Natalie is a coaching client of mine, and the guest author of this week’s blog.
Karen and I were having our regular coaching session and during it I referred to myself as lazy. Karen stopped me, and for those of you who have worked with Karen, you know that when she stops you, you are about to get one of her thought provoking, oh so annoying questions.
Karen said, “So what does lazy mean?”
I said, “You know, lazy. I don’t do stuff.”
Karen wasn’t letting me off the hook. She said, “There are lots of reasons that people don’t do things. What are some of them?”
I told her that they might be busy. She agreed, and mentioned that they may have other priorities they rank higher. She continued, saying that “Lazy is a lazy word. It’s used when the person isn’t taking the time to explore the emotions that are creating the lack of action.”
We discussed that sometimes there are higher priorities than the task at hand. Sometimes there is fear of failure. Other times the task is overwhelming or just too darn tedious. There are a wealth of reasons why.
In this particular situation, I realized I was living in my sister’s shadow. She was always so much faster, more studious, more academic, so in fact, I was feeling fearful, again.
Karen gently reminded me that no one at my workplace knows my sister and those feelings, while real and valid, no longer need to be a part of what does or does not get accomplished in my work.
We explored comparisons, things our parents say and workplace fear a lot during that session. But what I realized most of all is that lazy is a lazy word that I use when I don’t want to do the emotional work to figure out what’s really going on for me.
What about you? What are your lazy words?
Natalie Warne is an Implementation Manager for a non-profit organization and her coaching has been focused on leadership skills and professional development. She loves her two cats, staying active, and spending time with her family and friends.
If your company isn’t creating the culture it aspires to, the culture will create itself, and it’s likely not going to be too healthy.
What is your organization doing to improve its culture?
— Karen Snyder
For more of Karen’s workplace wisdom, check out her book Eating Worms: Practicing Leadership Every Day.
I recently came across an incredible article in The Atlantic that got me thinking about toxic positivity. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend checking it out here.
If you’ve been following my blogs, you know that I’ve written a lot about appreciation, generosity, and positivity. These concepts have a profound impact on our brains and can truly transform how we perceive situations.
But then there’s Tragic Optimism. This phrase was coined by Viktor Frankl, an existential-humanistic psychologist and Holocaust survivor. Tragic Optimism is all about finding meaning in the face of the inevitable tragedies of human existence.
In my work coaching, consulting, and speaking, I’ve come to believe that every situation has its roses and thorns. It’s crucial to acknowledge and validate all our emotions, even the negative ones. Repressing or denying our feelings can have detrimental effects on our physical and mental well-being. That’s why I always encourage my clients to recognize their negative emotions and then shift their focus towards identifying the positives they can find.
We’re all human, and none of us have a perfectly balanced response all the time. While I still advocate for positivity, I believe it’s important not to use it as a way to deny or suppress the negative. It’s about finding a healthy balance and allowing ourselves to experience the full range of emotions.
Now, let’s circle back to the workplace. Building a positive and thriving workplace culture requires leaders who understand the significance of creating an environment where people can express themselves authentically. This means fostering open and honest communication, without judgment or fear of repercussions. When employees feel safe to express their true emotions, trust is built, and teams can flourish.
Performance management also plays a vital role in shaping workplace culture. It involves setting clear expectations, providing regular feedback, and offering opportunities for growth. By aligning individual and team goals with the overall company objectives, organizations can drive performance and productivity.
Workplace culture, performance, performance management, and leadership are all intertwined elements that contribute to a positive and productive work environment. By embracing a balanced approach that acknowledges both positive and negative emotions, encouraging open communication, and implementing effective performance management practices, organizations can create a culture that fosters growth, resilience, and overall well-being.