*contains live and active cultures
By tim brown
Culture | February 21, 2017
A wise St. Joseph once remarked “Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best.” A younger version of myself learning the guitar was once guided by this verse. A wise employee in the modern workplace will continually perspire by this exclamation. Through good health, engaged minds and open ears, a motivated and active individual is born. In the workplace, it is important to harvest active individuals. But what cultivates an active team?
American adults employed full-time report working an average of 47 hours per week, equating to nearly six days a week (CNN). With longer workweeks and heavy workloads, so follows increased stress and subsequently, a reduced amount of time available to focus on your body’s performance vs. your project’s performance.
Corporate wellness is now part of the conversation more than ever before, and in good reason. Through motivation, engagement and support of a collective effort to promote physical health, company morale can be boosted as well as each individual’s well-being. Get creative! Get physical, physical!
Start with small events, such as quarterly activities like kickball, dodgeball, yoga classes or a fundraiser walk. Activities as such can help to promote health outside of the workplace and morale within. Why not burn stress with sweat? Cut calories with collaboration? Fend off those complimentary doughnuts with a baseball bat?
You know that old saying “if you don’t use it, you lose it?” Well, that certainly doesn’t just apply to the expired chicken in your refrigerator. Never forget to always stimulate your noggin…to keep your noodle above water (was that a pasta pun?). Some tips in doing so:
- Always be learning. Work on a skill you may be weak at (e.g., presentations, organization, problem-solving, etc.). Read a book your colleague recommended. Dive into a documentary. School yourself with regular vocabulary exercises, online courses, podcasts, Lynda.com, etc.
- Engage in self-talk. Who is better to motivate yourself than, well, yourself? By engaging in positive self-talk, such dialogue can help to increase your confidence, mood and monitor highly stressful situations. “I’ve got this.” “I have handled this before and can again.” “Do not let this mistake discount my accomplishments.” “Am I talking out loud?”
- Step away from your desk. Regroup. Take a walk and engage your senses. In our era of technology overload, it is important to allow your brain a resting period from the constant glare. Step outside and smell the roses. Or smell a fresh cup of brew, if that’s your thing. Allowing your mind these small breaks will act as a clock resetting internally.
The difference between hearing and listening is all too ignored. However, the glossed-over expression when it’s your turn in a conversation to speak is not. Such a habit can result in a one-directional conversation, lack of confidence in the speaker, and poor credibility on the bad listener’s behalf. Truly, a waste of time for both parties.
Be engaged. Listen without dozing off. Understand your peer’s points by relating them to your personal experiences. If natural, nod and interject where applicable. Be aware of the speaker’s tones and inflections.
Converse by bringing to the table those experiences that you relate to and feeding off of them. This will show that you digested what the other person was saying and were able to relate to their points. If the topic of discussion is that of a debate, don’t forget to listen. Even if you may not agree, it is still important to hear the person out. Speaking your side is a human right…right?!
Lend the spotlight. No one deserves to hear someone’s diary entry during their morning run into the office kitchen. The conversation’s spotlight is a pendulum. If it gets stuck on one side, it’s really just a useless paper weight, isn’t it? In developing a new relationship, especially, it is important to show you have sincere interest in the other person. Learn by listening through answered questions. Be the questions more personal or business-related, be sure to lend the other person the metaphoric microphone in a conversation. You may learn a lot, whether your first date is a beau or bust.