Today all around the world its Valentine’s Day. It’s the one day of the year that you cannot ignore “LOVE”. The media starts hyping it up weeks in advance to add insult to injury, to remind you of what you need to do if you’re in a loving relationship or to remind you of what you’re missing if you’re not in one or if you’re in one that doesn’t fulfill your “love needs”. It’s the only time in the year that we’re forced to look at our relationships full frontal and determine how we’re going to express our love or for some contempt towards our partner.
How do we express this adoration? Is it through elaborate expensive gifts? Love notes and sweet nothings, flowers, chocolates and champagne or kisses and cuddles? We get so caught up with life, running to work, chasing deadlines, paying bills, distracting ourselves with social media, doing chores, looking after the kids that perhaps we kind of neglect our partners needs as well as our own? Or even still if you’re single how are you providing “self-love and care” for yourself too? This is vitally important. I kind of think that if you don’t have time to love yourself how can you truly love your partner?
So it got me thinking about what love is and why it creates all those different emotions within us? Love by definition is; “a strong feeling of affection or a great interest and pleasure in something”. I then got to thinking about how this relates to our Work and Work Cultures and why some people thrive within one culture and only survive in another. It all comes down to whether you’re feeling the love at work? Are you feeling the love in the work that you do? Does it tick your boxes? What about your boss? Does your boss speak your work love language? Do they offer you praise when needed, support when needed, are they someone that always has your back or will they throw you under the bus to save themselves? What about your work company culture, does it live and breath its Company Values or is it merely a list written on their home page perhaps so desperately wanting it to manifest but don’t know how to bring it to life? There are multiple layers to how you feel the love at work and for each individual those needs differ? For example, have you ever went for a job and checked out websites like “Glass Door” or asked around your industry to check on company culture? People are generally quick to talk about all the negatives and at times you may have a few positive comments too. But again, even the negatives will vary between people depending on each person’s life experiences and what’s important to them as a great work culture.
So in the spirit of Valentines Day I urge you to take action on the following:
For the Individual: “Self-Love” Take 10 mins out of your day and think about your job. When you think about it, how does it make you feel? Do you feel happy or sad? If happy what do you like most about it? If sad, what is the one thing that jumps into your mind? Is that one thing that jumps into your mind do you have any control over making it better or not? If so, what can you take action today to make your work life better? Do it!
For the Manager: Take 10mins out of your day and reflect about your role as a Manager a Leader of your team. How do you think you’re going? Do a check-in. Have you expressed your praise to your team lately? As a result of their efforts, they’ve made you look good to your Manager? What have you done as a reward for your team? Have you sent them your love? If not, perhaps today may be the day to express your gratitude and appreciation for their work?
As a Leader there’s always challenges and distractions, trying to keep the cog in the wheel turning each day. Keeping your boss and his boss’ boss happy. Meeting those KPIs, updating those reports and metrics. But what about your People? Do your people feel valued or just a means to an end? The great thing about being a Leader is that you have the power to influence your work culture, how cool is that? It starts with getting to know people’s working styles really well and if you’re lucky enough to build some awesome relationships too. Leadership is not so much being a subject matter expert in EVERYONE’s jobs but being an expert in RELATIONSHIPS!
If its not your natural style to provide praise and recognition, why not make Valentines Day the day for doing that? How you do it depends on you. Do you recognize your team by emailing each of them personally thanking them for their special strengths that make them awesome to work with? Or send out a blast “thank you” email? Perhaps you might want to sit with them in the lunch room and share a meal or go out for some Thai around the corner from the office, you know the one that everyone raves how yummy the Penang Curry is?
Perhaps you can recognize a few exceptionally high performing team members with a small gift or certificate or Ceremonial Praise in front of others? Bearing in mind that some of us love getting “Showy” Praise in front of our colleagues and some of us would prefer a subtler approach like face to face 1:1 “Praise and Recognition”.
For the Company: Does the company you work for reflect their core values or is it just words on a screen? When you think of your workplace culture do you feel a sense of belonging and pride or do you cringe and roll your eyes? I would guess for many of us belonging to a culture that “walks the walk” fills us with great pride and a sense of honour that we sacrifice our waking lives working for a cause bigger than ourselves. Of course getting a steady paycheck helps too 😊
If you’re feeling like a number, that your input and contribution is not valued think about why you’re feeling this way? Is there a cultural disconnect within the organization? Meaning does the Leadership Team foster those company values, and is it reflected in their behaviours and actions at work? Or perhaps your values are mis-aligned with the company values? I’m not saying that anyone is right or wrong here its just that company values come from a Belief system and that usually comes from the Individuals that have created the company. I’ve said in previous blogs that our behaviours/actions come from our internal thinking, our internal thinking stems from our beliefs about life and about ourselves. How we feel about ourselves and interact with others around us depends on our emotions. As a result of those emotions determines the decisions we make and the behaviours or actions we display.
For example, my Business values are: Integrity, Authenticity, Connection and Excellence. How did I derive these values? Easy! They originate from my beliefs. So how do I know that these are my core values? Well, when I think of these values they make me feel centered, aligned, whole as a person. If either of these values are challenged in my life they create very intense emotions and motivate me into action! How I act depends on the nature of the challenge. If I see injustice based on these higher values I can’t sit by as a spectator I am compelled into action. I go from mild mannered Paula into an fully fledged Avenger! YES Baby! I can’t help it that’s the way I roll, that is my nature. It is those 4 values that determine everything that I do. The friends I keep, the connections I make, the employer I choose to work with, the clients I take on within my business, educational institutions I choose to study within and the organisations in which I offer my expertise and valuable time to volunteer within. This is all wrapped around my 4 Values. They are my decision makers and deal breakers.
I challenge you today to think about your own values and what’s important to you and why is it important to you. Also, take a look at your company values and see if their values are in alignment with your own? If not, it may be a sign for your unhappiness or discontentment. Bottom-Line, noone is perfect we all have our faults, including organisations but we are all doing the best we can with the resources we have within us.
So today is Valentines Day, make this one day of the year count towards making someone around you feel the love! If you’re in an environment that is deflating your spirit why not turn it around and change the way the game is played? How? Instead of feeling lousy, perhaps turn to the people next to you and say “Hello”, bring up a funny topic for conversation, perhaps comment on someone’s outfit, shoes, hair something of a personal nature to uplift the environment around you. If someone has received some form of recognition, congratulate them for their efforts. It just takes that one action to shift your whole perspective. Perhaps in the end all we need is LOVE!
Call to Action:
Paula Dunn is a Leadership and Behaviour Expert in Human Performance. She is the Founder of No Limits Consulting, where creating Happy Teams, Happy Leaders and Happy Cultures is her Passion. If you’re not feeling “the love” in the work and culture that you’re in, it may be time to illuminate those “core values” bring to attention “what’s important to you in a job, a company”. If you’re a leader and you’re feeling disconnected from your team and want to illuminate those “blind spots” that are holding you back from taking yourself and your team to a higher level of performance and connectedness maybe today is the day that you take action. Connect with me today on LinkedIn, spread the love “like and share my article” if you share common values, sign up to my monthly Newsletter or if you really want to take action, book in for a FREE 30min Discovery Call www.nolimitsconsulting.com.au to see how I can add “Integrity, Authenticity, Connection and Excellence” back into your Team, Leadership or Culture. If you’re in Sydney I’ll be running a FREE Workshop click here to find out more https://www.meetup.com/Creating-Limited-Edition-Leaders-For-Intra-Entrepreneurs/events/247669708/