How do you feel after a day at work? Do you experience a sense of accomplishment and feel energised by your work and those you work with? Or is your focus predominately on fixing problems, noticing what is going wrong, feeling over-stretched and underappreciated? If your energy and enthusiasm at work is being drained and you are surviving rather than thriving at work, you are more likely to become disengaged which impacts your personal wellbeing,your productivity and the organisation’s profitability. If you want to boost your energy and engagement at work, start with a couple of simple positive practices that are easy to implement at work with little cost or resourcing. All it takes is the right mindset and some practice. Ready? NOTICE THE GOOD WHAT: Our negativity bias is strong and our brains are hard wired to notice the bad more than the good. It overestimates threats and underestimates opportunities which makes us anxious, fearful to act and wears down our mental health. While negative emotions make us cautious to protect ourselves from harm, they are not so effective for building resources to embrace change. Positive emotions help us do this – they light us up and reenergise us. Making a deliberate action to shift your mind to notice what is going right in addition to dealing with what is going wrong will boost your positive emotions. WHY: Positive emotions such as joy, hope, love, interest, pride, amusement, serenity, gratitude, inspiration and awe – help us to see more, do more and connect better with others. Research suggests positive emotions expand our capacity to see the bigger picture, increasing creativity and innovation in job performance to better problem-solve and find solutions. They are a protective barrier to stress – and build a healthy foundation to boost our resilience. They energise us to manage challenges.
HOW: During a work day, it may be as simple as going for a walk at lunch out in nature, phoning a good friend, meeting a colleague for coffee, sharing a joke, or smiling and greeting 3 people before lunch. Why not set a positive tone for your meeting by highlighting one thing that has gone well in your day? At a conference, I spoke at recently, it took just 5 minutes for 130 delegates to brainstorm and share over 150 ways they could experience positive emotions at their workplace to boost positivity at work that builds optimism and enhances our ability to manage change.
CONNECT WELL WITH OTHERS WHAT: We are social beings and we all want to feel connected to our group. We all share that deep psychological need to feel respected, valued and appreciated. Experiencing positive connections with others are the foundation of positive relationships and can be built in micro moments of our day. If you want a supportive environment at work, begin creating it through your own actions. Look for ways to positively connect with others throughout your day to feel connected to the team vision and energised by the collaborative connections.
WHY: Research on the benefits of creating high-quality connections with others at work indicates they help us learn faster, solve problems better, and make us more committed and more involved in our work. Connecting well with others also makes us more resilient. HOW: Look for opportunities during your work day to make even brief interactions with others a positive experience.
In my Cultivating Collaboration™ program, I use the TREE acronym to teach four practical ways to connect well with others to build positive relationships that enhance your wellbeing. High-quality connections lead to improved teamwork and collaborative behaviour. Find out more ways to build positive practices at work at WellbeingWorks or connect with me to find out more about my Cultivating Collaboration™ workshop.