It’s this abstract thing that most people spend their whole lives looking for, but in organizations we tend to only pay attention to it when it may result in some sort of tangible competitive advantage. Life at work is this odd intersection of our human selves and our work selves, and it’s a shame it’s come to the point where we’ve had to split ourselves into so many different versions of…well…us.
I’ll spend more time on this in some future posts, but I think organizations and leaders have a huge privilege, opportunity, and even responsibility to do what they can to contribute to the happiness of people within the organization. But it’s not only leaders — teammates, too, have a significant impact on the happiness of those alongside whom they work.
There are things you and I can do — or stop doing, rather — to help nudge ourselves and others in a better direction.
You know the type. Bad things are awful, and even good things generally aren’t actually good. Talk about a downer.
Wow. Talk about a downer to start off the list. Clearly intimidating others doesn’t make those others happy, but you know what? It doesn’t even provide real happiness to the ones doing the intimidating. How do I know? Well, they have to keep doing it over and over again, right? You don’t often (read: ever) see someone intimidate someone else, then sink into a contemplative stupor with a smile on their face shortly before achieving nirvana, do you? Nope. They have to keep doing it. It doesn’t satisfy. No happiness to be found there — for either party.
No one’s saying we don’t have human moments where we let steam off or whatever. I get that. But incessant complaining doesn’t bring happiness to anyone. Not the one complaining, and certainly not the folks that have to hear it all day every day.
People make mistakes. You make mistakes. Spend less time blaming, and more time taking responsibility and initiative.
It’s insecurity masquerading as bravado. It doesn’t make the one doing it happy, and it annoys the stuffing out of everyone else.
6. Being rude.
Do we have to explain this one? Rudeness is the weak man’s imitation of strength. (Eric Hoffer)
People aren’t pawns. You might have a title and an office, but that doesn’t make you a leader and it doesn’t mean you get to control everything. When you try, everyone — including you — is miserable.
So what? Sometimes we need to stop and remind each other how much we can contribute to each others’ happiness. Simple, small things can help our teammates have a better day. There are things you can start doing, but there are also things you need to stop doing.
What would you add to the list? What could more of us stop doing that would make our workplaces happier places?