I’ve been reading a lot of James Altucher’s work lately. I’ve tried previously to connect with his posts, with little success. However, this time around his advice resonated. In one recent post, he posed a challenge to think of 10 ideas a day. Granted — he issued a warning that this exercise is more difficult than it seems. However, it’s pretty clear that flexing this skill is good for all of us.
His advice: “One thing to try is to write down 10 ideas a day. This exercises the idea muscle and gets you 100x more creative than the average person over time. They could be business ideas, ideas to help other businesses, book ideas, or even ideas to surprise your spouse.”
So, I have ideas — and thought I might offer a few suggestions on how to affect the less than stellar engagement levels in our today’s workplaces.
Unfortunately, I don’t have 10 ideas. However, I have 5.
So — I’ll begin there. (Feel free to add to this list in comments):
- Show gratitude. We talk endlessly about this, however there remains a huge gratitude “deficit” within organizations today. So — send 5 emails thanking others for whatever makes them great to work with. If you don’t work with 5 people — send a couple of notes to your friends. Just tell them why you think they are great.
- Share someone’s work. If you feel someone’s work is exceptional, pass it on and help it get noticed. Share a presentation. Re-tweet a post. Let others know. Be someone’s champion. It just feels good.
- Talk about purpose. It’s difficult to think your job matters if you don’t see a connection between who you are and the organization’s goals. Help someone see the connection between their career purpose and their work. This can make a huge difference.
- Build resilience. There are so many situations that feel like failure — and it can seem as if we’ll never bounce back. If a co-worker has had a setback, offer them avenues to regain their mojo. (It’s better to say something, than nothing at all.) Remember, the next time they attempt to tackle that challenge, just may be the time they succeed.
- Build solid ground. If you manage others, focus on neglected workplace elements that can create a solid foundation. Constructs such as psychological safety can help others feel freer to take risks and do their best work.
You can read more about Positive Psychology here. I believe its principles can affect engagement: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/20130411141931-128811924-the-hero-resources-and-positivity-in-the-workplace.
Meanwhile — start a movement within your organization.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is the Director of Organizational Development at Allied Talent. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, her posts on workplace topics have appeared in Forbes, The Huffington Post, US News & World Report and The World Economic Forum.