How’s the weather where you are? I am not asking about the kind of weather that you experience when you walk outdoors, but the weather when you walk in your office. Earlier January this year, I had a conversation with a group of Senior Managers from an IT company. Almost all said, “When we enter the office in the morning, we can feel the tension. People barely acknowledge each other. There’s no trust, no lasting happiness at work. Over the years I’ve had similar conversations with some people in different industries and businesses of all sizes. Even virtual teams sense when negativity is on the net. People have become comfortable blaming others, like “If she communicated more, things would improve.” As the volume of work increases, stress and tension escalate too. Negativity in the work environment is the number one reason for employee turnover. Employees hop jobs in search of a company having positive work environment, only to find themselves back into the loop of negativity. A few months back having coffee with some friends, we had an interesting conversation.One of them worked for a fortune 500 company and expressed how tough life was at his company. He went non stop complaining about the negativity and lack of trust and wished to move to a mid-size company where things could be better. Hearing this, my other friend said how she wanted to move into a more prominent company because her medium-sized company has so much of office politics and micromanagement.
Negativity is widespread in our workplaces today. The size and industry do not matter. It’s prevalent everywhere. In the last six months, I have been helping companies get rid of this dis-ease through LTM training and coaching.
The first question each of us must ask our self is, from where is negativity coming into the organizations? What's the entry point? Is it coming from your client, boss, management, peers, colleagues, vendors, the FedEx man? Have you not made your company as secure as possible to ensure protection against negativity? We are in an era where companies are providing the best facilities to their employees in an attempt to keep them happy as happiness means positive work environment. There are multiple initiatives to keep employees happy with benefits, paid time off, healthcare packages, flex time and those initiatives are noble, worthy and essential. Yet, negativity persists because we haven't focused on the employee's internal environment, the one your employees create and live with 24 hours of every day? Most employees are seeking to fix a problem in the outer environment: achieve targets, meet deadlines, sell more products, be a peak performer and their internal environment is one of stress, struggle, disturbances, and anxiety. In this state of mind, they come to work each day. How do you think productivity is when they work in this state of mind. How will the result be? If you want to achieve higher results, if you're going to increase productivity, if you're going to create a positive work environment, the employee's state of mind has to be positive and productive first. It’s the being who is doing.
Negativity enters your organization with each person working in it. It starts with YOU. 80% of the time, the chokehold on your success and productivity is your people's psychology. And the cycle will continue until the realization emerges that sustainable results can flow only from a conditioned mindset.
You can’t control the weather outdoors, but we all can influence the climate within. We’re always running tight “inside” with sensitive workplace issues we hold on or things we try to control, work pressure, deadlines to meet, global teams and culture. We continue operating in this condition day after day with the aim of increasing productivity, of being a peak performer, of growing in the organization, of feeling fulfilled at work, of creating a positive impact. If you want to be an influential leader, it is imperative to first influence the climate within you. Many leaders, during an interview, ask about what kind of work environment you prefer? Let’s ask instead about the environment within them?’ Because the environment that your employee carries within sets the tone for your external work environment.
There are many ways I talk about during my workshops on how to generate positive energy at workplace. So here are the five-step to your ten-day challenge to create a positive work environment:
Step 1 Be CONSCIOUS of your inner weather (feelings, emotions.
Step 2 CHECK what is your usual pattern of relating to your angr,
or confused feelings?
Step 3. OBSERVE your actions when such feelings surface?
Step 4 SWITCH to the feeling you would want to generate instead.
Step 5 ASK yourself how you would like to feel each day.
If every employee accepts this challenge and practices these initial steps, you would have invited positivity into your work culture. You can genuinely accomplish anything of lasting significance in your outer environment by altering the inner climate.
Payal Nanjiani is a business and leadership coach, leadership trainer and catalyst for change. She frequently speaks over the radio as well as conducts workshops on how to condition yourself and teams for success. You can write your comments and feedback to her at firstname.lastname@example.org