Tag Archives: positivity

Employee Engagement - Leadership

Fun…at work?

Recently, my husband Bill and I were traveling home from New Orleans after visiting Katie, who is experiencing a new chapter in her life as a college freshman at Tulane University.

We knew that we would get to the airport very early. I had decided to use the time in the airport to write a blog, but I have to admit I was distracted. My head was filled with concern about friends and colleagues living in Houston during Hurricane Harvey, and my emotions were on overload having just hugged Katie goodbye. The creative juices were not flowing.

The topic I wanted to write about was how to re-engage with your work. And then, if you believe in miracles, one occurred! Janez Eli, gate agent for Southwest Airlines, appeared at the desk at Gate 9.

Janez picked up the loudspeaker and said confidently, “Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to have some fun. When a customer walks up to me and requests anything from me, I am going to say to the customer, ‘before I can help you, the travelers at this gate want you to do something.'” None of us really understood what she wanted, and there was little reaction. Then, Janez continued, “When I say that, it’s your cue, to say, ‘Sing.’” Again, none of us really got it, and not much changed in the terminal.

I waited about 5 minutes and then realized that I did need to ask Janez for something. Bill and I wanted to have our tickets reissued in order to rebook to a flight that would leave 90 minutes earlier.

I approached Janez and made the request. She smiled a huge smile that seemed to show, “This is how it’s done,” and she said to the travelers, “This woman needs something from me, what would you like her to do?” The group all said, rather weakly, “Sing.”

I asked if I could dance instead of sing. Janez was even more excited about that! She whipped out her cell phone, she played music, and I danced – right there in the middle of the airport! True to her word, Janez switched our flight. A stranger took a video, and she sent it to me. It can be seen here.

 

This process continued for an hour. Once the mood was set, many travelers came forward with requests…and a willingness to perform! We heard an assortment of songs, including a fabulous rendition of the national anthem.

 

So, I suspect for most of my readers, asking your customers, patients, students, or co-workers to sing might not always work out so well. But humor and creativity are welcome, no matter the job. So my question to you is, “How can you have more fun?”

Please let me know the ways you have increased employee engagement and found more fun in your work.

Read More
Mindset

Make Lemonade

19548888_sJulie and I went to college together.
When others saw lemons, Julie made lemonade.
It’s not that Julie had fewer challenges than the rest of us,
It’s that Julie wrote the book on turning challenges into opportunities.

These days, Julie and I don’t talk as often as we’d like. After all, between us we have two jobs, two husbands, five kids and one house to manage.

Before Ivan, we had two houses to manage. But now Julie’s house is floating somewhere in the Gulf of Mexico.

I’ve talked to Julie often during the past week.
I can’t help her rebuild her house, but I can let her know I’m thinking of her.

Julie is sad about her “new” life, but as usual, she is making lemonade.
“After all…” she says, and begins her “I’m-thankful” list:
“Nobody in my family was killed or injured.
Phil and I still have jobs.
My parents can take care of the kids until we find a place to live.
We just moved in, and I hadn’t even started decorating.
And guess what? I found some of Grandmother’s china buried in muck in the front yard.”

Julie has a new perspective about her bills, her colleagues, her work responsibilities and her life. And she’s thankful for that, too.

I don’t want to depend on a natural disaster to remind me to be thankful. Got any good recipes for lemonade?

Read More
Diversity and Inclusion

How a Spider Taught Me to be More Sensitive

spiderYesterday, I conducted a “Positive Workplace” program for a large organization. I know what you might be thinking: either “Ugh, another one of those programs” or “Isn’t it enough that I work 50 hours a week? Do I have to be nice and ‘positive’ as well?”

I suspect the participants felt the same. I started off the program asking “How many people drive? How many people obey the speed limit ALL the time? How many people perceive the speed limit to be the speed limit plus 10 miles per hour over it?”

The point I was trying to make is that most of us consider ourselves to be law abiding and contributing members of society. And most of us also believe we are safe drivers. Yet, at one time or another, we violate the speed that is safest for ourselves and our fellow motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians. Likewise, while most of us perceive ourselves to be positive and productive colleagues, all of us need reminders.

Next, I asked if anyone had ever experienced a time when they felt that their values were being violated in the workplace. Up popped a hand, in record time.

Dorothy said, “Before I came here, in the place where I used to work, when a spider or an ant was on someone’s desk, they killed it! They didn’t take the time or effort to return it to nature. They just killed it! They killed one of God’s creatures and they felt no remorse. I had to leave that place.”

So, I have to tell you, I am of the spider, ant and fly squashing camp. My only consideration is trying not to leave bug juice on the wall when swatting. It was an effort, a lot of effort, to hide my surprise.

But, through Dorothy’s experience, I was reminded that each of us has different values and standards of what is appropriate at the workplace. Likewise, it’s in everyone’s best interest to create workplaces where differing values are respected.

When a colleague tells you that your jokes are offensive, your pranks feel like bullying or your music is too loud, find compassion, understanding and a middle ground. It takes courage to speak up and those that voice their needs deserve to be heard.

Yes, those that speak up need to be heard and we create better workplaces when we hear them.
Karen

Read More
1 2 3