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Five Steps to Loving Your Job

By Kate Lorenz, Editor

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We all have had an experience with a co-worker who is an eternal pessimist. You come from an encounter with them drained and down in the dumps. Pretty soon, you're trying to avoid this person altogether because it's affecting your work.


          Consider this: Nine out of 10 people say they are more productive when they're around positive people. Yet, 65 percent of Americans received no recognition in the workplace last year.


          Now think about your attitude when you have an upbeat conversation with a colleague or receive kudos for a job well done? You feel inspired, motivated and ready to push harder.


          This is the idea behind the Tom Rath and Donald Clifton's book 'How Full is Your Bucket?' Be the first to praise and the first to deserve praise and you'll have a more enjoyable and productive workplace.


          Negative experiences can slowly erode our well-being and productivity. While meaningful, deserved and individual recognition increases morale and productivity. Creating positive emotions in the workplace will not only benefit the receivers but also yourself.


          This is the idea behind the analogy of the dipper and the bucket Rath and Clifton use. Each person carries an invisible bucket of emotions along with a dipper, which he or she can use to either add to other people's buckets or to dip from them. In the end, research shows that filling someone else's bucket benefits both parties -- the person who gave the praise and the person who received it.


          If you think there's no hope for a colleague who constantly brings you down, Rath suggests something else. Because both positive and negative reactions are contagious, your next interaction could start to squash the negativity with just a little effort.


          "Simply try to turn your next conversation with someone who is negative into a more positive moment. See what happens," Rath says. "In most cases, they will turn around and be more positive in their next interaction."


          Relationships at work will be much more fulfilling if you increase the flow of positive emotions writes Rath. Thus, you must make it a habit to increase positive emotion -- here are the top five strategies for doing this.


          If you increase positive emotions at work, you'll also improve life at work for others and yourself. Five ways to improve your life at work


          Prevent Bucket Dipping

          Just as you should eliminate debt before you can truly save, you must so must you do with bucket dipping before you begin filling them. Try this: For the next few days, try to catch yourself in the act of bucket dipping and then stop it. Then encourage the same for others around you -- convince them unwarranted negativity makes matters worse. If this doesn't work, stay away from these people as much as possible.


          Shine a Light on What Is Right

          Take advantage of each interaction. That is, focus on what is right and fill a bucket. "Never underestimate the long-term influence of filling others' buckets," Rath writes. Positive emotions can create a chain of events with far-reaching results.


          Make Best Friends

          According to Rath, people with best friends at work have better safety records, receive higher customer satisfaction scores, and increase workplace productivity. You can start by simply learning and using the names of people you see regularly. Those acquaintances may soon become friends. The best approach: fill someone's bucket starting with the first interaction.


          Give Unexpectedly

          No matter what size, unexpected gifts are often the best gifts. It's probably due to the element of surprise. Rath suggests looking for opportunities to give gifts out of the blue -- from a magnet for someone's cube to a cup of coffee


          Reverse the Golden Rule

          When it comes to bucket-filling, individualization is the key. Thus reverse, or at least redefine, the golden rule. Different things have different meaning for people. Some want public recognition while others prefer a one-on-one commendation. Some prefer tangible rewards while others like words and acknowledgement.

Last Updated: 24/09/2007 - 3:50 PM

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