Three Practices to Be a More Positive Leader
As I have talked about frequently, as the leader of the team you set the tone. You are responsible for creating the culture that you want and need in order to achieve departmental goals. And, since we spend long hours together at the workplace, it’s so much easier if it feels positive and upbeat.
I tend to be more of a realist and an introvert and over the years discovered I had to “turn it up” a notch to build a positive work culture. So how did I do it? Below are three tricks that I used to help build a positive work environment.
No mindless complaining – for me or the team
This is a tough one. Did you know that many of us simply complain as a habit? It’s an easy habit to start – one day the drive to work is bad and as you walk in you tell everyone about it. The next morning, the drive is even worse, so you must update the group about how miserable it was again. Before you know it, you are the person that’s complaining about the commute every day. It wasn’t your intention; however, it just happens. So, how do you stop mindless complaining? Start by taking note of your demeanor (thoughts, feelings, mood) prior to saying something in order to ensure it doesn’t affect your conversation. Think about what you are going to say – ask yourself “if I say this will it improve the situation or environment or do, I just want to complain?” Sometimes it’s okay to share, for example, if one of your co-workers is going to visit a client and you just experienced horrible traffic on the road she would need to take, it would be worth offering to take a different route. Jon Gordon, the author of the No Complaining Rule, recommends you create a culture with your employees that they can only complain if they also have a solution to improve the situation. As you hold yourself and your team accountable to this practice the mindless complaining will decrease.
Look for the positive in a situation
We are programmed to find “what’s wrong with the situation. We live with sayings like “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” or “sounds too good to be true”. Due to this, we go through life finding the “wrong” or “bad” rather than the looking for the good. I’m a “tell it like it is with no sugar-coating type of person”, however, even I can find good in a situation. I’ve experienced my fair share of life’s hardships – I won’t bore you with the details because we all have our story and I have learned life is going to throw curve balls – it’s what it does best. However, we can decide how we want to view those curve balls. As someone once told me “you decide how you react to a situation.” To make life a bit better, why don’t we look for the good? Find something that you appreciate in everyone or in every situation. The quicker we can find something good about a bad situation, the easier it will be to move onto a more positive outlook.
Demonstrate that you care about others by listening to what they are saying
People want to be heard. They crave to be listened to. Make time to do this. Be with your team and listen to what is happening – both professionally and personally. Ask questions to understand or to find out more. Really listen – what makes them tick? Why do they like to do this project but not others? How do they feel they are doing? What’s going on at home that might be impacting the pressure at work? Does what he is saying match his body language and behavior? If not, ask questions to find out what is really happening. The more you do this, the easier it gets. And, you will be building a positive employee culture by hearing and acting on what your team is saying.
These are three simple practices that I incorporated into my life to help build a more positive culture. And when I did it consistently, even my family noticed that I was in a better mood when I came home. That’s a work-home win-win!!!