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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

You are the Key to a Positive Workplace Culture

A recent Wall Street Journal article indicated that more than 84% of today's working population is unhappy in their jobs.  The reasons ranged from low pay to lack of promotion opportunities to workplace culture.  While there may not be much an individual employee can do about the rate of pay or availability of promotion opportunities there is much one can do to influence a workplace culture.

Try implementing the following 5 steps to help promote a positive workplace culture.

  1. Check your own attitude.  The first step in changing a culture is to look at how you are contributing to the problems in your workplace. People who are the most successful have learned the importance of identifying where they are shunning responsibility. To take the first step in shifting your workplace culture, you must look at areas in your work life in which you are complaining or blaming and discover what you are failing to be responsible for.
  2. Focus on you, not others.  A difficult step, investing time in self-awareness is a vital component in moving to a positive workplace culture. Focus only on changing your own feelings, thoughts and actions, not on what co-workers are or aren't doing. In truth, you can't change others; you can only change you.  Trough modeling positive changes in yourself, you can influence change in others. To start the change, put more emphasis on practicing the power of positive thinking.
  3. Be grateful. It has been said that the healthiest of all human emotions is gratitude. Rather than focusing on and looking for all that's wrong in your workplace, start to look for the good around you.  Practice this technique by keeping a daily journal in which you list 3-5 things you're grateful for at work.  It's surprising how quickly practicing this step will change your perspective of work and of those around you.
  4. Look for opportunity. We've all heard the old saying, 'every cloud has a silver lining.' Well, it's true. In every bad situation, there is good. In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said, "Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat." The key is to not get caught up in the negativity and to focus all attention on finding that silver lining.
  5. Think before you act.  Let's face it, it can be a challenge to be positive all the time. We are human and do react in a variety of ways to a variety of situations. When faced with challenges it's important to remember that we have a choice of how we will react: a choice to be positive or negative. And this takes practice ... lots of practice. Fortunately for this step, life often gives us lots of opportunities to do make these choices. 
Making a shift to a positive workplace culture starts with you.  Become the ignition force ... Be infectious!

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