Wouldn’t it be great if you could snap your fingers and have everyone in your office transformed into the perfect colleague? Or what if you came into your office in the morning to find yourself working for a new boss – one who was supportive, flexible and nurturing? Just imagine how much more you would enjoy work, and how much happier you would be.
No matter how hard we close our eyes and wish, the truth is we really can’t change others. And working around people who you wish would change can make your work feel like a prison sentence – even if you actually like the work you are doing. You’ll never be able to completely avoid working with others whose work habits and personality you dislike, but if you focus your energy on being the best person you can be, you may be able to influence those around you.
When you do the best you can, you feel good about your performance at work despite any chaos and drama that may be going on around you. By being the change you want to see in others, you make your own life happier. It’s likely that other people will see your increased satisfaction and when they do, they’ll want what you have.
If you lead by example, you have a good chance at “influencing” some people to change their work habits and how they interact with you.
Lead by example to help others succeed
Do you work with a boss or team members who are consistently cranky? Unhealthy eating might be a contributing factor. You can lead by example here by choosing healthier eating habits for yourself – cut back on the caffeine, bring in energy building snacks as an alternative, suggest healthier lunch locations instead of the regular fast food places. This doesn’t mean always pushing the latest diet fad or harassing co-workers about their choices. Instead, live your life in a healthy, positive manner. Others may see that they can do it, too.
You could also try organizing healthy activities for people in the office. If you already do things as a group outside of work, you can move carefully toward more healthful activities. You don’t have to run a marathon to be healthy – it can be as simple as a quick lunchtime walk. By getting your co-workers moving, you can effect lasting, positive change.
Here are some other ideas for influencing those around you to create a more harmonious and positive workplace:
1. Play background music. Quiet and peaceful music works best. The selections should be something that almost everyone will like. Also, not everyone tunes out background noise well, so the music must be soft and generally without lyrics.
2. Look for opportunities to praise and affirm. At times, you may have co-workers you don’t care for, but there’s no reason to bad-mouth them. Find something nice to say to them or about them. If you really can’t say anything positive, simply keep quiet. Gossiping solves nothing.
3. Choose your battles. There will always be times when situations don’t go exactly as you planned, or when you have to stand up for yourself and your beliefs. Make every effort to do so in a non-confrontational way. Consider the interests and needs of the people you’re interacting with. Talk to them intelligently and be fair. Avoid attacking them personally and aim to create as much of a win/win as you can. If the battle isn’t one that you really must win, let it go.
Reap the benefits of being the change
Overall, when you’re more relaxed and happy, others around you will be that way too. Speak and interact gently in the workplace. Avoid criticizing people or demanding that they do things your way. By taking the lead with your own positive behaviors, you may be able to influence others. They’ll see that they don’t need to be short-tempered or angry to get things done.
Positivity is a great message to send out to your workplace and to the world as a whole. When others adopt your new attitude, you spread happiness far beyond your immediate circle of influence. And at the very least you will have a more peaceful and less stressful day.
- 5 Ways To Be a More Thoughtful Colleague (jobacle.com)
- What To Do When Your Boss Hates You (bnet.com)
- Well: Friendly Workplace Linked to Longer Life (well.blogs.nytimes.com)