Do You Take Work For Granted or With Gratitude?

When I first joined iDoneThis, I hated our weekly meetings. They were demoralizing and amorphous. We rambled on, drowning in circuitous discussions about product that led nowhere. The meetings became a chore, making us feel like sulky high school students waiting for the bell to ring.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner noticed a similar bad meeting phenomenon of tending to “devolve into a round robin of complaints.” His unconventional solution was to change up the meeting format by promoting something you wouldn’t expect:  gratitude.

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How the Golden Rule Melts Away Management Hurdles

Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s a simple enough concept that long predates any management manual. Yet somehow the notion of treating people like, well, people when it comes to managing them gets lost in the landscape of meetings, memos, and motivational posters.

Is it that power actually gets to people’s heads? Adam Galinsky, a professor of management at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, tested whether there are heady effects. In one study, a group of participants were first primed to feel powerful by writing about a time they felt authority over others. They went on to make more mistakes when guessing the emotional expressions of faces showing happiness, sadness, fear, or anger, compared to the control group.

So the job of managing itself may reduce your ability to empathize and perceive what others are feeling and experiencing. When you lose touch with your team as people, you cause them to feel frustrated, demotivated, and unacknowledged — not only harming relationships but performance as well.

Too many of us have been trained to focus on work, as if it exists in a vacuum, that we forget that fixes aren’t limited to considering and discussing the work itself.  Here’s how three companies avoid that trap by putting a priority on treating their employees like human beings.

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The Tweet Elite: Weekly Wrap-up

In case you missed any of them, this week’s best tweets from @iDoneThis.  This week, happiness and success are head to head in the popularity vote.

  • These 10 habits may be keeping you from happiness. Do you know what they are and how to quit them? 
  • Here are the 10 rules that successful people live by. Do you know them? Do you live by them?
  • Want to get ahead of the competition? You’ll need to do what others don’t. These 21 things will give you an edge in the race for success.
  • The World Happiness Report, commissioned by the UN Conference on Happiness, reveals what makes us happy worldwide.  The data on work & happiness is especially intriguing.
  • Sometimes the only motivation you need is knowing that it can be done. And it can. Inspiration on not giving up and assurance that you are on the right track.