Rate your culture from 1 to 10
How positive is your current culture, on a scale of 1 to 10? It’s a question that participants of the online Positive Culture Academy work with. What would your score be?
“Maybe a 2 or 3', one participant shared. "My current company culture is becoming less and less positive. We had a difficult year last year because of high demand and low support for our team and we rallied together and were positive within the team to keep the morale up (creating high performance and low turnover). Since nothing has changed and no one is asking us what we need, the team has become less communicative and more negative when we do communicate. Some team members describe themselves as having PTSD from last year’s issues and most of us are looking for new career opportunities. Although I am usually upbeat, I have been more negative than usual. I used to try to keep the morale up, but I now think we would all be better leaving the company.”
Notice what works well
This illustrates the devastating effects of lack of positive leadership and compliments, and what happens when there’s no recognition for a team. The good news, however, is that you can also make a difference as a team member. Anyone can apply positive leadership, regardless of their official position, and give that recognition to your co-workers. Have you ever thought of that? You can create a positive, supportive environment, right where you are. It’s for you to decide. That’s what I like about these small, positive interaction interventions.
Everyone can influence the culture to be more positive, but, sometimes, leaders might have more leverage than team members. Here’s another example from a PCA participant about positive leadership: “The culture needle is moving from a 3 to 5. The move is a result of new leadership’s efforts to engage staff in being part of the management process as opposed to the previous leaders practice of telling you what to do with no input from staff. The number of positive comments is increasing and they are more genuine. Comments were made before that on the surface appeared positive but in reality were negative. Staff started to devalue any comments because of how they were delivered. It was interesting to watch peoples reactions when they were being “praised”: words and body language did not match up. That’s different now.”
See, hear, sense culture
This student shares that a positive culture is visible: you can see people’s nonverbal communication, sense the energy, and listen to the language they use. This yields insights and might give you ideas where to start influencing or changing the culture.
This case also illustrates “simple” solutions to developing a more positive culture: asking more questions to engage people. Using positive language and being genuine. That might be easier said than done, and that’s why we include personal development exercises in the Academy. How can you be more positive as a leader or team member? It’s not a “trick” you do without being truthful. It’s what you must embody.
Are you authentic?
This authenticity is what someone else labeled attitude in our class discussion: “I would give an 8 to our culture. We have defined core values that we use to shape culture, and part of our criteria for hiring is to hire for attitude. I would hire for attitude over skill anytime, unless it was a specific technical skill.”
Yes, you can hire for culture fit and positive attitude. But it can be learned as well! Martin Seligman proved that optimistic and pessimistic thinking are acquired thinking habits. Attitude is not carved in stone!
Are you curious about joining the Academy? Here’s what some learners said after doing the course:
“This Academy has an authentic/scientifically proven approach, is no-nonsense and practical: the most effective path to liberating the collective human potential of our organizations.” - Claude Emond, Management Consultant, Canada
“I like the easy style and the way the learning points are broken down into such easy to manage chunks. The Academy is thought provoking, refreshing, and energizing.” - Frances Clayton, Change Manager, Middle-East
“The personal preparation work really spoke to me. I've always felt, deep down, that we all need to first go within before we reach out to others.”- Crystal Sittser, Manager Internal Controls, USA
“High quality content delivered in digestible bits. It is easily actionable!” - Vadivu Govind, Consultant, Singapore
“The questions make me think about what I can apply that week. This Academy is motivating, thoughtful, applicable.” - Dolores Fabregas, Regional sales manager, USA
Would the Academy be something for you? You can learn how to develop more positive organizations. Here are some questions for starters:
- How positive is your current culture, on a scale of 1 to 10?
- Are you open to improving that score?
- Could you start by handing out sincere compliments?
- If your mindset isn't positive enough, how to adopt an optimistic thinking habit?
I invite you to join this Academy if you want to learn more. Let's develop more positive organizations!
© Marcella Bremer. All rights reserved.