In last week’s post, we discussed the scientific benefits of gratitude—how research studies show that practicing gratitude produces healthier and happier individuals and workplaces. This week, we will take it one step further to discuss how you, as a leader, can apply these concepts to transform your entire organization. Leaders who effectively create a culture of gratitude simultaneously create a culture of engagement, where employees feel valued and motivated, resulting in stronger productivity, profitability, retention, customer satisfaction, and more. So how can you create a culture of gratitude? Start with these six steps...
As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I challenge you to fully immerse yourself in this season of gratitude. Giving thanks feels good, but those warm, fuzzy feelings don’t just happen by accident—research studies show that gratitude is directly associated with greater happiness, health, and overall well-being. The simple act of giving thanks has remarkable benefits.
We are expert “assumers”. We assume we know what others want, how to communicate with them, the best approach to recognizing them, and more. Unfortunately, our assumptions aren’t often correct. They are typically direct reflections of our own preferences, not others’. The result? Challenging, even strained, relationships and team dynamics.
So what do we do about it? It’s quite simple really – we become intentionally curious. Instead of being expert “assumers”, we must become expert “askers”.
Here are five simple, but powerful questions to help guide intentional curiosity.
A while back, I asked a senior executive to meet with a group of relatively young, but eager rising leaders. He showed up in jeans, which did not match the company’s cultural norms, hoping to come across as approachable, despite his high ranking. He adjusted his style to draw near…and, in return, they felt comfortable to ask candid questions and share their ideas.
Good leaders draw near. But it's often hard, uncomfortable, and inconvenient, so we fight it. Are you missing out on the power of proximity?
Yesterday, I spent the day interviewing top talent for Boeing’s highly-competitive, early career business leadership rotation program (the Business Career Foundation Program). Candidates’ resumes were beyond impressive, packed with relevant internships, student leadership, community involvement, and academic excellence. More importantly, behind each resume, I saw solid work ethic, humility, inclusivity, and a hunger to make a difference. This early career talent is equipped and eager to enter the workforce, ready to powerfully impact the way we do business. My concern is, are we equipped and ready for them?
Companies are scrambling, trying to figure out how to best attract and retain Millennials. I have managed recruitment strategies and development programs for new college hires off and on for many years, trying to figure out this strategy myself. Here’s what I’ve learned…
Things aren't always as they seem. We know this saying well; and yet, we continue to take things at face value. We trust our intuition and don't want to spend time digging deeper. So, instead, we assume that things are actually exactly as they seem and respond accordingly.
This happens in teams all the time. I recently partnered with a team who was facing some challenges. The group was comprised of talented, driven individuals who were all passionate about their work and appeared to genuinely care about each other. Seemed like a dream team; so why were they having trouble communicating and executing?
So which is it - opposites attract or birds of a feather flock together? I think it depends.
My husband and I fall in the first camp and receive completely opposite results when taking any personality assessment. Our differences drive each other crazy, but also create this perfect blend and balance (for which so I'm grateful).
It seems that, in romantic relationships, we are often strategic enough to choose partners with different personalities and strengths, but in the workplace, we tend to gravitate toward working styles similar to our own. Go getters want to work with other fast-paced drivers. Analytical minds enjoy partnering with others who take time to assess the data before acting. Relationship builders prefer officemates who, like them, want to share more than just tasks and desk space.
We are comfortable partnering with people like us. It's easier and even feels more productive. But is it?
Many companies today offer impressive (and creative) employee perks...free ski lift passes, beer on tap in the office, extra cash for vacations. I'm guessing each has quite a happy crew, but does happy = effective? Pretty sure you can be happy doing nothing. These perks create a fun and attractive culture, which is very important, but that doesn't guarantee performance.
On the flip-side, many other companies create cultures that demand performance. The pay is high, but in return, employees give their lives to their work. They spend more time at the office than at home and the local take-out joints know them by name. These companies get a lot out of their employees, but only for a short period of time as the work environment leads to high turnover (and less-than-glowing reputations, by the way).
So, do you have to pick between the two - have either happy or high-performing employees? Like 'they' always say, "You can't have your cake and eat it too." Or can you?