will be honest; there are probably a million blogs about managing your people well. They all have great advice: hire smart, organize well, empower your team, fail forward, delegate, inspect what you expect, listen, act quickly, etc.

All of this advice is very sound and so true for organizations that really want to succeed. However, it made me wonder why PAR team members ranked management so high. I came to this conclusion…it comes down to these three things: care, communication, and trust.

Let’s talk about potty training. Yep, you read that right…potty training. Now before you freak out, hang with me for a moment. I happen to be a working mom with two boys. Sometimes that means the living room in my home has to become “the office.” For example, on one day in particular, an issue came up right as I was leaving the station. Nonetheless, I needed to start my way home so I could be with my 2-year-old son—thank the Lord for smart phones!

So there I was juggling my two biggest responsibilities: work and family. I found myself on an important conference call, which included all of PAR’s Executive Leadership, some fellow team members and a very active 2-year-old. As we discussed the issue at hand, my son did something I had been waiting months to happen—he used the potty. Now here’s the thing…I am certainly a dedicated professional, but I am also a dedicated mom. Executive Leadership knows this, and so, without thinking, I openly announced, “My son has FINALLY gone to the bathroom,” to everyone on the call. Without hesitation, PAR’s Executive Vice President, Brian Sanders, asked me to switch over to speaker phone, so I did. The whole team began cheering and telling my son how awesome he was.

We soon got back to the issue at hand, but that moment did something a million “that a’ girls” could have never done; it showed me how much PAR cares for me as a person. In that moment, my fellow brothers and sisters loved me enough to let me be a mom in what was an important life moment for me and my son. They even celebrated the “Mom Win” with me.  

Caring about who your team members are and what they value goes a long way. Care cannot be faked; it has to be genuine. Try to fake it and they will know. PAR provides genuine care for its team members. They acknowledge the whole person, not just the parts that benefit them the most.

You have to trust your team and they have to trust you. We want to believe we have their trust because we are leaders, but that is just not the case. It’s earned.  Every word, action, and decision is either building trust or using trust equity. When you make a wrong decision as a leader, it can either spend your trust equity or be used to build it up. The outcome depends on how you handle the situation. If you address things head on and let your team help come up with a better solution, it will build trust. However, if you place the blame on others, or refuse to admit it was a mistake, it will exhaust the goodwill you worked so hard to build.

The same is true for dealing with conflict. Ignore it, or tell people you will deal with it and fail to follow through—that spends trust equity. On the other hand, when you deal with it you not only put yourself in a position to resolve the issue, you earn valuable trust.

Being in the communication business you would think we would have this part down.  Unfortunately, this is something PAR struggled with, which is why we’ve worked so hard on addressing those issues and ultimately, fixing the problem.

Over communicating is key to fixing the problem!  Now, please understand, I’m not talking about having a three-hour staff meeting. Rather, you make expectations clear to your team and then follow up with them weekly to learn how things are going.  PAR managers hold weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member. During these meetings we follow up on projects, discuss issues, and check on the person’s well-being. Both the manager and team member share an open line of communication with one another.  The same process applies to teams as well to make sure we are all on the same page.

Friend, here’s some more truth…if you had asked PAR team members this very same question five short years ago, their answer would have been much different. I say that so you understand that there is hope.  Right now, you may be working in an organization that is broken in the same way we were.  If that’s true for you, then it’s time to make those three important changes.  I won’t lie, it takes a lot of work—and once it’s fixed the work doesn’t stop.  Much like a garden, to manage anything well, you have to tend to it.  With God’s grace and genuine resolve, it can be done.

Dear Christian Radio…

  1. Care for one another. (1 Corinthians 12:25-27)
  2. Trust in each other. (Luke 16:10)
  3. Communicate with one another. (Ephesians 4:2-3)



Colleen Larkins
Director of Digital Media
Positive Alternative Radio

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