Attitude is Infectious - So Inject Your Team with Joy
By Steve Farmer
Take time to enjoy your leadership role and take the necessary action to infect those around you with joy.
Teams take their attitude from their leader, so be as positive and upbeat as you can. People will naturally absorb and adopt your energy level; if you are “down”, it can worry them and bring them down as well. Be honest – do not put up a false front in the middle of a crisis - but try and put a positive slant on things wherever you can.
If you notice that your team members are acting negative, sad or depressed, or are exhibiting low morale, consider that it might be coming from you or from the work environment, and investigate that before you try to correct the problem at an individual level.
Model the behavior and mentality that you want to see in your team; be open and honest, listen to input and don’t bicker with your colleagues.
Celebrate the little victories along the way for the sheer joy of it. Do a little dance, and get a little bit silly! Your team will appreciate you showing your “human” side. It’s not always about handing out bonuses or promotions - find ways to have fun celebrating everyday victories.
Also celebrate the valiant efforts that fail - learn and grow from them. This will encourage experimentation instead of punishing it. Consider handing out an award for the biggest screw-up or mistake! Really set a standard of taking a chance and going out on a limb for a new idea.
Take the time to find out what individuals and teams each considers a valuable reward. For one person, the worst thing you could do would be to stand them up in front of a crowd, while another person would find that really special and meaningful. Consider other rewards such as more one-on-one time with the boss, a meal or movie voucher, a day off, a handshake, a cash bonus or a positive note in their HR file.
Practicing a light-hearted attitude will improve the working conditions and productivity of your whole team. Regularly celebrating with them rewarding them in ways that THEY find meaningful will increase loyalty and encourage innovation and creativity.
Here are three things to do in the next week to develop this strategy:
1. Come up with five different rewards you’d be willing to give out the next time there’s something to celebrate.
2. Try to match up each reward with the team member you think will most appreciate it.
3. Rate your overall mood at work every day this week. Come up with ways to bring more positive energy, laughter and fun into your day.