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In the book Positive Organizational Scholarship, Kim Cameron suggests we should shift from negative to positive and concentrate on “what makes life worth living.” Here are five ways to shift from negative to positive whether you’re the boss or a well-meaning team member trying to make a difference.

Do Tasks a Different Way to Show Leadership Competencies

It could be called new employee effect or the consultant effect. Somebody new comes into an organization and says, “You are going to have to change your processes.”

Don’t wait on the new guy to shake things up. A boss interested in making positive changes should take the initiative to ask people to shift from the stagnant to new, re-engineered ways. It may take a little assessment of time/cost, but in the end, people feel empowered again. Team members with control over their own processes should go ahead and change just a little. It may only take an email to let others know about the change that affects them.

Getting the Job Done to Manage Stress

Procrastination keeps people from achieving their goals. People put things off because they think the task is going to be undesirable, and so they stall. Unfinished tasks can create stress.

Teams should examine stalled tasks and set some realistic goals to complete them. It may sound like old-school, carrot-stick type tactics, but sometimes revisiting an old tactic can be new, too. People should set goals, meet them, and attach some meaningful rewards to completing those tasks.

Be Thoughtful and Show Kindness

Who in their right mind is going to be thoughtful in a serious workplace? Sometimes it doesn’t take much effort to be kind and it is harmless. One can do a small favor like pick up lunch for busy colleagues, or pass out a ream of printer paper for everybody when they get one for themselves. Whatever the kind action, it should be workplace related.

The plan is to plant small, relevant seeds of kindness around your workplace. The action costs nothing. A thank you should not be expected, either. The act of kindness should speak for itself. “Thank you” develops as the culture changes to positive.

Resist the Urge to Brag: It Creates Positive Relationships

People should shift the focus from the self to others. The workplace is full of insecure people who want recognition for a job well done. If they don’t get praise, they start hunting for it.

The goal should be to do a good job, then let the product speak for itself. It may take a week or longer to break the habit of bragging, but in the end it will pay off. Perhaps people should brag on someone else for a change, it is good for the soul.

Saying “Thank You” is Good Workplace Communication

There are plenty of opportunities throughout the workweek to simply say thank you. People should say it and not expect it from others. It is good to say thank you to the person mopping the floors or taking out the trash.

If somebody holds the door, one should always say thanks. If somebody provides a ream of paper for a printer, a hearty thanks is in order. A boss does wonders for morale when she takes a moment to tell everybody how much she appreciates the good, hard work.

There is Hope for the Workplace

People may be suspicious at first, but people are always suspicious of change. When enacting change, it will do no good to worry about whether people think these acts are genuine or not.

Sometimes leadership involves pushing against the norm, and living with the change. It does not matter if people are suspicious. Acts of kindness and selflessness are not against the rules. Acts of kindness should be the norm, no matter what.

Source: Tim has published in the academic journals Science and Engineering Ethics, Research Management Review and Accountability in Research. He is a freelance writer in his spare time.

His freelance articles take a look at leadership, job and career issues, alternative medicine, education, medical research, ethics and the environment. For more articles by Tim, visit: http://www.suite101.com/writer_articles.cfm/noelbell

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