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Kindness at Work Changes Everything

Living Wellness with Jennifer

As a wellness director, I conduct an ongoing personal and professional search for the most current trends of effective remedies in the marketplace. During a recent meeting of wellness professionals in the Coachella Valley, we discussed the topics of achieving radiant health by using structured water and vibrational therapy. These were intriguing topics featuring a speaker I engaged to speak at my workplace who gave a compassionate talk to forty employees on creating a drama-free workplace. This talk became a convincing takeaway with the potential to produce a very effective health shift beyond new gizmos or gadgets. A work environment of empathy and respect creates a golden key to success. 

With 59 percent of the American population working one-third of their life, the secret to living a happy existence may begin at work. Considering that 83 percent of Americans have little or no passion for work and only 17 percent of Americans are excited about their job, it behooves one to ask some honest questions. As a manager, I have an added responsibility to create an environment that allows authenticity and safety for employees to be transparent, with a shared voice devoid of repercussion, judgment and ridicule. Employees also have an obligation to set the tone. Often, we believe the quality of the environment comes from company culture and the manager; yet, we must all set an example.

Google spent two years studying their organization with a mission called the Aristotle Project. This manifested from Aristotle’s quote, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” From this innovative work the number one success formula was psychological safety. When one dreads or fears a part of their environment, it can destroy them. Honest questions to ask every day are, “What is my contribution to the success of my workplace? Do I contribute to any dysfunction of the workplace?” If the workplace is considered a place where profits and production are the driving force, and feelings must be set aside, then it becomes a dysfunctional environment. There is also a corrosive nature to judgement. Every person can fall into a trap of making judgments about fellow co-workers, which are generally unwarranted. When one allows time for kindness to be shown to colleagues, viciousness and division can fall by the wayside. 

This past week, when fellow staff members took five minutes to share what brought them joy in life, the energy in the room shifted. Those who were active listeners learned unique, touching qualities from their colleagues, and those that shared felt heard and respected. Our instinctual habit is to look around our environment and check for safety approximately three times every seven seconds. When we strive to be professionally productive, while intending to maintain psychological safety for all workers, we immediately change our physiology by creating care and concern in our workplace. 

Life is too short with much time at work. Our primary goal in the workplace should focus on ways to bring more of our brilliance into the equation.

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