Last week I was speaking at the Office Show. It is always a pleasure to meet existing clients and other people who want ideas; new skills and to remind themselves of how to communicate. One of the sections of any speech I especially enjoy, is when the audience ask questions and advice.
On this occasion, one member of the audience asked a question. She had recently been promoted to Office Manager and her role included managerial responsibilities for individuals in different ‘departments’. Apparently the company was going through a lot of challenges and morale was very low. Individuals were regularly complaining to her, and there was nothing upbeat about the company. She asked me what she could do.
Every organisation goes through times of difficulty and it can be easy to lose your mojo and constantly be focusing on the negatives. I am sure everyone here has been in situations where everyone moans, and it is emotionally and physically draining. The company and individuals look down; they look for what hasn’t happened; they look for the worst possible outcomes and lose their enthusiasm. The conversation and feedback is all negative about ‘What we did wrong’ rather than celebrating successes. I imagine the Monday morning meetings were all reports of targets missed; clients leaving and failed projects. No one would want to stand out and speak up in this atmosphere BUT privately they go to the lady in my audience to complain.
I suggested to this lady, that she needed to change the atmosphere every Monday morning; to start being positive and celebrate success – from departments and individuals.
Some examples of this might be:
- Celebrating any great results from last week. These could include anything small like “Congratulations to Jo and Alice who attended xxxx event and collected some excited new leads”.
- Congratulations to Steve and Gemma who delivered xxx on time with a thrilled client.
- Thumbs up for great feedback we received from xxxx client
- This week we have these projects: all very exciting – let’s do it!
- Dave was nominated for a mention by his colleagues, for his enthusiasm and hard work last week, ensuring the project was delivered on time
- Thank you EVERYONE for your hard work this week
- An incentive – whether it is cakes before anyone’s birthday, through to a night out at the local curry house as a celebration.
- Use an energetic, positive voice to convey any message rather than being morose or grumpy.
- Thanking those people that worked extra hard – and late nights, in order to highlight the contribution, and sacrifice they have made.
I am sure, readers, you have many other ideas for boosting your teams spirits. You will see above that I have focused on the positives; what people have achieved; how they have contributed in a positive way; how everyone’s contribution is noted in a positive way. The language is positive; energetic and inclusive. All of a sudden the team: the entire company is ALL valued and contributing towards the goals. Of course there have to be times when questions are asked and reviews for delivering a service or product better. But this should be conducted with individuals NOT during the Monday morning meeting; make it a Monday morning celebration NOT a moan!
If you have a team, or are a member of a team/department, spend a few minutes reflecting on what style of communication is used within the team. See if this is reflected in the mood of the department. How could you change it so there is more energy in the department? Instead of focusing on what has gone wrong, and what is disastrous, consider the ‘art of possibility’. Do you have any ways to boost a team’s morale. Do share below.
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