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If you’re like most people, 2010 was a long, exhausting year at your workplace.You’re tired, depleted, and quite frankly just done with “business as usual.” You’re laying the blame for your fatigue squarely at the feet of the increased responsibilities and long hours you faced. But what’s wearing you out at work might not be the work at all.
“Most people wrongly assume that their tasks and responsibilities are what’s grinding them down,” explains Gordon, author of the newly released Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture. “However, while ‘work’ is a convenient scapegoat, the real culprit is often the negativity of the people you work with and for, their constant complaining, and the pessimistic culture that is now the norm in a lot of workplaces.”
The fact is, many of us work in a world of drainers. And what, exactly, is a drainer? Gordon says the term can describe anyone in the workplace—a boss, coworker, employee, or client—who sucks the life and energy right out of you.
Here’s how to not be a “drainer” >>
Jon Gordon is a consultant, keynote speaker, and the international bestselling author of Soup, The Energy Bus, The No Complaining Rule, and Training Camp. This article has been prepared for Business Insider and published with permission from DeHart & Company Public Relations.
DON'T: Leave critical or harsh messages on voicemail or send them to an email inbox. Nine times out of 10, these critiques seem much more vehement and condemnatory than they actually are. Plus, any communication you send via electronic methods can potentially last forever. Not only could your words come back to haunt you, they'll also be a constant reminder to your coworker or employee of his or her supposed shortcomings.
DO: Suck it up and conduct the tough talks in person. If you need to have a stern talk with someone, or if you need to talk through a conflict or problem, do it in person if at all possible. You'll be able to ensure that your words and tone aren't misinterpreted, and you'll be able to immediately have a constructive dialogue with the other person. By talking about ways to improve, you can end the conversation on a positive and encouraging note.
DON'T: Confuse activity with progress. You know the person. She's always soooo busy but doesn't ever seem to meet deadlines or get anything done. When teams are being formed, people secretly hope she isn't assigned to theirs. She's living proof of the fact that just because your day is full of things to do doesn't necessarily mean that you're getting them done.
DO: Set goals and hold yourself and your employees accountable for results. These results should be ones that matter and that are visible and valuable to your team. It can be helpful to transition over to a day-to-day plan that will help everyone stay on the right track. Most importantly, don't put your team in situations where the lines are blurred. If the goals are crystal clear, they'll be easier to accomplish.
DON'T: Allow unmet deadlines to throw everything and everyone off-track. With all the unexpected obstacles you face in a workday, it's not always easy to meet deadlines. And yes, sometimes it's impossible--but those times should be few and far between. When people chronically miss deadlines, it's a sure sign of a cultural issue. Either people aren't giving it their all--or they're truly overburdened. Either way, your company's productivity will suffer.
DO: Set reasonable, clear deadlines for everyone involved (and hold hem accountable). Once something gets off-track, nobody is willing to own it. Make sure you set reasonable deadlines that you and your teammates can meet in order to avoid setting folks up for failure. And even if it takes some extra elbow grease from time to time, make a conscious effort to meet every deadline every time (and hold your team accountable for meeting them, too!).
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