Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are you living in a toxic environment?

Lately, I have been working in a toxic environment. Almost everyone hates their job. They hate the hours they work. They hate the conditions they work in. They don’t like the equipment they use, the offices they work in or the feeling of the place. They don’t like the way they are treated. They don’t like the people that run the company. They don’t like how they are paid. They don’t like…they don’t like….they don’t like…you get the point. And it just keeps spiraling downward.

This is an environment doomed to fail. Work doesn’t get done right because nobody cares. No-one does anything more than they have to. They complain to anyone that will listen. That includes each other, their friends and families, vendors, suppliers, and most troubling, their customers. The energy is toxic. Negative energy is low energy. It has an edge to it that feels bad and it brings everyone down that comes into contact with it. It creates confrontation, indifference, back biting, destructive activities, and breaks the company apart. It impacts productivity, cooperation, sharing, respect, harmony, growth, profitability, success, and even people’s health. People become defensive, distrustful and build barriers to protect themselves to the detriment of everyone else, the company and their contribution to the company.

Is there anything positive about it? Yes. If you work in an environment like this it has huge benefits for you. We are here on this planet to grow, to improve, and to make a difference. The more difficult the environment, the greater the opportunity along with challenge, to find the positive, and the greater the opportunity to grow and evolve. If you are in an environment that even remotely resembles this, take the initiative, create a difference and bring positivity into the organization, positivity in a way that is not judgmental, not accusatory and not confrontational. That is the trick. And difficult though it may be, the greatest gains are made in difficult situations.

You can’t change people that do not want to change. But you can start by being the change – as Mahatma Gandi said. It starts with you, your attitude, your behavior and your thoughts. Guard your words, see the good in where you are, the good in the people you are dealing with and find the higher purpose in what you do. Begin to demonstrate passion toward everything and everyone in your day. And little by little you will change and you will see them change. As the soothsayers and Kabbalists say, ‘bring the light into the world’ and in the process you will have a positive impact on everything and everyone in your day. Your positive energy will be far reaching. YOU WILL BEGIN TO CHANGE. YOU WILL CHANGE EVERYONE THAT COMES INTO YOUR SPHERE OF BEING and all will appreciate your contribution. And eventually, you may see change in people around you, or an opportunity may present itself for something better.

I would love to see someone take the challenge and begin to turn a negative organization into a culture that promotes cooperation, sharing, respect and harmony. I would be the first in line to help and together we would make a difference.

Have a great day.