Creating A Positive Work Space

leadership self-mastery Mar 03, 2022
Don't forget, a person's highest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

This Month with Ondina

Creating A Positive Work Space

How do you create a positive work space for people to work productively and creatively so they feel included and want to solve challenges together?

Creating the right environment

“To get to the next level of greatness depends on the culture, which depends on the relationships, which depends on the conversations. Everything happens through conversations!!!” - JUDITH GLASER

Learning how to create the right work environment doesn’t come from a handbook, it is achieved with the right mindset, a mindset of cooperation and inclusion.

By creating an environment that is safe and supportive, we activate the trust networks in the brain. People feel safe, act more confidently and engage with one another in a co-creative and innovative way. We have been living in a very unstable environment over the last few years so we need to make space for vulnerability. Not everyone sees the world in the same way. We all make up our own meanings and we all have our own experiences in life. 

Daniel Goleman in 1990 popularised the concept of Emotional Intelligence and refers to it as – the ability to read others’ signals and respond to them appropriately while understanding and appreciating the world from others’ perspectives.

Humans thrive on being appreciated, valued and supported - some need it more than others. When you are in an environment that feels threatening, it brings out fears that may be experienced as rejection. We may not notice the environment as negative ourselves, and without a healthy dose of emotional intelligence, we don’t see how it impacts those who do. Environments may trigger old memories and put some people into fight flight mode, which shows up as unexpected and undesirable behaviour (sometimes referred to as showing up as your 2-year-old self)

Studies have also found that those who show the greatest distress and frustration, form judgements and get emotionally triggered, tend to be more self-focused and show less empathy and less interest to others distress. However, by being consciously aware of how the environment impacts us, we can intentionally create an environment to bring out the best in others.

The environment we grow up in has a huge impact on our mindset and the attitude we have towards life.  If you were raised by parents who created a positive environment with conversations that valued and appreciated you, you will have a more optimistic view on life and be more self-confident. Yet someone who was brought up by parents who were more harsh and judgmental, would behave more defensively, find it harder to build trust, have low self-esteem and be less open to conversations.

Try this

  1. Get to know your people and together create an environment for productivity and creativity.
  2. Include your team in conversations about the best way to do their job.
  3. Create space where people can work on projects together.
  4. Create an environment of less judgement so that each member of your team feels successful.
  5. Encourage others to take the lead and engage others in co-creating their own methods for success.

Some ideas for shared conversations

  1. What are some of the areas that may feel threatening to some?
  2. What are some of the fears the team may be experiencing?
  3. How can you minimise some of those fears?
  4. What are the sources of negativity in your workplace?
  5. What can we as a team do to create a more positive workplace?

Although some people might find it easier working from home – Research shows that for some, working from home can mean missing out on the positive relationships and the water cooler conversations, going to lunch with a colleague or using a breakout room to share experiences – says Erica Dhawan in her book Digital Body Language.

Want to learn more?

Book a 30-minute call to discuss – A half day workshop for your team to experience Conversational Intelligence -  A framework to change the conversation in your workplace.

You also might want to take a look at Conversational Intelligence by Judith Glaser whose ideas were the basis of today's blog. 

Happy Mindful March
Ondina x


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