“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the quality of the culture, which depends on the quality of the relationship, which depends on the quality of the conversations,
Everything happens through conversation!!!”
Judith E. Glaser
If I asked you who the best Boss, you have had was – could you name him or her?
If I asked you who the worst Boss, you ever had was – I know you could name him or her.
Judith E. Glaser whom I worked with for 3 years taught me the importance of “changing the conversation in the workplace” In my work I see too many broken people, who have been undermined, unsupported and not recognised for the work that they do. In world where we are so fixated on our technology – real conversations are not taking place.
We are asked to do more, be more and know more. We feel we are connected and yet we don’t speak to the people sitting around us.
Human beings thrive on being appreciated, valued and supported. When the work environment feels threatening, it brings out fears that will be experienced as rejection. While we may not see the impact, a negative work environment dampens down people’s “voices” and they don’t speak up easily. Environments, certain words and lack of transparency trigger old memories. By changing the environment to a safe and supportive one, we activate TRUST networks in the Brain.
People feel safe, act more confident and engage with one another in an innovative and collaborative way. They are more engaged and productivity is increased.
I have gently edited this for the purpose of sharing the 5 tips from their article “Proof that a Positive Culture is more productive.”
- Foster social connections. A large number of empirical studies confirm that positive social connections at work produce highly desirable results. For example, people get sick less often, recover twice as fast from surgery, experience less depression, learn faster and remember longer, tolerate pain and discomfort better, display more mental acuity, and perform better on the job.
- Show empathy. As a boss, you have a huge impact on how your employees feel. Research found that, when employees recalled a boss that had been unkind or un-empathic, they showed increased activation in areas of the brain associated with avoidance and negative emotion while the opposite was true when they recalled an empathic boss.
- Go out of your way to help. Ever had a manager or mentor who took a lot of trouble to help you when he or she did not have to? Chances are you have remained loyal to that person to this day. When leaders are not just fair but self-sacrificing, their employees are actually moved and inspired to become more loyal and committed themselves. As a consequence, they are more likely to go out of their way to be helpful and friendly to other employees, thus creating a self-reinforcing cycle. Daan Van Knippenberg of Rotterdam School of Management shows that employees of self-sacrificing leaders are more cooperative because they trust their leaders more. They are also more productive and see their leaders as more effective and charismatic.
- Encourage people to talk to you – especially about their problems.Not surprisingly, trusting that leader has your best interests at heart improves employee performance. Employees feel safe rather than fearful. Fostering a culture of safety i.e. in which leaders are inclusive, humble, and encourage their staff to speak up or ask for help, leads to better learning and performance outcomes. Rather than creating a culture of fear of negative consequences, feeling safe in the workplace helps encourage the spirit of experimentation so critical for innovation.
- When you know a leader is committed to operating from a set of values based on interpersonal kindness, he or she sets the tone for the entire organization. In Give and Take, Wharton professor Adam Grant demonstrates that leader kindness and generosity are strong predictors of team and organizational effectiveness.
A positive work climate also leads to a positive workplace culture which, again, boosts commitment, engagement, and performance. Happier employees make for not only a more congenial workplace but for improved customer service. As a consequence, a happy and caring culture at work not only improves employee well-being and productivity but also improved client health outcomes and satisfaction.
In sum, a positive workplace is more successful over time because it increases positive emotions and well-being. This, in turn, improves people’s relationships with each other and amplifies their abilities and their creativity. It buffers against negative experiences such as stress, thus improving employees’ ability to bounce back from challenges and difficulties while bolstering their health. And, it attracts employees, making them more loyal to the leader and to the organization as well as bringing out their best strengths. When organizations develop positive, virtuous cultures they achieve significantly higher levels of organizational effectiveness — including financial performance, customer satisfaction, productivity, and employee engagement.