If the sign posted by the Pope on his door is any indication of how much complaining that happens in our world, then it is time to do something about it!
Heard these statements before?
- “I was enthusiastic but some people in my team drained my energy”
- “I hung around with negative people and look what happened to my performance”
- “The work climate didn’t allow me to flourish”
- “The manager wasn’t supportive”
- “My team didn’t help me”
- “I noticed other complaining and felt it was probably right”
While it is easy to blame the system, the onus is also on the individual to make an attempt to improve the system. Those individuals who are keen to make a difference will take the effort to change themselves, adapt and not just protect their own agendas. They will delve deeper to understand the issue on hand and try and make sense of it for the common good.
Take, for example, Rimi, who joined a team and realized that the best way to get her way around was cozy up to the senior leader in the business. Over time, she spent her energy trying to project her affinity to the leader with people around and less effort went in doing her everyday work to her best abilities. Over time, people noticed her motives, questioned her role in the business and if she was really adding value.
Or, the case of Blake, who despite noticing his peers in other teams were facing abrasive managers did nothing to put a word to influential leaders he had access to. He instead pretended like he was being helpful but muddied the waters by gossiping about the issue with a host of other people, leading to more angst among team members.
Similarly, Mala often passed snarky comments about other members of the team and constantly blamed her situation on others. It led to a point when the team refused to cooperate with her and over time the manager realized that it was best for Mala to leave the team and company.
If you are hiring for a role, more than anything else, you need to look for the basic disposition of the individual. Is the individual positive or neurotic? Does the person display conscience or is unprincipled? Is the prospective hire altruistic or selfish? Is the candidate ambitious or unimpressive? Finally, is the person curious or peculiar?
The maturity of the individual to lead themselves first and then manage their own work are crucial aspects for the success of any team and the organization. People who are positive, conscientious, agreeable, assertive and open to experience contribute significantly to their work. On the other hand, those who are neurotic, weak-willed, risk avoiders, irresponsible and unplanned make it difficult for organizations to progress. Having toxic individuals who pull the team behind and prevent the organization from moving ahead can be disastrous. Their inability to engage, attitudes that borders on obnoxious and their unwillingness to improve their own selves can put the team and organization at a disadvantage.
Skills can be taught but to unlearn behaviors takes a lifetime, or worse, with an obstinate individual – probably never! It makes a huge difference for having people around who are positive, driven, likable, goal-oriented and pragmatic.
If you want to see a better workplace look at your own actions first.
Before believing the world is against you, think about:
– Am I making a positive contribution to this situation?
– What can I do to make my team a better group to work in?
– How can I help my organization succeed?
– In my capacity, what simple steps can I take to improve the lives of people around me?
There are bad apples everywhere. There are bad managers as well. Every organization has them. However, you have a responsibility.
How you react and respond matters. Everyone is born with positive energy. It is your responsibility to retain yours and spread cheer around!