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The 3 Must-Haves of a Happy Office

Sep 23, 2019

Unposed group of creative business people in an open concept office brainstorming their next project.

If everyone deserves a drama-free workplace, why are so many people suffering just the opposite?

Today's post has a quick true storyalong with three qualities every office needs to thrive and compete well. Notice how none of these have to do with education.

The Meeting Incident

The office where I used to work held weekly staff meetings. One morning as we all sat around the big boardroom table, one of my co-workers said matter-of-factly about our team, "We're a dysfunctional family."

We'll come back to that.

But for now let's jump into the three must-haves—notice how these apply to your organization at every level. If you're a manager of other people, make it your mission to model these for your team—and place them at the heart of your company culture.  

3 Must-Haves of a Happy (Drama-Free) Workplace

  1. Caring. As I've said a hundred times, spare me the Kumbaya version of caring. Caring isn't fake or contrived. It isn't trust falls or golf outings. Caring is asking if you can pitch in when you're not expected to. It's taking time to congratulate someone on something that might have nothing to do with work. Most of all, it's treating others with respect—regardless of their rank. 
  2. Competence. One of my former bosses used to smile and say, "I couldn't get hired at my own company!" It was obviously a compliment, but it was also a reflection of the company he had built. Competence doesn't require you to know everything. It does mean playing your own role better than anyone else could ask—and yes, hiring and appreciating those who know even more than you.
  3. Courage. Courageous leaders don't bury their heads in the sand. They address what needs to be addressed, when it needs to be addressed, whether it feels good or not. Most of the time it won't. But as I've often had to remind myself, that's the part you get paid for.

I once heard an executive say he hired only "bright, happy people." Imagine a workplace filled with bright, happy people—thriving and doing great work. It starts with caring, competence and a courageous example.

What's one thing you could do today, regardless of your rank, to make your workplace happier, healthier and more drama-free?

P.S. That morning in the staff meeting when my co-worker said "We're a dysfunctional family"? I simply said "Bob, I don't think we're either one." Words are powerful. They deserve to be used thoughtfully



FREE Audio Content: Stomping Out Drama

Workplace drama doesn't have to run or ruin our life. Click here for the FREE excerpt "Stomping Out Drama" from my book Thriving at Work.  

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