Staying Positive and Productive (Even When Others Are Not)
September 19, 2013
One of the most exciting parts of running my business is working alongside a talented and capable team. In fact, I have always had one main rule when hiring someone: they must be able to teach me something. I have never been someone who ever dared to think I always know the right answer to every question; I thoroughly enjoy brainstorming with those who work on my team to bring the best and most innovative options to our clients as we possibly can. To say that what we do is a team effort would be an understatement.
Still, a team is made up of individuals with their own thoughts, feelings and opinions about nearly everything that comes into their head and personal space. This means that working well with others won’t always be easy, especially when it feels like they are being intentionally difficult. Still, I have found that making the effort to maintain a pleasant, productive and self protective demeanor can not only change the dynamic of one’s workday, it can benefit the client in a number of ways. In my position, I have found that positive and productive staff members often bring about an increase in efficiency and productivity . I can say firsthand that brainstorming sessions and meetings take on a more positive tone when those present feel they have the room and space for sharing their thoughts, ideas, feelings and concerns in an environment that feels safe, communicative and respectful. Think about it: When we are sitting across from someone who is constantly critical, judgmental or otherwise disengaged, we often just want to get on with it with as little interaction as possible. Conversations become checklists, and sometimes competitions, none of which benefit the culture or the client. But how does one stay positive when faced with outside negativity?
Set The Tone: It’s not always easy, but I do my best to think of a purpose for each day. I try to make a decision to set the tone for my day instead of allowing someone else’s bad mood or a little spilled coffee that will send me into a tailspin.
Be Constructive: Giving feedback and guidance to our clients and staff is our responsibility, but it is important to follow feelings of disappointment or disagreements with your thoughts on how to make the situation better for everyone involved. This also goes for complaining.
Expect and Give Respect: This is essential. Show respect not only of the person, but of their position and the value they bring to the company and the client.
Don’t Allow Setbacks To Pull You Down: Human beings are going to make mistakes, clients will change their minds and there will be times when the flowers don’t make it from point A to point B. You could let every little (and big) thing get to you, or you can take a deep breath and start working on solutions. Pointing out problems is only helpful the first time when no one is aware of it.