Bad Office Atmosphere – How to Move to a Creative and Vibrant Environment

office atmosphere

Keeping Up Frequency and the Vibe in the Office

We have all been there; we look around our work environment and something is off. Our colleagues are just getting on with their own things and there no ‘joie de vivre’. It really gets us down and we feel powerless in the face of the “bad office atmosphere”.  It is the environment where antagonism festers for no apparent reason. People are not helpful and tend to have separate goals with their input into the business. We have a dysfunctional group dynamic.

The reason we feel powerless is that we seek solutions outside ourselves and view the problem as a tangible external issue. Our first task is to realise that we are only responsible for our own energy and actions.  The second is to start analysing what is our part of the problem. You are part of the group dynamic, if there is a problem you are part of it, as well as you will be part of the solution. 

Some reasons for a crappy office atmosphere are:

  1. Disconnect in the hierarchical flow of trust and communication; managers and reports don’t trust each other because they do not communicate effectively.
  2. Poor or outdated systems and/or procedures and policies. This contributes to the first reason as management will be blamed for this.
  3. Lack of or too much influence in decision making by the staff. Too much and mangement appears weak, indecisive and inept, too little and they are viewed as dictatorial and out-of-touch.
  4. Lack of attention to staff well being.
  5. Individuals bringing in negative energies that lower the collective vibe.
  6. Gossiping and complaining.
  7. Wrong people in positions and/or right people in the wrong positions. 
  8. Attempts to fix the issues without proper direction or implementation. 
  9. Poor management of downturn in the economic climate and downsizing. 

There are of course plenty of other causes for the bad office atmosphere that you can add to the list, but these are the main ones I have found in my work. I should note that, if you have a great atmosphere with the whole team working together with passion towards the same goal, you will never have to address number 9, plain and simple. 

Ok, back to your part of the solution. Basically, you can make sure you are the best person you can be, simple huh? It is, but it does require that you roll up your sleeves and work on yourself so that you bring in the best vibes to the office that come from a genuine place. “Fake it ’till you make it”? Yes, you can fake it to start with, but that will become transparent after a while and will backfire. You have to do the heavy lifting to open yourself up to that level of existence . Check your own energy, is it really at maximum, are you truly happy and passionate about what you do? 

The next action you take is to make the white elephant in the room apparent to your manager, or if you are the manager to your peers. If you aren’t the manager, ask to be given a mandate to set up a plan to change the office mood by an energetic over haul. If you are the manager, you work out a plan to do the same. Anybody who works with addicts or in the mental care profession, know that half the battle it for the involved party/parties to recognise there is a problem. Once you start shining a light on the problem, healing has begun. 

You need to renew and refresh; from the decor to the interior design to policies to team building activities. Create a meaningful environment where people feel valued, creative and important. You need to scrub away the “bad” in “bad office atmosphere”. Below are some simple tips:

  • Bring in a speaker once a month for lunch to give motivational and inspirational talks.
  • Change out the magazines in the office for motivational, inspiring, uplifting and positive ones.
  • Turn off news  broadcasts and switch to white noise soothing sounds.
  • Make sure the artwork inspires the staff (no, for crying out loud, not motivational quotes artwork!).
  • Start a meditation practice.
  • Create a chill out space.
  • Plan quarterly meaningful team building activities or courses that help evolve each team member. 
  • Overhaul your policies and procedures. Make sure their aren’t any that create blockages in energy flow preventing people from feeling safe to communicate.

On a management level you need to identify where the the negative energy might be coming from. Is is from one or several people (staff or managers)? Is it sitting in the walls (nope, not kidding)? Does it come from the workflow, or the lack thereof? Much can be accomplished by giving staff the tools to work on their own energies and investing in their mental well being. This 2017 study 250 companies in the UK shows that mental health challenges in the workplace is epidemic: https://wearewildgoose.com/uk/team-activities/mental-health-in-the-workplace-survey/. Of course, if you are working with outdated systems and procedures you need to simply update them, but get it right the first time around or you will have taken two steps backwards. 

Be prepared to manage a reorganisation. Once you open Pandora’s box you never know what you are going to find. Perhaps you find that one part of the business simply is not working anymore and proceed to sell it. You basically have to open yourself up to all opportunities that will come your way as you start working on this process. Move past the fear and embrace change, and trust yourself. Shedding of negative energy is necessary to make space for creative dynamic energies. You will then give those negative energies a chance to transform themselves into their creative best. 

I am going to leave you for now with these thoughts: Imagine if all the people in your office read this same article and started working on themselves individually, what amazing changes you would see immediately. On a grander scale, imagine if every person in the world did the same?

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Avoiding the Cross Roads – Averting Personal Crisis

Personal Crisis

Deal With Your Issues Over Time to Avoid the Dramtics

If you are already at your cross roads and in the midst of your personal crisis, you should first read my article “Losing Your Passion for Your Business – There are Benefits to That

The very basic reason we lose our way and find ourselves in a personal crisis is most often that we have ignored our own desires and true identity for too long. We are so very embedded in the persona that our environment has shaped for us. It is shaped by the expectations and perceptions of our family, religion, society, school, friends, etc. These are our ‘tribal beliefs’ as Christel Nani put it in her book “Sacred Choices”. Some of us grow up “rebellious” and do not buy into the tribal beliefs at all because our own intuition and inner knowing is stronger. These are the youngsters that go their own way from day one and are considered trouble makers. However, more often than not they are the ones that have it “together” and follow their hearts and have no regrets. In many respects I was this youngster, but I still ended up with a full repertoire of tribal beliefs that I had to get rid of. 

When we come to a breaking point and we cannot live a lie anymore, we breakdown and shed that old persona, i.e. your old self dies. It is a traumatic “near death experience”, yet, very cleansing and beneficial. However, how about trying to discover your higher truth earlier, before the meltdown, would that be a good idea perhaps?  

Many of the tribal beliefs you will not be able to shed until you fully understand how they contrast to your true self; they may actually require a crisis for you to move past them. It is very possible, though, to work through the majority of them over time and, most importantly, in your own time. This what is really called “Soul Searching”. You have to go inside yourself and really dig deep to discover your true self. It requires commitment, bravery and strength. You will also have to prepare yourself for the consequences that will come from existing from your true self as opposed to from what others expect of you. Clearly, if you start behaving in a way that others do not expect of you, not everybody is going to appreciate it and will start to either “attack” you or move away from you. You know what, let them, this is part of the “shedding” process, you are to shed all that no longer serves you. 

Step 1 – What do you need to shed? 
Make a list of behaviours that you display that are negative; jealousy, anger, bitterness, judgemental, lust filled,  narcissistic, etc. You may feel that you need some of these to protect yourself, so start out easy. Categorise your list into the ones that you need to get rid of and the ones you’d like to hold on to for a while. Once you work through the first category, another slew of the second will move in to the first and you will work through the second category like that until they are all gone. 

Step 2 – Triggers
For each of the negative behaviours that you have chosen to work on, attach to each of them situations that trigger that behaviour. Extract commonalities out of these situations. For example “I get angry when people don’t do as I say” and “I get angry when my children disrespect me”, these both might have the following commonalities (these are just examples and will differ from person to person):

  • Taking things personally 
  • Lacking self-assurance 
  • Deficient in self-confidence

Once you’ve worked through your list and extracted the commonalities, you should start to see a red line in the commonalities; they will all be similar and you will have perhaps two, three of four key ones. These are now the challenges you will have to work with. 

Step 3 – The Work
Congratulation, you are well on your way to healing some challenges that lie deep within you. The first step, which you completed above is acknowledging that you have something to work on. You have now set the intention to yourself that you want to work on these challenges and the work has already begun. For you to take active and positive steps towards shedding these challenges you have a wonderful variety of tools to access in today’s society. Thankfully we do live in a time were we can freely (though not without cost, but free from social or legal persecution) seek out the help we feel we need. You may want to start seeing a therapist, priest, spiritual healer or perhaps pursue a hobby that brings you into a new group of people, like artistic pursuits, exercising, martial arts, yoga, etc. Listen to yourself to understand what you need. 

If you cannot hear your body, you need to quiet your mind through meditation. Place you awareness by you heart (which, according to “new” research (e.g. HeartMath Instistute) generates and radiates more bioelectricomagnetic energy than the brain) and ask the question; “What can I do to remove …… ?” (insert challenge in the blank), if your mind is still you will “hear” the answer, you may have to ask more than once if you cannot hear the first few times. What we are trying to do is to access the subconscious, which is where the behavioural patterns that cause your challenges are stored. 

It may take a while, but rest assured that every step you take is the right one for you and that you are progressively evolving exactly as you’re supposed to in order to avoid your personal crisis.  

You have the upper hand against your ego and your learned “bad” habits, now just do the work. Stay well. 

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Losing Your Passion for Your Business – There are Benefits to That

passion

Let the Old Fall by the Wayside and Welcome the New

You’re sitting there forcing yourself to do the most mundane and simple tasks just to have your business ticking over. You are completely lost for options, what you have known for so long no longer holds any appeal. Your passion is gone and your fire fuelling that passion has been extinguished. 

Could I have started this article any more dark? Yes, I could’ve! You’re alive and kicking, but at your own personal crossroad. Now, you should probably have looked yourself in the mirror a while ago and asked the hard questions, but most of us don’t until we come to the stop sign. It’s part of our human nature. It is when we hit rock bottom that we can truly let go and surrender to life. When that happens we enter a state of pure serenity and bliss as you are completely in the present.  You have no fear because you are at your lowest but you are still here to tell the tale. This is the rebirth moment and used properly can propel you to new heights. 

Sure, once you start to settle back to earth you do have some heavy emotional lifting to do; dealing with the self-imposed guilt and shame of having let yourself get to that point, facing the issues that brought you to that point. A lot of times we have to go even further back to discover the true sources of our issues. 

It takes bravery to venture in to this type of recovery and healing of yourself. You will encounter darkness and shadows within and of yourself that you have suppressed. The pot of gold is, however, at the end of the rainbow and you will come through it with renewed and reinvigorated energy that will nor run out because you have dealt with all those experiences that subconsciously still held sway over you.

Some say you need to separate your personal and business lives; that, as far as I am concerned, is an impossibility. You do need balance, but your life needs to be approached from a holistic point of view. Any aspect of your life will impact on another. Your situation at the cross roads is no different, it is a crossroads of your life.  Hence, approach you own healing from this holistic point of view as well. Analyse the following:

  • Where do the Imbalances in your life lie?
  • What negative experiences in your life are responsible for the blue print of your personality?
  • What external influences are not aligned with your desires?
  • What habits tend to backfire on you?
  • Are you looking after yourself mentally and physically? 
  • Do you create space for yourself?

Once you started (truthfully) answering these questions, you will have an list of challenges that you need to address in order to get back on track. Of course, those challenges have corresponding action items, which will depend on your desires and goals. Some of these could include:

  • Spending more time with your partner and/or children.
  • Investing in counselling.
  • Review of who you associate with.
  •  Reorganisation of your business.
  • Start a process to re-programme your habits to a set of positive ones.
  • Start exercising and changing your dietary habits.
  • Start meditating.

These points and the ones above are starting points, but will at least get you thinking about how you can become the best version of yourself. 

I wish you the very best and know that you are exactly where you are supposed to be in your life! You are enough!

People’s Energy – What Lies Beneath The Surface

energy

You need to look deeper into your business to find your answers

Most of us have thought to ourselves when walking into a room, “Hmm, the energy in here is very heavy.” or “Wow, the energy in this room is awesome!”, or something along those lines. Few of us really pay attention to it though. Why is it that we have that reaction and is there any validity to your feelings? If there is validity to them, why don’t we explore them further? You also use the same technique when you are talking to people, you constantly feel their energy determining if it the interaction is good, bad, respectful, truthful, etc. 

So, take a little while now and think of situations where you may have picked up on something through non-verbal communications, i.e. purely by sensing the energy. How did it feel and how did you react to it? Unfortunately, many will not have used the information to their advantage when they had it. 

We are all in agreement, even science, that invisible energy fields around our bodies carrying information about us are very real indeed. Put this knowledge into your office environment and consider the many different energies that make up the collective energy pool of your office. The “temperature” of that pool will be the measurement of how good the group dynamic is. This temperature will change over time depending on what energy each contributor (employee, manager, etc) brings with them. 

It is very important to understand and monitor these fluctuations and where negative energy might be coming from so that you may respond to it and ensure that your office has the best energy possible. If you as a manager or business owner don’t have the abilities to read energy you need to set up a system that will give you tools to continuously balance the energy in your office. You will need an initial reset, but beyond that a shift in focus will help you maintain that balance. 

If you cannot sense what is beneath the surface you need to use verbal communications. You need to foster open communications in your office to allow any reasons that would shift the balance away from an equilibrium to be aired before it takes hold. We need to start focusing on the EQ (Emotional Quotient) values of the company and improve them where they may be lacking. The general vibration (vibe) of the office has to be redirected using interior design, the way colleagues communicate, the interaction between the levels of hierarchy, competence building programmes, health and wellness programmes, etc. I will go in to more details about what can tools that can be deployed in a later article, just know that you need to take action.

Taking it a step further you will need to consider that the right people might be in the wrong positions and that for some colleagues it is time to move on. Our mindset tends to be that we stick to what we know and what is comfortable. Everything unknown is considered bad and dangerous. Sometimes, even though it might not appear such at the time, letting go of something to create space for something new is the best way. At the end of the day you need everybody on your staff to be in the right job doing what they love, if they aren’t and don’t you will be doing both them and yourself a disservice. 

A third aspect that I want to address in this article is “frustration”. Frustration among employees can sink the collective mood very quickly. This could be frustrations with company policies, systems, group dynamics, attitudes, hierarchical interactions, etc. Once frustrations start building the archetypes will we set in motion, the vocal ones will moan and complain, the silent ones will bottle their frustrations creating anger and the manipulators will stir the pot to their advantage. I know it is easy to forget to review these things as our businesses evolve, but it is necessary to maintain the energetic health of the company.

Constant vigilance is required to ensure that energy is flowing through every aspect of your business with ease at all times. Building up habits to deal with these aspects can take time, but will become second nature and will return to you in spades.  

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