Want a 31% Productivity Boost in Your Workplace?

”A manager who put his team’s attention on all the things they were doing right, increased the whole team’s productivity by 31 percent in three weeks.   Changing the way managers talk to employees in this optimistic fashion is a game-changer for boosting performance and your bottom line.’’  Inc.com

Seeing a ‘Caution Slow Driver’ sign in a car window made me think about how people generally think of and treat other people when going about normal daily life.  The driver of this car obviously feels the need to advertise how they drive – because, I wonder, they regularly experience impatience or irritation from other drivers on the road?   We do the same with green L plates in the UK to warn of an inexperienced driver so I guess it’s a good idea for road safety isn’t it? However, what is it saying about the normal reactions of others?

Do we need to wear labels or badges to let people know more about us and how we are feeling that day e.g. ‘worried about my child’s exams’,  ‘had a bad night’s sleep’,  ‘hungover’,  ‘I’m nervous about speaking to you’ or how about ‘can’t pay my latest bills’ and ‘recently bereaved’.  Would we treat people differently if we all wore badges such as these – with more sensitivity & understanding?  Do we need these things spelt out to be empathetic and more aware of our impact on others?

We humans tend to make everything about us.

  • an abrupt email from a colleague means they don’t like us,
  • traffic delays on the way to work means the world’s against us and therefore we’ll have a bad day,
  • busyness at work means that we are so much more stressed than others.
We expect the world to give us what we want and then blame the world if that doesn’t happen, or blame others if they don’t behave exactly as we would like.
Be honest, how positive are you in general about other people and their behaviour, and do you think it matters?

Well it does.
Research by Wake Forest University in the US reported in ScienceDaily, asked participants to rate positive and negative characteristics of just three people, and by what they said, the researchers were able to find out important information about the rater’s well-being, mental health, social attitudes and how they were judged by others.  ”The researchers found strong associations between positively judging others and how enthusiastic, happy, kind-hearted, courteous, emotionally stable and capable the person describes oneself and is described by others.”
The study also found that how positively you see other people shows how satisfied you are with your own life, and how much you are liked by others.  In contrast, negative perceptions of others are linked to higher levels of narcissism and antisocial behaviour.  “The simple tendency to see people negatively indicates a greater likelihood of depression and various personality disorders.”  So we can be happier and more positive by being more positive about others.  Plus, this makes a difference to them too.  We all know the saying about people being ‘drains’, their negative energy having a detrimental impact on others – the opposite is just as true – positive influence is just as powerful.
Being positive and empathetic about others not only improves their mood, it improves your mood and boosts productivity! Here are some tips on how to promote seeing the positive in others:

  • See the mistakes and help others to learn from them without dampening their confidence.
  • If performance is really a problem then tackle it productively.  Make a plan with your team member and inject encouragement and measurement.
  • Genuinely see the good in others in all situations – think kindness.
  • Remember that mistakes are human – but set the bar high to avoid them.  Be clearer.
  • Keep your power – others can’t make you feel cross or fed up – only you can with the response you choose, so choose to be optimistic and hopeful instead.
  • Don’t make everything about you, how you feel, the impact on you, and your reality of the situation, take a step back, pause and think: what’s really happening?
  • Swap negative language for positive – problem to challenge, loss to learning, and inconsistency to flexibility.
  • Smile, enjoy what you are doing, and do it in a way that reflects the very best of you.  Your iAM values.
 Being positive about others and caring how you impact on them shows that you like them, driving acceptance, motivation and engagement – and ultimately not only a happier workplace but also a more productive one.
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