Create a High Performing Environment

Organizational Culture

Thanks for reading The Bottom Line! This morning on my blog I talked about how a positive emotional climate is necessary for people to perform at a high level.

This climate is created by you, the leader. You will foster a healthy emotional environment through your tone, body language, and energy. WHAT you say is important, but HOW you say it is what’s critical to achieving both short and long-term goals.

You can’t build a legacy of sound leadership if you speak in aggressive, angry or “put down” tones. You can’t help someone engage with you, and your vision, when your arms are crossed. You can’t build trust when you stand or sit at a distance. You can’t inspire innovation when you use harsh words or are overly critical.

A great leader is positive and honest. Attacks the problem and not the person. And they genuinely want to help others succeed for the sake of the organization as well as for the person themselves.

Here are a few practical tips and advice on how you can be the leader that fosters a positive emotional climate.

  1. Smile. The outward expression of smiling turns your attitude and outlook positive, even if it takes a bit of work to do so. Smiling attracts people, calms the environment, and disarms others. Show your Chiclets.
  2. Set Clear Expectations. People want to please those they work for. They can only do that if they know what the expectations are. Make sure you share expectations, write them down, and communicate them often. The more clear and simple, the better.
  3. Praise the Positive. In Ken Blanchard’s book, Whale Done, he talks about catching people doing the right things and overly praising those actions. Most leaders simply pick up on mistakes and motivate through fear instead of encouraging personal mastery. Before you give feedback, always start with positive affirmation of what they are doing well.
  4. Think Happy Thoughts. Ok – I stole that line from Peter Pan. The bottom line is that you become what you think about. James Allen’s famous quote “As a man thinketh, so he is” rings true every day. Train your mind to think about positive ideas, empathy for others, or solutions. Mastering your thought life is an invaluable skill set.
  5. Exercise. Exercise reduces stress and increases energy. It also provides you with a sense of accomplishment and discipline outside of the work environment and leads to better eating habits. Making time for regular exercise is more productive and beneficial than that extra hour of sleep or overtime in the office.

So… what kind of climate are you fostering today? And more importantly, what changes can you make to your leadership style over the next few weeks to ensure a healthier workplace down the road?