Creativity can thrive in the right atmosphere and choke in the wrong one.
What is the ‘right’ atmosphere?
It’s civil. That means it’s rich with respect, kindness, helpfulness, and active listening. Not only does civility make the work environment more pleasant, it enables employees to produce more, better, results.
Don’t take my word for it. I was reminded recently of this 2015 NYTimes opinion piece by Christine Porath, Associate Professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Her work focuses on the impact of incivility in the workplace. I urge you to read the article yourself, but include highlights here: she shows the impact of uncivility on focus (it went down), mistakes (they went up), and employee performance on problem-solving and idea-generation (it worsened).
In one study, an experimenter belittled a group of peers. They then performed 33% worse on anagram word puzzles and came up with 39% fewer creative ideas during a brainstorming task than a group that want belittled.
In a second study, participants encountered a rude, admonishing stranger — a “busy professor” – en route to the experiment. Their performance was 61% worse on word puzzles, and they produced 58% fewer ideas in the brainstorming task than those who had not been treated rudely.
And, there were side effects:
The study found the same pattern for those who merely witnessed incivility: They performed 22% worse on word puzzles and produced 28% fewer ideas in the brainstorming task.
… and employees began to contribute less and lose their conviction.
,,, and customers quit patronizing their business.
About your workplace – are you feeling the love?
Is your workplace’s sense of community, civility, suffering from the stressors of these crazy times? Probably.
Do you have employees, co-workers working from home and more isolated? Are they feeling the love? If the answer is ‘no’, then look around for the impact. Less relevant, novel problem-solving that helps your organization stand out and cement brand. Less focus. Less productivity. Fewer ‘good ideas’ that move your business forward. More senseless mistakes. Loss of business. It turns out, love’s got a lot to do with it. So,
If your workplace feel like this …
What’s the use in trying, all you get is pain
When I needed sunshine, I got rain.“I’m a Believer”, Neil Diamond
Maybe it’s time to give it a little of this!
We want you to be happy, don’t live inside the gloom
… We want you to be happy ’cause this is your song, too.“Joy”, by Phish
Don’t know how? CEJ Studio offers coaching and classes on skills and techniques that help you create a happier, more motivated workplace. Reach out!