At the end of a busy travel week, I was sitting in a dark airport ready to text my husband, Darren. I draft the text, “Is the kitchen clean, homework done and is the recycling on the street?” Then I sat back in the chair before I pushed send and realized….this is probably not the most 90% way for me to say hi to my husband who is looking after “life” while I am away. I deleted that text and wrote, “Thank you for all that you do for your family. Love and miss you.” I sat there thinking I have faith that all will be done and I do appreciate all he does. Oh and … I’m not his mother.
Almost every staff group has one person who is unhappy. One person who no matter how great the company is to work for, they will find something to complain about.
I have met them and they have worked for me. A line that I always asked my staff was, “What would make you happy?” It was a great line because it helped sort out if what they were complaining about was something they had no control over. Often people complain about things at work they can’t control. That is a habit, and habits can be broken.
The second thing this question did was force them to take a good look at “what does make me happy?” Often my staff could not answer what made them happy. How was I supposed to help them to be happier if they didn’t even know why they weren’t!
Thirdly, it also helped me be a better leader. If they had a legitimate concern over something at work that I could help to change, then we both won.
If you have a business that has crayons and coloring books for children while their parents are waiting, thank you, that is a very nice gesture. But please do every parent a favor and buy new crayons! They are not that expensive and the state of some the “coloring corners” in some companies leaves a very bad impression on their customers.
You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural and enjoyable. So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people.
A young woman shared this story in my presentation.
She said “I chose this job I have now because it is the opposite of what my mom and dad did for a living.” She went on to tell us how she grew up in a nice house with nice cars in the driveway. Her mom and dad had jobs with benefits and sick days and a nice steady paycheque but they were never happy or fulfilled in their work.
So she went into her life knowing she never wanted to end up like that. She now has a job she loves and vows to be different for her children.
This is a Quokka and it is considered the happiest animal on the planet as it is always smiling. How cute is that?