The Thinking Exercise Sure to Cultivate a More Positive Work Environment
What does that mean to you?
Perhaps it means doing acts of kindness for others, serving those less fortunate, exercising to take care of yourself, complimenting a coworker on a job well done, supporting your spouse in a new job or hobby, smiling at the grocery clerk when you purchase your groceries, kissing your son or daughter goodnight, and so on and so on. To each person it can mean something different. And that’s ok.
Who are you when you are positive?
You might be laughing, smiling, giving, caring, curious, adventurous, nurturing, willing, gentle, motivated, friendly, loving,outgoing, etc. Anything goes. Again, there is no wrong answer.
Now think of a time you were all of those things. A time when you felt good about what you did or something that happened. A moment that brought a smile to your face. Think through the experience. How did it make you feel?
Did you feel peaceful, connected, whole, certain, happy, joyous, calm, anew, relaxed? With no judgement of yourself, hold on to that feeling as if you just lived that time right before reading this.
Now think of a time at work that you felt you could have handled more positively or differently. Maybe an email to a coworker, a conversation with a client or even in a meeting with your boss. How did you feel after that experience (this may be a negative feeling)?
Maybe you felt frustrated, stressed, overwhelmed, uncertain, distracted, hateful, angry, doubtful, sad, fearful, shameful. Still, no wrong answer here. Without judgement, invite this feeling in (only temporarily though).
What did you take away from this? What did you learn?
Perchance you learned that taking your lunch break helps you remain calm throughout the day or that your word-choice in email can sound harsh to others. You may have gathered that you are carrying some frustration from other parts of your life into work every day or that you are overwhelmed by your workload. No matter what you can take away from this work experience, do not judge yourself. Look objectively as if you can learn from it and grow or change your behavior to be more positive.
Lastly, brainstorm ways you can improve or adjust your behavior so that you can feel those positive feelings rather than negative ones.
This might be that you put your lunch break in your calendar everyday to ensure you take it or that you get someone to read over an email to make sure you won’t offend others. Maybe you go for a jog before work to distract yourself from life’s woes or that you make a list of priorities to accomplish what you must during your day at work. The solution can be anything to cultivate a way for you to BE POSITIVE.
Here are a few other ways to begin developing a more positive work environment.
- Show gratitude. Send a thank you email or card thanking a co-worker for his or her support on a project.
- Celebrate wins (personal and professional). Congratulate a co worker on landing that new client or for finishing second on a race he or she did over the weekend.
- Encourage time for reflection. Work as a team to ensure everyone gets a break during the day to take care of things and unwind a bit from the day’s work stress.
- Respond with positive intent. Stop. Think. Then speak. Intentionally think about how you want to respond to others in order to ensure it leaves BOTH of you with a positive experience.
- Focus on strengths. Acknowledge what others bring to the table and how it can help get the job done!
For more ideas enjoy “ 5 Quick Ways You Can Bring Positive Psychology To Your Workplace” from Forbes
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC