Bringing a positive emotion to what we do does not mean simply having fun or being self-indulgent. It is the difference between having balance and enthusiasm or only going through the motions to get through the day. Read more here....
Why passionate, inspired employees raise job performance. Diane
There's a new book which I suggest should be required reading for every employee. It talks about purpose,
inspiration and commitment to one's work. The concept of a
workforce bringing more of their energy to initiate, create
and innovate assures a boost in everyone's overall
performance. Ask anyone about their job passion level. How
they answer you says a lot about how they get up in the
morning and start their day.
Surprisingly, there are many in upper and lower
management, as well as employees who don't see the value
in this subject.
Bringing a positive emotion to what we do does not mean simply having fun or being self-indulgent. It is
the difference between having balance and enthusiasm or only going through the motions to get through
the day. I always say if you don't like what you do, get out. This is a risky idea but it is even more risky to
your emotional health to keep up a facade, day in and day out. How many of us stay at a job we loth
because we are intimidated or insecure about losing the money or title?
Author and teacher Diane Ingram presents in "Shine at Work" how to use the job we may dislike as a way
to actually serve and empower ourselves. By re-looking at our situation we can discover ways to bring
more confidence and inner fire into our lives as well as into our jobs. Bringing this new attitude into our
experience is one of the best investments we can make.
In our interview, Diane talks about why its vital to have inspired, alive employees. She also offers ways
employees can discover and apply the keys that will bring out their best and align them to their
organization's mission, values and purpose.
With a workforce like this your HR job will becomes easier because engaged, empowered employees want
to shine at work.
Tai: Really like your new book. Why did you write it?
Diane: What I tried to do with "Shine at Work" is give a different perspective on improving our work
experience. Especially those employees who are interested in being happier and more energized in what
Tai: This issue of passion. Many employees I've talk to say when it comes to their job there is no such thing
Diane: Unfortunately this word is often misused. Simply put, its deciding to change our point of view and
unearthing what is already in us. For example, one can look at a task as a chore or burden or we can
choose to look at the same job as a way to challenge one's self.
Tai: When we succeed at its completion we feel better about ourself.
Tai: Not so easy to change gears with a job we don't like.
Diane: Perhaps, but we can make it simpler when we embrace our power to change how we look at our
Tai: I do believe if you deeply don't like your job you should leave it.
Diane: Certainly if the work you do does not coincide with your intrinsic values or is destructive to your
health. But I am suggesting if these are not the case, you can derive great benefit from bringing a new
quality, an aliveness to it. When you bring a passion to your job you possess an assurance of success to
your life. As you brought up before, the value of challenging oneself and accomplishing a difficult task
raises your confidence and sense of self. The more you work with this attitude the more you shine in other
Tai: Such as even making more money?
Diane: Yes even making more money. Theologian Howard Thurman puts it this way, "what the world needs
are people who have come alive."
Tai: How can we begin to make our jobs more satisfying, rewarding?
Diane: Understand that your work takes a lot of your time and takes you away from other aspects of your
life, so your work has to be worth your while. Making money, inviting growth opportunities, the ability to
contribute to something you find meaningful is all the product of being alive and inspired. The days of
going to work, putting in your forty, fifty or sixty hours just for a paycheck and the guarantee of a happy
ever after retirement are over.
We want to get more from our employment. We want to feel purposeful. We want to use our talents, skills
and abilities. We want to commit to our work with a fire in the belly. We want to be recognized and take
ownership of our work with pride. This is what employees need.
Tai: I have observed that without an environment of recognition and a sense that there is an opportunity
to contribute one's abilities, employees will eventually quit.
Diane: Costing the company in re-hiring and re-training. As human beings we all want to learn, grow and
contribute in a way that makes us feel like we are making a difference in our world and workplace. Its
engagement 101. Your employees want to be seen, heard and appreciated for their efforts.
Tai: A big problem among human resources personnel is dealing with a lot of sleep walking going on with
their employees. You mention a real life example about Robert, in your book.
Diane: Yes. An employee named Robert had been in the computer data storage industry for some twenty
years. He had always worked for small, start-up companies and enjoyed the challenge of wearing many
hats, bringing diversity and interest to his work, while feeling his contribution has a direct effect on the
success of the company. In this environment, he could feel passionate about his work, excited to see how
the results of his work impact the overall company.
His most recent company was so successful, they caught the eye of a much larger computer corporation
and the larger company bought them.
He went from a company with 90 employees to one with 100,000 employees. The culture at the new
company was very different—ambiguous at best. There were arbitrary processes and systems that didn’t
seem to make sense or even have value. The humanness seemed to have gotten lost somewhere along the
The company’s mission was in flux. There was poor communication between top levels of management
and their employees. Ever changing organizational charts only created more confusion and uncertainty.
To make matters worse, the current employees did not appreciate the integration of a whole new staff
with similar job titles. They resented having to share clients and work alongside Robert and his colleagues.
Robert was miserable. He needed a plan and the courage to make the leap back into the environment he
knew he thrived in.
With courage and a plan of action, he was ready. He took the leap. He found a new start-up firm that he
genuinely believed offered the potential for both personal and professional growth.
He was excited about the company’s vision and knew that this was a great fit for him. Taking a cut in salary
was not a huge problem because he knew that what was more important to him was being happy at his
place of work.
The point is that Robert was imbued with an inner confidence that helped him overcome his
disappointment. His attitude kept him focused on his plan to be in an environment where he would thrive.
Tai: Something anyone can develop having the desire to.
Tai: Where can we start to get this better job experience?
Diane: The answers are all around us. For thousands of years the great thinkers have shared their wisdom.
Rumi, a 13th century Persian poet and mystic suggested: “When you do something from your soul, you feel
a river moving in you, a joy." Activities done in this joy make our efforts simpler while producing results.
Tai: That's the inside work.
Diane: That's right! Incredibly, it also triggers the release on oxytocin in our brain. This hormone increases
all those feelings of caring, trust and empathy. To answer your other question, some activities that bring
inspiration into your job experience, into you life include spending time in nature, quiet time, listening to
music, looking at a nighttime sky, pursuing a creative activity unrelated to your job, from time to time
doing something out of the ordinary. Or find something yourself that will inspire you.
Tai: I understand.
Diane: Do the work that will cultivate a new outlook about your job. This is happening every day by
employees at all levels. These individuals make the time to engage in activities that nurture themselves
and produce good feelings.
We live in this multi-dimensional existence. With the energy, enthusiasm and confidence you create, when
a tough situation emerges, you go towards it with wonder and interest rather than from a fixed position. If
you are having issues at work with a co-worker, you can ask “I wonder how we could change this situation
with some creativity and communication?” instead of “How can I move away from this person?” Wonder is
more fun and brings about more understanding and better, more lasting results.
Tai: Good points. All in your book.
Diane: The key is having the will to step back and claim our power to change and be inspired. You can then
set off a chain reaction among colleagues where trust, cooperation and collaboration happen. When that
happens, good things happen and business grows.