It doesn’t matter what you do for your team or for yourself. If you’re determined to be unhappy, then circumstances don’t matter.
I can just hear the hue and cry. “You just don’t get it. I WANT to be happy. I WANT to be engaged at work but the behavior of (fill in the blank: coworker, boss, subordinates) is standing in my way.”
Poppycock. (Did she say, “Poppycock? Who says that these days?”)
You can get frustrated without getting discouraged. You can be disappointed without giving up. And you can be happy even in the face of incredible challenges. In fact, some of the unhappiest people I know seem to have no challenges at all! They’re rich, they’re healthy and successful beyond all measures. And they are completely miserable.
Conversely, we all know those who are struggling financially, have family members who are ill, and cannot seem to get ahead. And yet they are happy. Probably because they’re focused on helping others instead of whining about their own lives.
Happiness has everything to do with focus. Where’s your focus? Are you focused on what works in your job or on all the things that you believe to be wrong? Are you focused on the value of your teammates or are you continually searching for ways they don’t measure up? Are you doing the same to yourself?
The title of this blog came from a story I heard once. A young man finally decided he was an addict and he needed to stop drinking and taking drugs. After he was clean and sober for six months, he was complaining to his counselor, “Nothing’s really changed. I’m still miserable. All I want is to be happy.” The counselor looked at him thoughtfully and then responded, “Go ahead! Who’s trying to stop you?”
To schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation about how to create a more positive work culture, call 480-560-9452 or email Silver@SilverSpeaks.com
For years I have been promoting the power of silence. If you’ve heard me speak on the topic of How to Get Others to WILLINGLY Do What Needs to be Done, then you are familiar with the following guidance: “Once you ask a question, STOP TALKING!!!”
I came across this article that gives you even more reasons to master the art of silence.
Whether it is Disney characters singing, “Whistle while you work,” or the Nebraska volleyball team featured in the October 9th Wall Street Journal article, A Team That Digs Deeper to Have Fun, the idea of applying fun to make hard work easier (and more successful) intrigues us all—unless you practice, or are in a culture of, fear-driven leadership.
PLEASE don’t miss the point by being put off by the word “fun.” If it’s more appropriate, use the phrase ”enjoying yourself while working.” The point is that, when people are enjoying themselves, they are not stressed and are more productive.
Remember that The Law of Attraction dictates that you get more of what you focus on. When your team members are focused on what stresses them then they will attract even more of what stresses them – like being behind schedule. When they are focused on enjoying their work, they will attract more of what is enjoyable – like being ahead of schedule.
I once had an attendee at one of my programs report, “When we’re laughing at work, we get into trouble. Our boss thinks we’re goofing off.” That made me sad, especially since not only was she and her co-workers negatively impacted by this, so was that fear-driven boss. He was missing opportunities for his team to increase productivity and lower stress.
More than ever, it’s important to pay attention to the impact of high stress/no fun on productivity WHY?
It’s so simple to allow people to enjoy their work. It requires leadership that is fun-driven as opposed to fear-driven. Asking yourself every day, “How can we make this more fun?” will pay off in ways you cannot fathom. Try it for a week. Just one week. And watch what happens.
By the way, that Nebraska volleyball team I mentioned earlier? Their motto is: Laugh Together, Win Together! In December 2017 they won their FIFTH NCAA title.
To schedule a FREE 20-minute phone call about how you can make your work environment more fun, email Silver@SilverSpeaks.com
“Humility is even more pleasing in people in whom arrogance would be understandable.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Two interesting pieces of information came across my computer screen today:
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, humility is defined as follows: freedom from pride or arrogance.
It would be difficult to view an arrogant boss as a partner. We’re more likely to view him/her as someone to fear, or steer clear of. Neither encourages happiness or teamwork.
On the other hand, someone who is free from pride or arrogance is often what we term “approachable” or easy to be around. Each of us carries within us a desire to feel like our boss likes us and is “one of us;” that can only be fulfilled by someone who is humble.
Here are a few clues that your team sees you as someone to fear:
If you’re interested in improving your likability, the best book I know is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
If you’re not interested, consider this: A study conducted by economic researchers at the University of Warwick discovered happiness resulted in a 12% increase in productivity. On the other hand, unhappy workers were 10% less productive.
Besides, not wanting to improve your likebility is pretty arrogant, don’t you think?
9/11/2018 – Today, along with millions of Americans, I have been watching footage of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Recurring themes include heroism, people’s inherent kindness to others during times of duress, and going the extra mile.
These attributes are why I have never despaired, “What will become of us?” I know that, deep down we are all connected and want the best for each other, for our country, and for the world.
What does this have to do with employee engagement? Simply this: you needn’t wait for a crisis to practice kindness. You have opportunities all day long, both at work and in your personal life.
At work, striving for an environment where employees look forward to coming to work each day is one of the kindest things you can do for your co-workers, and yourself. Caring enough to ask, “How are you doing? How can I support you?” goes a long way toward allaying any underlying fears your team may have. Fears like: “Am I alone? Does anyone care that I’m struggling? Does my work even matter?”
A sense of belonging is also one of the themes of the 9/11 aftermath. We bonded together as Americans.
We all want to belong. If you doubt this, think back to your High School days.
Work is a place where the opportunity to experience a sense of being included is present every day. More than anything, creating an environment where everyone strongly feels they are an important part of the team ensures a culture of engagement.
While we are remembering 9/11, we also have an eye on Hurricane Florence, scheduled to hit the East Coast soon.
It is comforting to know that neighbors will help neighbors even if they live in different states far away.
Having said that, please don’t wait for a crisis to help your neighbors at work. You don’t know who on your team may be suffering now and need a kind word, a confidence-boosting assignment, or some feedback that will help them to grow.
“Make a difference, not just a living.” – Anonymous
Let’s strive to be every day heroes. No one will make a documentary about it but to those around you, it can make all the difference between an existence of simply marking time or work they look forward to each day.