Most people have worked in a negative workplace at some stage in their careers, a workplace where people immediately see the worst in any scenario and waste time and energy moaning about a situation rather than being productive. In my experience there are only two things which can turn around a negative workplace – trust and kindness. In the last week I have heard some interesting comments on trust and kindness.
The first was on the train listening to a manager speak to a more junior colleague. The manager was trying to persuade the junior colleague that she was ready to lead the presentation that they were about to give to a potential client. The manager talked through what they were going to say and the junior colleague chipped in with what seemed like useful comments and sometimes corrected the manager on statistics which she then backed up with evidence. At the end of the run through, the junior colleague still thought she was not able to lead but the manager simply said “trust yourself, I trust you and you know the material better than me”. You could see the employee relax and she agreed to deliver the session. It’s a simple phrase but by showing the junior colleague she was trusted and using evidence to back it up the manager was able to give the team member the confidence required. “Trust yourself” and “I trust you” are powerful phrases that create positive working environments especially when backed up with evidence.
The second was in my kitchen – I was discussing a work dilemma with my friend who runs a team of about eight people - it was one of those people dilemmas and related to a colleague who worked for her, who she knew reasonably well, but it was a difficult situation and she was not sure what to do . Our daughters (who are a few years into primary school) walked into the kitchen in search of glue and scissors and overheard our conversation. After bemoaning the woeful lack of crafting materials in the house (only four boxes) they turned and said “ oh the answer to that is easy” at which point the two spoke in sing song unison “if you’re not sure what to do just be kind”. It answered the problem beautifully ( and also meant we were released for crafting so all were happy).
Sometimes as adults we over complicate situations by pre-empting answers and thinking of numerous possible outcomes to a given scenario. This can lead us to doing nothing and anyone who has been to any of our sessions will know this is the only wrong answer to any difficult situation. Kindness has huge power, it multiplies and reflects creating positivity in the giver and receiver and in turn a positive productive environment for all. Being kind to yourself can be a good place to start or do something kind for your team.
Trust yourself, trust your team and be kind. It sounds simple but it does not always feel it, if you need help putting it in to practise please do contact us.