Wouldn’t it be great to work in a place where you felt valued? To feel that what you do in the organization makes a difference, and that the organization appreciates what you contribute on a daily basis?
Now some people may already work in this type of environment. Other people may say I’m crazy for even thinking such a thing could exist. But here is the neat part—these places do exist. Even better, it is an environment that benefits not only the employee but the health of the company as well.
There is a management style that embraces something called positive leadership that Kim Cameron discusses in his book Positive Leadership, Strategies for Extraordinary Performance. I was so excited after reading this book because it reflects how I had managed departments for years. During my time in the corporate sector, I always felt that people were one of a company’s most important resources, especially working in a service industry as I had. When you aren’t providing a physical object, the quality of the service offered by those that work for you becomes even more important.
Positive leadership is a very powerful tool that can grow a business faster and stronger than the more traditional management methods. The concept behind positive leadership is rather simple and elegant. A company that focuses on the strengths of the employees rather than the weaknesses will result in a culture of optimism rather than pessimism. This culture has an affirmative bias–embracing the positive–rather than a negative bias. Supportive communication is valued more than negative communication and there is a general belief that people will thrive and produce more when surrounded by positive energy rather than negative. This is similar to the way a plant will grow toward the light rather than the dark—humans react in much the same way.
So what is in this for a company that throws out the traditional management system of focusing on weakness and punitive action for as a means of improving performance? Again it is rather simple—they are setting the stage for overall performance by individuals, and hence the company, that exceeds expectations. Kind of neat, huh?
There are four strategies that will help a company leave the norm behind and experience exceptional performance. They are strategies that cultivate positive climate, positive relationships, positive communication, and positive meaning. Each one of these strategies is important by itself, but when an organization blends them together amazing things can happen. Both individuals and the company can flourish.
This is not a Pollyanna management theory that ignores problems. There will always be issues and challenges. One of the problems with root-cause analysis management styles is that so much time is spent on identifying the problem that the negative aspects of an organization become the focus. Positive leadership styles seek to elevate that which is exceptional in an organization. It can be broken down into the simple idea that you should spend more time and energy cultivating what you want to grow. If you focus only on the challenges faced on a daily basis, you will unintentionally stifle the growth of positive and vibrant energy in an organization. Ultimately, it is this type of vibrant energy that will propel workers to provide exceptional service to the customers and the organization itself.
It may seem self-serving, but when a company promotes the idea of having individuals thrive at work, the company will thrive as well. I have seen the effects of positive leadership as well as punitive-based leadership. I have to say that positive leadership has provided better overall results, and a stronger more unified workplace team. A team that feels valued and respected will always out-produce one that feels minimalized and unsupported.
As a wellness coach and consultant, I am always excited to see shifts toward positive action in the workplace. Changing corporate culture is not an easy thing, but the rewards certainly justify the efforts. We may not always like to admit it, but work is a major part of all of our lives. Creating a culture that promotes positive emotions, strong interpersonal support systems, and an environment that promotes personal development and virtuous action will strengthen both the individual and the company involved.
When we feel good about going to work, going to place where our contributions are recognized and valued, something amazing happens. Our sense of well-being improves, and the satisfaction that we feel at work spills over into other aspects of our lives.
And that is really one of the most positive rewards that we can get from a day’s work.
Are you ready to feel how the power of one-to-one coaching can help you break down barriers and live your Personal Best? Click here to schedule a complimentary strategic coaching session and see if wellness coaching is right for you.