Today at work, look around you. I often make this call to action when writing. Take note of who in your environment is helping others to achieve. Who around you is helping others to succeed. Who can you see that just brought a smile to someone? Who have you seen who needs a pick-me-up? Who have you seen that just looks like a misery guts? Who around you is bouncing around with energy and enthusiasm.?
For the moment, disregard those who are being miserable. Take note instead of those making a difference to other people’s lives. They’re the people I enjoy watching and connecting with. They’re the ones I find energising and motivating. They’re the ones who make a workplace fun. But surely they do a lot of other good stuff except for being a fun place to be?
They encourage others to learn and do better. They give support openly and willingly. They listen genuinely and without distraction. They ask questions because they’re interested not because they have an agenda. They have conversations that seem fun and interesting. Either way, others are attracted to their conversations. They are sought out by people because they’re a joy to be around. They are the ones who wonder around and have meaningful conversations with those they meet.
Sounds all joyful and wonderful doesn’t it? So here’s the tangible benefits of what they help others to do. They encourage ideas and creation of answers so that they’re not getting stuck into ruts with problems and issues. They make things happen because of the richness of the relationships they have that increase the discretionary effort those around them put in. They know enough about what’s going on around them that if they don’t know the answer, they can direct people to the right place. They help calm situations where tensions may be fraying and possible friction exists.
So what point am I trying to make? In life, we need these people. They help us to learn about ourselves, and to learn about others. On a grand scale you can take the mighty efforts of people like Nelson Mandela or Ang Sun Suu Kyi to see how they impact and influence others. On a small scale, you can look for those around you.
In the work environment, these are the ones who will help the business grow and succeed. They won’t have all the right qualities you’re searching for. But there’s things you can do to help them succeed. We all have some sort of performance management system in place, and some may have plans in place around talent management and the likes. But, and this is a big but, we shouldn’t have to rely on those processes to help these people succeed. They’ll find ways to succeed on their own. They just need people to help guide and direct them.