Does anybody care about helping me do a better job? About making me feel valued?
We often think of toxic work cultures as products of poor management and inconsistent leadership. While managers and leaders have a responsibility to create positive environments for work, we are equally responsible as employees to build strong relationships and live the values of the organization. In other words, we own our own path to success. Learning to be accountable to ourselves for preserving relationships is one of the most important steps in nurturing a positive workplace culture.
Understanding our emotional responses, patterns, and behaviors provides us with a roadmap for professional success and personal growth. It is inevitable that we will have disagreements and disconnection with those we work with. Learning to accept these moments as part of the overall process in the relationship journey prepares us to take the next step in developing the language of emotions of both ourselves and others. Relationships take work and practice, strengthened through expressing vulnerability and sharing difficult moments. When we know how to reconnect in a safe way, then we can better navigate through uncertainties and difficult moments.
Shifting the focus by turning our attention toward the importance of relationships and emotions in a healthy workplace gives us a chance to change the tone of conversations and everyday interactions. When the change begins with us, we can direct our energy toward improving our effectiveness, and knowing that emotions are highly contagious, we change the overall environment within our teams and peers. Organizational leaders and managers have their own emotional needs and responses to situations. Our efforts create a path for a new way of connecting with our bosses, one that will help build strong bonds and focus our attention on important tasks, bringing energy and vigor, which results in high-quality work.
To establish a healthy workplace environment, it is our collective responsibility to learn, educate, and practice what it means to have a positive culture. Our ability to recognize and manage our own emotions, be present for others and their emotional needs, and build relationships across the organization based on emotional connection, will be culturally transformative. At EmC Leaders, we focus on relationships as the most critical element in creating a positive work environment.