For all who work in the Corporate world, there comes a day when we're in a critical meeting, and someone very powerful points to us and uses this phrase:
"You're not a team player."
While it is never wise to question the motives of others, it is safe (and fair) to consider the impact of the phrase, since it may be one of the most manipulative strings of words in the English language. Here are some of the implications.
The phrase "You're not being a team player" implies:
You're obviously not willing to help us all succeed.
You're obviously in this for your own gain.
You're not thinking of the bigger picture.
You're not interested in our success.
Sometimes we feel that being happy at work doesn't matter, just do your job and wait for weekend (if you are to believe radio DJs) and everything will be fine.
but it won't
and you know it, so here is a great article written by Annie McKee, that explains why this is important and what you can do about it.
have a great week!!
People used to believe that you didn’t have to be happy at work to succeed. And you didn’t need to like the people you work with, or even share their values. “Work is not personal,” the thinking went. This is bunk.
My research with dozens of companies and hundreds of people — as well as the research conducted by the likes of neuroscientists Richard Davidson and V.S. Ramachandran and scholars such as Shawn Achor — increasingly points to a simple fact: Happy people are better workers. Those who are engaged with their jobs and colleagues work harder — and smarter.
And yet, there is an alarmingly high number of people who aren’t engaged. According to a sobering 2013 Gallup report, only 30% of the U.S. workforce is engaged. This echoes what I’ve seen in my work. Not very many people are truly“emotionally and intellectually committed” to their organizations. Far too many couldn’t care less about what’s happening around them. For them, Wednesday is “hump day” and they’re just working to get to Friday. And then there’s the other end of the bell curve — the nearly one out of five employees is actively disengaged, according to the same Gallup report. These people are sabotaging projects, backstabbing colleagues, and generally wreaking havoc in their workplaces.
The Gallup report also noted that employee engagement has remained largely constant over the years despite economic ups and downs. Scary: we’re not engaged with work and we haven’t been for a long time.
Disengaged, unhappy people aren’t any fun to work with, don’t add much value, and impact our organizations (and our economy) in profoundly negative ways. It’s even worse when leaders are disengaged because they infect others with their attitude. Their emotions and mindset impact others’ moods and performance tremendously. After all, how we feel is linked to what and how we think. In other words, thought influences emotion, and emotion influences thinking.
It’s time to finally blow up the myth that feelings don’t matter at work. Science is on our side: there are clear neurological links between feelings, thoughts, and actions. When we are in the grip of strong negative emotions, it’s like having blinders on. We focus mostly — sometimes only — on the source of the pain. We don’t process information as well, think creatively, or make good decisions. Frustration, anger, and stress cause an important part of us to shut down --the thinking, engaged part. Disengagement is a natural neurological and psychological response to pervasive negative emotions.
But it’s not just negative emotions we need to watch out for.Extremely strong positive emotions have the same effect. Some studies shows that too much happiness can make you less creative and prone to engage in riskier behaviors (think about how we act like fools when we fall in love!). On the work front: I’ve seen groups of people worked up into a frenzy at sales conferences and corporate pep rallies. Little learning or innovation comes out of these meetings. Throw in a lot of alcohol and you’ve got a whole host of other problems.
If we can agree that our emotional states at work matter, what do we do to increase engagement and improve performance?
Over the past few years, my team at the Teleos Leadership Institute and I have studied dozens of organizations and interviewed thousands of people. The early findings about the links between people’s feelings and engagement are fascinating. There are clear similarities in what people say they want and need, no matter where they are from, whom they work for, or what they do. We often assume that there are huge differences across industries and around the world but the research challenges that assumption.
To be fully engaged and happy, virtually everyone tells us they want three things:
You don't need to block out 30 minutes to practice meditation in order to experience the benefits of mindfulness at work. Here are a few ways you can stay in the present moment to do your best during a busy day.
We really enjoyed these great tips featured by Shamash Alidina
Mindfulness may seem like a great idea, but how do you become more mindful in the context of a busy work day? You may have emails, phone calls, meetings, and presentations to deal with. And, of course, your own work! In the middle of all that, how can you apply the principles of mindfulness so that you feel more alive and present, as well as being productive? Here are a few popular and other more radical ways to be mindful at work.
1. Be Consciously Present
Mindfulness is, above all, about being aware and awake rather than operating unconsciously. When you’re consciously present at work, you’re aware of two aspects of your moment-to-moment experience—what’s going on around you and what’s going on within you.
To be mindful at work means to be consciously present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state. If you’re writing a report, mindfulness requires you to give that your full attention.
Each time your mind wanders to things like Helen’s new role or Michael’s argument with the boss, just acknowledge the thoughts and bring your attention back to the task in hand (see how to stop thinking). This scenario sounds simple, but many aspects of your experience can get in the way.
It's that time of year and we need a pick up and go to make these last three months count. Team buildings are great fun, and a cool way to get to know everyone.
They need not be expensive, here are a couple of cheap and fun ones we found (and use), that you can give a go.
1. Two Truths and a Lie
Time Required: 15-30 minutes
Start out by having every team member secretly write down two truths about themselves and one lie on a small piece of paper – Do not reveal to anyone what you wrote down! Once each person has completed this step, allow 10-15 minutes for open conversation – much like a cocktail party – where everyone quizzes each other on their three questions. The idea is to convince others that your lie is actually a truth, while on the other hand, you try to guess other people’s truths/lies by asking them questions. Don’t reveal your truths or lie to anyone – even if the majority of the office already has it figured out! After the conversational period, gather in a circle and one by one repeat each one of your three statements and have the group vote on which one they think is the lie. You can play this game competitively and award points for each lie you guess or for stumping other players on your own lie. This game helps to encourage better communication in the office, as well as it lets you get to know your co-workers better.
2. Life Highlights Game
Time Required: 30 minutes
This is an excellent icebreaker activity that’s perfect for small and large groups alike. Begin by asking each participant to close their eyes for one minute and consider the best moments of their lives. This can include moments they’ve had alone, they’ve shared with family or friends; these moments can pertain to professional successes, personal revelations, or exciting life adventures. After the participants have had a moment to run through highlights of their lives, inform them that their search for highlights is about to be narrowed. Keeping their eyes closed, ask each participant to take a moment to decide what 30 seconds of their life they would want to relive if they only had thirty seconds left in their life. The first part of the activity enables participants to reflect back on their lives, while the second part (which we’ll discuss in a moment) enables them to get to know their coworkers on a more intimate level. The second portion of the game is the “review” section. The leader of the activity will ask each and every participant what their 30 seconds entailed and why they chose it, which will allow participants to get a feel for each other’s passions, loves, and personalities.
"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be."
Option 1: Alarm rings – hit snooze. Alarm rings – groan. Get up, throw on some clothes. Fight traffic, complain, get to work, hate the day – watch the clock and count the minutes. Go home, eat, watch TV, go to bed. Alarm rings – hit snooze. It's only Wednesday - two more days to go. Oh will this week ever end? I just want to sleep until Saturday. Please let me win the lottery. I hate this job. Did I do something bad? Every day feels like I'm in prison.
Option 2: Alarm rings but the shower drowns out the noise. Pick out sharp clothes for the day. Music on the way to work – smiling while stuck in traffic; looks great – oh my, time to go already… Where did the day go? Have a great dinner, talk about the day, asleep almost instantly. Alarm rings but the shower drowns out the noise. I love what I do!
Which would you rather feel? The question isn’t what do you feel, but what do you want? Honestly, don’t you envy, just a little, the people that actually love what they do and look forward to each day? For them, work isn’t drudgery – it’s fun! Why? Because they decide it’s going to be that way. Before you can enjoy your job, you have to figure out what "enjoyment" means to you. Doing that will not only help you enjoy your job, but it will help you more fully enjoy life in general. Here are some ways you can improve your satisfaction – job related and otherwise. This is not a quick fix; it will take some time, but the effort will be incredibly rewarding.
This week we found this fantastic article on Huffington Post by Susan Peppercorn (Principal, Positive Workplace Partners) on what strengths are. Enjoy:
If you want to thrive, you won’t get there by only trying to fix your weaknesses. You also need to leverage your strengths. As the field of positive psychology has focused more on looking at what works instead of what doesn’t, increased attention is being paid to the benefits of strengths identification and development. Research on strengths at work shows that the use of strengths is connected to greater work satisfaction, engagement, and greater productivity.
What are Strengths?
We intuitively understand that strengths are something we’re good at, something that takes less effort than things in which we don’t excel. Strengths, however, are more than what we do well. Strengths also energize us. Did you ever notice yourself involved in something where you lost track of time because you were so engaged? That’s an indication that you were using one or more of your strengths. Strengths that are energizing align with your values. One person whose strength is courage might decide to climb Mt. Everest but another might demonstrate their courage by standing up for a colleague they think is being treated unfairly. Both are demonstrating courage but in very different ways.
“Your interests in life drive your character strengths and vice versa. Bring the two together and you have a recipe for success in life. Interests and character strengths are two natural energy resources within us,” says Dr. Ryan Niemiec, psychologist and author of Mindfulness and Character-Strengths A Practical Guide to Flourishing.
image courtesy Shutterstock
In order for your company to prosper, you must figure out how to build a team that works well together. That can be a difficult task. After all, creating a team means bringing together people with different skillsets and varied personalities to work towards a common goal--a complex undertaking.
When I look at the tactics smart managers implement, I see five common threads to how they approach team-building:
1. Play to Individual Strengths
You need to understand what each individual member's strengths are and put each person in a place to shine.
It is very rare that an employee can improve upon a deficiency, especially if that deficiency is a part of their nature. If a team member isn't good at details, they will never be good at details. You need to decide if they do the rest of their job well and if so, partner them with someone else who can help shore up their deficiency.
I hired an account manager who was excellent with customers--especially our more difficult customers--but she was not good at details. I partnered her with another team member for one final review of the documents she produced before they were sent out.
2. Encourage Transparency
Teams are a lot like families, and you need to let them work things out on their own. When things start to go awry, bring together those who aren't getting along and make them work through their concerns. Don't let them put you in the middle of a he said/she said situation. Your primary job is to help team members understand each other better.
This approach will feel uncomfortable, but if they learn that your go-to strategy is to bring them together to work it out, they will start trying that on their own and will only involve you when absolutely necessary.
So, you are not happy in your job. You have tried everything, from hanging out at the coffee station more regularly to see if the caffeine overdose will get you productive to spending most of your waking day on Google searching on “How to be happy when my life sucks”
So, here is a tip, two questions actually, that if you can answer them, will help you be happier, and then be more productive in your job.
All of us can agree, that it takes only one person to completely destroy the morale and enthusiasm of a whole team. This happens everywhere, so don’t be surprised that it is happening in your office. The results can be detrimental to your team and not to mention your bottom-line.
Just some of the consequences can be
A Happy Work Place
“A department, or company, that works well together, has the most success together. When you enjoy working with your colleagues and look forward to interacting with them, everyone benefits.” Andy Teach
How true, if the morale is high at work, I’ll drive to work with a song in my heart. I’ll even make them a cup of coffee and help out with extra work. Just because my colleagues (aka work) makes me happy. “Information flows more freely”, says David Parnell, when morale is high at work.
“They’ll produce more than a low-morale work environment.”
So what to do with an unwanted or difficult colleague?
If you want to work better with your colleagues, here’s what you can do:
The more I coach couples the more I realize how true this old saying is, opposite truly do attract. Perhaps that is creations way of filling the gaps?
I recently saw an awesome couple, they got engaged a few weeks ago and is ready for married life, or so they think.
Let’s call them Harry and Sally for the sake of their privacy. :)
Harry loves people, he can chat for hours to anyone who comes along and is a great listener. Love sharing his ideas and in general just loves celebrating life.
Harry’s Strengths are – Ideation, Strategic, Positivity, Woo, and Individualization.
Now Sally on the other hand is completely different, the exact opposite in fact. She loves to study, she is extremely responsible, neat and in general quite a busy person. You know, because things need to get done, and she gets them done. Yesterday.
Sally’s Strengths are– Achiever, Discipline, Harmony, Responsibility, and Learner
Got to love those stereotypical gender roles…
This is a curated blog filled with great stuff on teams we have found in our wanderings
Understand your partner better //