Its Monday Morning. You’ve grabbed your Starbucks coffee and got a smile from the barista. You’re driving to work, listening to talk radio or some music, negotiating traffic mindlessly – like you do every week. You park, walk to the office, and are about to open the door to walk in.
What do you feel?
Are you excited and energized to start the day? Dreading it? Feeling behind before you start? Excited to catch up on the weekend events with your coworkers?
Now imagine you’re on your way home. You’ve made it through another day at work. You’re thinking of seeing your spouse and kids when you get home. Is there homework that needs to be done? Shopping or food picked up for dinner? Are they going to be happy to see you? Or will it be chaos when you arrive? Did everyone have a good day? Or were they frustrated or mad about something? You open the door and find out.
These are the conversations we have in our head every day (conscious or not). And they are the feelings we get that we often aren’t aware of. The impact on our health and wellness is often understated. And the impact on what you achieve, the results you get, and the happiness you attain is immeasurable.
My friend Julie Broad (@thejuliebroad) tweeted this article about how your environment affects you and the results you get.
There were some pretty cool insights (below) – check out the article (it’s a quick read)
- the role that the shape of the continent you live on plays in how societies develop
- three key strategies you can use to put your environment to work for you
- and how our environment can help us to be more “lucky”
And it got me thinking about all the situations that environment plays such a key role in the results you get.
Here’s some examples.
Is divorce contagious? A Pew study shows participants are 75% more likely to get divorced if they have a friend who’s divorced.
In sports, momentum plays a big part in who wins a game when the participants match up closely. And when those around you struggle or are doing well, teammates or those around them, can also catch fire or start missing. A great illustration of that was Tiger Woods. Check out what happened (and it wasn’t when his wife came at him with a golf club…but you could probably make a case that his downward slide was a result of a series of bad environments – cheating on his wife, using different caddies and coaches, and getting out of the winning flow, and being around those who struggled – not a recipe for success).
In the movies, “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” and “The Big Short,” they both tell of situations where financiers, businessmen, and regulators all conspire to promulgate a “too big to fail” atmosphere. Where the “everyone’s doing it” mantra runs rampant. And as a result, basic logic and moral behavior go out the window.
And in the work world, your results are often impacted by the environment you work in too. That environment is the company you work for (and what they stand for) or the specific office environment or work group.
Those you associate with on a daily basis absolutely impact your results. If you’re in a place where your boss and peers celebrate successes (yours and theirs) and support each other (we recently got a gong to ring and celebrate hitting project milestones – an inexpensive and cool way to remind everyone we’re winning and have them participate in those successes – by ringing the gong or hearing it and sharing in the celebration), you’re likely to grow and learn and create good results for the company and grow your own skill-set and career.
But if you’re in one that is degrading and bullying and negative all the time, you’re likely to stay in “survival mode” and your results will reflect that.
What is your environment like?
At your home, work, hanging with friends and other social interactions, is your environment supporting you? Or is it dragging you down?
Life’s too short to not maximize your happiness, productivity, and contribution, isn’t it?
If your environment isn’t supporting you, figure out why and what you can do to change it. Often times it is just a matter of shifting things around.
Whether that is changing a team member’s role on the team or adding someone new or getting a negative person off the team, as a manager sometimes you can implement that change directly.
Or is it changing cube assignments to put people next to each other who can help (you’d be amazed what happens when you can hear related conversations in the adjacent cube or talk to someone without having to call them on the phone or go to another office – so much more gets accomplished and rapport with that person increases).
Or maybe you need to change your routine. Drive a different way to work. Change your phone’s ringtone. Buy a new outfit (yes, I’m supporting retail therapy 🙂 go figure). Or volunteer for something outside of work (I just volunteered to be an assistant coach for my daughter’s soccer team – it gives me another thing to get excited about as I help the girls learn soccer skills, improve their teamwork, and have an enjoyable time learning – a great lifetime skill).
Is your job no longer satisfying? Does it seem you’re constantly putting out fires with your business and struggling to gain momentum?
Maybe a change is due? Or maybe it is just a tweak that is required.
I recently was contacted by someone who needed help sorting out that next step in their career. The job they had had served its purpose but now physical health had made job requirements more taxing and a shift was needed. Talking through those options and helping sort out what that next career was likely to be – particularly midway through their working life – often requires some outside perspective.
If you’re in a similar situation, contact me. We’ll see what we can do together to right your ship.