From my training and consulting experiences with companies around the country, I have discovered that, by and large, we do not extend the SPIRIT OF THANKFULNESS to the WORKPLACE. All too often we fail to acknowledge the value and strengths that our team members bring. When they struggle to work together at an optimal level, we are surprised. We are equally unaware of the impact that increased conflictual communication has on our team’s productivity.
When leading the initial intake session of a company I contract with, I often begin our conversation like this:
“Tell me about the organizational practices you leverage to show your team members you value what they contribute to your company.”
Silence… then more silence and sideways glances by everyone at the table.
Then someone will bravely offer to a flurry of nervous laughter, “We consider that their salary is thanks enough!”
Then, while others nod vigorously, someone else will add, “This is the workplace; after all, it’s the real world and people don’t need to be coddled.”
It is NOT enough for company policy to explicitly state that it does not tolerate the various forms of bullying, nor will periodic team building efforts suffice. And here’s why.
A key practice of APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY, one that I include in my bully-free training sessions, gives people the ability to experience first-hand the power of APPRECIATING the people you work with. The development of this practice becomes a strategic vehicle for enhancing productivity and a positive workplace culture. When individuals and teams unite and realize their combined strengths, powerful and meaningful shifts begin to occur and new possibilities emerge throughout the company.
The question becomes: How will you and your team members leverage the practice of communicating appreciation for all who support your efforts and make your company’s day-to-day operations possible? Sometimes it’s simply considering, how can you show your employees that you appreciate them?