What environment are you developing in your business?

Image by Elias from Pixabay

We’ve all heard the horror stories about the toxic workplace, but rarely hear the good stories. Human nature leans toward the negative. 
One of my favorite old movies is 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin, and Jane Fonda. Dabney Coleman played the stereotypical, overlord boss. 
The storyline followed three secretaries who kidnap their boss and make drastic changes to their work environment in a few short weeks. The movie poked fun at the reality of the toxic workplace.

It was over the top in many ways but resonated because most of us felt trapped and helpless in our jobs. The truth is we have the power to influence our environment without the drama of kidnapping our boss. 
How can we be part of the solution instead of the problem? 
Number 1 – Clear communication. Communicating expectations is probably the most important way to manage expectations and help everyone feel like they are part of the team.
Number 2 – Realize people don’t think the way you do. When we’re part of a team, we all have strengths and weaknesses in different areas. We handle situations and process things differently. When we accept and embrace these differences it creates a strong environment. Instead of fighting each other, we begin to complement each other. 
Number 3 – Look out for each other. When someone makes a mistake it’s easy to place blame somewhere. What would it look like, if team members looked at their part of the problem instead of placing blame? 
When someone makes a mistake, we can use that opportunity to let them know it’s safe to make mistakes. Mistakes will be prevented in an environment that is not hostile.
Number 4 – Squash gossip. Gossip is extremely dangerous to any team. Most people gossip as a way of bonding with others. It’s a two-edged sword because if someone gossips to you, they will gossip about you. The best defense against this toxic behavior is not to feed it. 
Instead of tearing others down, try building each other up. When we praise those on our team it promotes a healthy environment and long-term bonding that will rival the short-lived dopamine hit of gossip.
These are just a few principles when applied consistently have great power to change the environment whether you are the boss or not.
What steps can you take to build up your team? Do you find it easy to see the strengths in others?

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