Create Positive Workplace Culture

Culture is Co-Created!

What is a Positive Workplace Culture? How is it created? What are the key elements?

Organizational Culture…is an expression of the values, beliefs and assumptions of its members, and is manifested in behavior.

You know that you can ‘see’ and ‘feel’ an organization’s culture as soon as you enter the doorway. It is, literally, written all over the faces of the people who are a part of that organization.

Culture does not ‘just happen’…it is not dictated by leadership. Organizational Culture is always co-created. When you review the list that follows, ask yourself; ‘How many of these positive elements am I contributing?

We’ll use the word POSITIVE as an acronym to recall the key elements, and explore a few ideas about what you can do to contribute to that element:

P – Present

Do you fly into work, head filled with to-do lists and with frustration at the traffic you just left behind?

Take one minute, at the beginning of your day, to ‘arrive’. Close your eyes, focus on your breath, and remind yourself why you are there.

O – Optimistic

What do you say to yourself when adversity strikes? Do you look at obstacles as temporary glitches that you can work to overcome (Optimists)? Or, do you view challenges as permanent and pervasive – as just the way it goes in your life (Pessimists)?

Practice changing the dialogue you allow to take up space in your mind. Choose to look at adversity as an isolated incident that you can overcome. You’ll immediately be in a better space to work your way through it.

S – Shared

As we stated above, Culture is co-created. You are part of an ecosystem – at work, at home, in your community. So ask yourself; ‘What am I contributing?‘. Is my contribution helping or hurting this Culture? Sometimes the answers to those questions come from other people. Be open to hearing how others view you – you’ll learn a lot, about yourself and about your colleagues.

I – Intentional

Think about, and then answer these questions for yourself … ‘Who Are You and What Do You Want?

Then, share those answers with important people around you.

T – Thank-full

Of all of the research on happiness and positivity, the #1 strategy is gratitude. Practice gratitude each day, letting other people know what you appreciate about them.

I – Inspired

In addition to answering the two questions above – Who Are You and What Do You Want…also answer this question ‘Why Are You Here?‘ Why are you in this organization, why are you in this profession, why are you on this earth? If you want to know where your inspiration is, answering that question will bring you much closer to it!

V- Vulnerable

When you mess up, own it, learn from it, and share the story. In order for your Culture to be optimally positive and healthy, mistakes must be transparent and viewed as a learning opportunity. Additionally, all members must feel comfortable sharing personal struggles, such as a mental health challenge. Not so that we can all become mired in the sadness; but so that we can help each other move through and past the challenge.

E – Energized

Eat well. Exercise. Sleep. These are staples to an energized human. Beyond those basics and everything listed above, an energized human is one who has well-developed social relationships at work. Come together and remind yourself that you are, indeed, all in this together!

So, here is another question for you; ‘What Will You Do?‘. What actions will you take to positively impact yourself and your Organizational Culture?

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!

 

ENGAGE: Lessons From Death On How To Live Well

My older brother passed away on March 20. It was completely unexpected and way too soon. He was just 61 years old and fully engaged in his life.

At his Celebration of Life, I reflected on what I had learned from how he lived his life; and on how I could make some positive meaning from the huge gaping hole of sadness still present in my heart.

The morning of the celebration, I was not sure that I was going to be able to speak. While I wanted to share some memories of my brother, I felt nauseous and weepy, and unsure I would be able to pull it off.

At the last minute, I decided I wanted to do it…and no matter what…even if I was a blubbering mess…I was going to do it.

I am so glad I did.

My big brother taught me many things; mostly, he taught me to engage! Dene was a ‘yes-man’ in the last few years of his life. He was up for anything! If he was invited somewhere, he went. If he was sitting beside someone on the bus, he would strike up a conversation. If he attended a curling event, he would cheer loudly.

When I reflected on this gift from Dene, it reminded me of much of what I believe to be true about the pathway to living a good life.

I think that all of us – every human being – ultimately, wants to be happy. You already know that happiness does not come from outside of you…it does not randomly arrive, or not arrive, based on external factors. Happiness is an internal state, and is always created by what you choose to DO.

One thing you can do – like my older brother taught me – is to engage! What does it meant to ‘engage’. Very simply, it means that you:

  • choose to participate in events that are important to people you care about
  • jump in when you see a challenge before you
  • say ‘yes’ to a chance to help someone who could use it
  • connect with people you know, and also those you don’t
  • smile as you pass a stranger (and a friend)
  • do your best at work
  • ask for what you need in order for you to do your best at work
  • help others do their best at work
  • be grateful for the people who touch your life
  • let others know what you appreciate about them

I am so grateful that I chose to engage with Dene throughout his life, that I told him how much he meant to me, that I valued every moment we had together, that I laughed – and cried – with him, and that I chose to share my memories of him at his celebration.

Choose to engage. Notice how you feel. Repeat.

 

‘Hygge’, ‘pyt’: What are your Words for Well-Being?

Take time to pause, notice, and choose…

Any blog that starts with a reference to a group of people (in this case, a nation) who appear to be ‘happier’ than other populations, is going to pique my interest to learn more. This post certainly did that!

I recall hearing about ‘hygge’ (pronounced hue-guh) years ago. Hygge is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment – whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary – as cozy, charming or special. It is simply about awakening…it is about noticing… it is about slowing down and being present to not only recognize a moment, but to enjoy it.

Well, the Danes have a new word for well-being…’pyt’ (sounds like pid). It is also about noticing and acknowledging…however, pyt is an expression used in response to daily hassles, frustrations or mistakes (it translates in English to sayings like ‘don’t worry about it’, ‘stuff happens’ or ‘oh well…’).

You might spill coffee down the front of your shirt, shrug and say, “pyt.” You might see a parking ticket on your windshield and, just as you begin to become angry, shake your head and murmur, “pyt.”

I love this…for two significant reasons! First, just as it is with hygge, pyt is about noticing, and acknowledging – AND, since it is about noticing and acknowledging something negative or frustrating, it is about taking some action that will help move your through that negative situation. Rather than being de-railed for the day, or stuffing that frustration down – only to be piled on to other frustrations – expressing ‘pyt’ allows you a chance to reframe the situation … and to then move on.

It got me thinking…what, I asked myself, are words that I can use….to first, notice and relish positive moments…and second, to move through negative situations?

If you’ve experienced me as a keynote speaker, you have certainly heard me talk about anchoring (usually framed in a ‘Touch Yourself’, fun moment!). Based in research from NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), when you create an anchor you set up a stimulus response pattern so that you can feel the way you want to, when you need to. Anchoring refers to the process of associating an internal response with some external or internal trigger so that the response may be quickly, and sometimes covertly, re-accessed. So, for positive, warm, happy, ‘cozy’ moments in my life, my word for that will be ‘touch’. That word will be my reminder to pause, to notice, to enjoy and to anchor that experience in my mind and body.

When I experience negative, frustrating, daily hassles…the word I will use is ‘ahhhh’. That will be my reminder to breathe, to let it go, to ‘chill’, to move on/past/through that moment.

What words will work for you?

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!