Have you ever walked into a business environment and immediately felt chill bumps? Numb? Not because the room temperature was 20 degrees…but the atmosphere was cold and depressing. Instantly you noticed employees walking around like zombies…having little to no cohesion. That’s the energy in the environment…energy that pollutes the air. This type of pollution can have damaging consequences on employees and organizations.
An OD practitioner, I wanted to explore energy and organizational culture from a positive perspective. And really discover all the wonderful benefits of positive energy in organizations. I designed and facilitated a transformative session called Infectious Culture: Spreading Positive Energy in Organizations for a group of OD and HR professionals. The session was created utilizing the Appreciative Inquiry Methodology…an innovative change method developed by David Cooperrider. In essence, the AI method celebrates the best of what’s good in the organization. In this case, we lauded the positive energy that existed within ourselves and our organizations.
We began the session by doing what folks say happens in the workplace all the time. We put our emotions on our sleeves. Knowing that emotions dictate our actions we assessed how those feelings look and impact work climates. The initial question.
“If you could wear emotions on your sleeve what would they be?”
I saw the curiosity on their faces. Deep introspection as they mulled over the questions. The classroom was filled with a wide array of emotions as they shared thoughts with the group. One participant wore enthusiasm. Another wore the spirit of hope. One professional wrapped herself in hope. Then I heard that four letter word…emotions and energy we all yearn for in some aspects of our lives. L-O-V-E!
I LOVE YOU BOSS! Scratch that! Love isn’t spoken in the workplace. Love is manifested through our actions. Its the empathy that we show our co-worker going through a difficult time in their life. Love is the support we give to an inexperienced employee enduring growing pains. Love is unwavering loyalty that we have for our organizational leaders. Love is putting our conflicting viewpoints aside and uniting for the good of the organization.
The workplace needs LOVE! It purifies organizational cultures. And transforms climates to healthy and vibrant work environments. Love paves the way for clearer communication, better attitudes, enhanced cooperation, and higher morale.
How do you show love in the workplace? Talk to me.