My heartfelt congratulations go out to all those who received honours in the recent Queen’s Birthday Honours List but I want to give special congratulations to my friend, Keith Fagg for receiving a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to the community.
Keith was quoted on the day as saying, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Whether we volunteer our time and efforts outside of our paid work or not, there is something to be gained from this quote. We can help create a satisfying work life by what we give to our colleagues and clients and not by just focusing on what we get.
Learning to have an expansive view, giving time and sharing our experience with others, without questioning what is in it for ourselves, and being able to do so without feeling depleted of energy is a high level skill. This skill can be taught.
But first, one must seek to engage in constructive interactions without being plagued by an unconscious fear. This might mean exploring possible negative reaction triggers and focusing on strategies to develop a new mindset.
When we either: a) protect and assert our own needs through an aggressive or defensive manner; or b) react to dominant colleagues or a dominant workplace culture by always trying to 'smooth things over'; the workplace becomes a place of stress. Creativity and initiative are stifled, teamwork is ineffective and performance is at best, inconsistent.
A harmonious workplace culture is achieved by what our leaders give and, in role modelling and enacting this, they allow their team members to follow suit.