Our patience wore very thin as I, and the group I was working with at the Memorial Golf Tournament, repeatedly explained what could not be brought into the course. Generally, people were very understanding and complied with the rules, but it was the few who could not comprehend why their backpack, purse, chair, etc. was required to be left behind that made all of us wish we were somewhere else.
As leaders, we will have to enforce rules. These rules may be ones we initiate or rules handed to us by others for our enforcement. In either case we must ensure that everyone, including those who will complain, follow, and obey the rules.
Here are some suggestions when communicating and enforcing rules:
- Make sure the rules have been communicated to everyone
- Make sure everyone understands why the rules are necessary
- Clearly state the penalties for non-compliance
- If you encounter resistance make sure you indicate the concerns will be passed on to the rule maker
- If you are the rule maker listen very carefully to objections and if changes are justified, make them
- Be consistent with enforcement; don’t make exceptions on the fly
Rules are to ensure that the organization operates in an organized fashion and continues to be true to its mission. Rules shouldn’t impede people’s progress but guide them correctly to achieving the organizational vision.
Leaders will need to enforce the rules. Some won’t like them and try to break them. Be ready.