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Four Can't Miss Actions to Nurture Growth and a Positive Attitude In The Workplace

If you want to nurture growth and a positive attitude in the workplace try listening without an agenda and then, as often as you can, let everyone you work with know how much you appreciate them.

Listening and appreciation are key guidelines at Speaking Circle classes, something I've participated in, off and on, since 2014.  In Speaking Circles the guidelines include listening to and being fully present with each speaker without an agenda.  Participants also share appreciative acceptance feedback for each speaker's participation. There's no feedback about content. All focus is on what is working.

It's amazing to watch others, including myself, blossom when they are fully listened to and sincerely appreciated in these Speaking Circles.

Short on time? Go to the four 'can't miss' actions here.

When Was the Last Time...?

When is the last time someone intently listened to you with no agenda?  (Other than your dog?) Have you had anyone not only listen but, when you finished talking, they didn't correct you or give you advice - they only appreciated you and talked to you about your strengths? Sadly, this kind of listening and appreciation is NOT very common in most of our daily lives, especially at work.

And, when was the last time you GAVE the gift of positive listening and appreciation to the people who work for you and with you? To your clients?  To your family members and your friends?

Making The Case: Positive Feedback Nurtures Growth

Study after study indicate that almost 65% of the workforce receives little to no recognition. 

I was a little surprised by how good it felt to me to be intently listened to and to receive appreciative acceptance feedback in Speaking Circles. I probably get more daily feedback than most because its the nature of my work as a Consultant.  Even though I get more recognition than 65% of the workforce, the process of positive feedback in that Speaking Circle fed my soul. And now, after attending several  classes, I feel like the process is helping me to become an even better listener, speaker, consultant, family member and friend.

  • According to Lee Glickstein, the founder of the Speaking Circles, "Positive feedback nurtures growth."  There are many studies to back up this premise:
  • Gallup surveyed 10,000 business units in 30+ industries and they found that employees who received regular recognition and praise are: more committed to their work, have higher productivity, have a positive attitude in the workplace, are more loyal to their company and their customers and they have better safety records and less accidents.
  • In the Hurlock Study groups of fourth and fifth grade students were either publicly praised or criticized for their work.  Both sets of students (the "praised" and "criticized")
    did a little better after the first day of public feedback. But in the succeeding days, the "praised" group showed much stronger improvement than the "criticized" group.  
    The "praised" students improved by 71%, the "criticized" group improved by just 19%.
  • Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shares in her book, Positivity: Top-Notch Research Reveals The 3 to1 Ratio That Will Change Your Life, that positive emotions fuel resilience and can transform people, broaden thinking, break down racial barriers and produce optimal functioning in organizations and individuals.
  • World-renowned Executive Coach and Author of 32 books Marshall Goldsmith agrees with Glickstein.  He shares, "Good mentors do not listen passively; they listen dramatically.
    When people feel heard they feel valued. Feeling valued, they are more likely to take risks."

Four Can't Miss Actions for a Positive Attitude in the Workplace

Here are three actions you can take to nurture growth, create a positive attitude in the workplace and build productivity and commitment on your team:

  • 1) Find Out How You're Doing.  Get feedback in the format of a 360 Feedback Report ot through the Feed Forward process. Find out how well you are listening and giving feedback by asking your direct reports, peers, bosses and clients to tell you how you are doing by way of this online and rich format. 
  • 2) Learn to Listen Without An Agenda. Tools that can help you become a better listener include: learning to listen aggressively, make sure you don't have negative listening habits by completing a simple quiz,  consider attending a Speaking Circle and listen to this Podcast with a Speaking Circle Facilitator about Relational Presence.
  • 3) Apply the 'Magic' Ratio to Every Relationship.  Studies tell us that there is a magic 'positive feedback to constructive correction' ratio for more effective and healthy working relationships.  The tested formula is 3:1 (positive: corrective) for working relationships and 5:1 (positive: corrective) for personal relationships.
  • Learn More Specifically About Your and Your Employee's Strengths. I use a powerful assessment process in coaching and in workshops that fully outlines strengths, as well as blind spots. (Yes, talking about development needs matter, it's just that sometimes the balance is skewed strongly in the workplace around development needs, and not enough attention is given to strengths.)

Nurture positive growth in others. Look for their good. Advocate for their potential.  Help everyone around you become more of who they really are and they will glow with appreciation and perform beyond their limits. Create a positive attitude in the workplace by listening and appreciating!

Be that kind of catalyst. 
Listen intently and appreciate boldly.
Begin Right Now!

A Speaking Circle is a facilitated small group, with usually 5 - 10 participants,
where Speakers speak without a script and are encouraged to focus on being real,
authentic and 'in relationship' with audience/listeners in the room. 

The audience/listeners are encouraged to tune into and listen wholeheartedly
to the speaker.   No texting, no fiddling through your purse, just giving the
Speaker your full attention.  After the Speaker finishes he/her 5-7 minute
extemporaneous talk - the Audience/Listeners focus on your strengths
and share appreciative acceptance for the Speaker.

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