Magazine article Business Credit

Creating an Extraordinary Organization

Magazine article Business Credit

Creating an Extraordinary Organization

Article excerpt

Everyone wants to work in a thriving and nurturing environment, yet few organizations are successful in creating such a workplace. As a result, significant numbers of people don't like being at work. While most employees desperately want a rewarding and productive work environment, they have come to accept the usual drudgery and tolerate the prevailing gossip, petty jealousy, personal undermining and adversarial communication styles day-in and day-out because they don't realize there is a better way.

No one should tolerate working in an environment where the most they have to look forward to is Friday afternoon. Fortunately, there are specific steps every employee can take to reclaim some of the enthusiasm, celebration and mutual respect that thrive within flourishing business organizations.

1. Don't take things personalty.

Most adults have never learned how to communicate effectively. As a result, emotions such as repressed anger and insecurity are frequently brewing within, and these emotions often surface in the form of angry and offensive outbursts that have little or nothing to do with any occurrence in the present moment. Knowing that people suppress their stress and routinely lash out at innocent parties, does it make sense to take such outbursts personally? Logically, the answer is no. Taking someone else's anger personally is insane because it simply never is a personal phenomenon. This is not to say, however, that it is easy to remain calm in the face of another person's anger, even when you know it is not personal. But armed with this insight, you can begin to develop the ability to stand firmly in the face of another's outburst without taking it as a personal attack.

2. Listen with compassion.

Listening is a vital part of communication. Unfortunately, too many people are so focused on themselves that they never really hear what others are saying to them. Their own overwhelming concerns, survival strategies, or painful circumstances block out any messages others are telling them. Yet, similar concerns, similar survival strategies, and similar painful circumstances are common experiences we all share. To one extent or another, no one is free from the difficulties of day-to-day living. Rather than reacting to someone's anger, we all need to intently listen and deeply appreciate the other person's feelings and experience. Only by demonstrating empathy and working together to resolve a situation can people accomplish their personal and professional goals.

3. Just hear the communication.

In order to reduce tension within the workplace, we need to nurture an environment of open and honest communication. To do this, encourage people to talk about their present experience and then just listen. Don't respond. Don't offer advice. Don't try to console. Just listen with compassion and understanding.

People are not interested in an intelligent response, nor do they want your well-intentioned advice or sincere consolation. What they want most is simply to be heard, and in the vast number of cases, quiet and attentive listening will allow the person's anger to disappear. What makes this step most difficult is that the unresolved issue from the past--which is the actual source of another's anger--remains invisible, and the upset individual will erroneously direct his or her anger at whoever triggered this repressed emotion. The natural tendency under these circumstances is for us to defend or counterattack, and unfortunately, this negates any possibility of producing an environment conducive to real happiness and satisfaction.

4. Give up the need to be right.

For most people, the necessity to be right--to win at all costs--is vital They express this inner drive with clients, co-workers, and even family. They reduce individuals to objects and they sacrifice friends simply to preserve an egocentric point of view. Such people would rather be right and "win" the argument than coexist happily. …

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