Give yourself 1 point for each correct survey score. Did you score below 20 points on the Workplace Survey? Then why not toss 1 brain based solution into action each month until wellness defines your workplace.
1. Is boredom more a reality at your work than passion for daily targets? If you answered Yes to workplace boredom, you’ll be interested to know that boredom’s a choice, and you can rejuvenate your brain by changing a few basic routines. Drive new route to work, wear color you rarely wear, invite boss or janitor for lunch, laugh at the little things, or during a boring meeting, jot down one dream you’ve yet to accomplish and add doable steps toward your dream from one idea triggered by the speaker. Whenever you apply insights to improve practice boredom flees.
2. Does your workplace setting inspire staff to transform problems into solutions? If you answered No to inspired workplace setting, change furniture, tidy your area, toss in a plant for naturalistic intelligence, play quiet background music, or suggest a prize for the coolest solution offered to resolve a stubborn workplace problem.
3. Would well-being describe the daily state of most workers in your organization? If you answered No to workplace well being, laugh, care, give, walk, play, eat well, or serve, and you’ll add serotonin for positive change.
4. Does anger, fear, or frustration fuel bullying among fellow workers? If you answered Yes to the presence of anger at work, step back, breathe or focus on a fun event, and ask peers what they’d do to prevent the amygdala from defaulting back to negatives at work. This strategy works especially well when suggested at a staff meeting or a reflective round-table. It works less well when people are already upset.
5. Would venting be heard in your staff’s lunch room much of the time? If you answered Yes to venting problems at work, why not communicate goodwill – on the other side of a controversial issue. Use good tone. For example, show how you value the goodwill built with those who disagree, when you respect the other side – and chase a common solution.
6. Do people try new projects and learn skills on a regular basis where you work? If you answered No to lack of newness, try a solution today, that a top leader would win awards for doing well. Take a risk to learn a new technology program, or start an interactive blog for staff to share staff input on a new project. Invite a social media expert to facilitate staff in online benefits for business brains.
7. Does music lift moods and increase productivity where you work? If you answered No to music benefits at work, test different background tunes as you work today, to compare effects. Share with peers why music puts you in touch with your inner beliefs and suggest tunes that help to focus, relax or reflect at work. Toss out titles of tunes that make you moody, edgy and anxious. Show how productivity increases when music shifts brain waves that control how neurons talk to one another.
8. Do your managers and leaders talk more, or engage and listen more? If you answered Yes to engagement, ask questions that will generate great exchange of ideas on your topic. Suggest a round-table discussion over lunch, on the role facilitators play in mind-bending creative initiatives with winning results.
9. Do old guard workers kill incentives in others and adhere to traditions themselves? If you answered Yes to stubborn traditions, approach one routine differently daily, even if it’s to walk stairs rather than ride elevator. Suggest during the next team meeting, that people share their best strategies that would ensure ongoing growth in the team.
10. Is diversity training a poor solution for the lack of acceptance or equity? If you answered Yes to diversity training’s poor outcomes, take another look. Discuss new research that shows diversity helps in any workplace – but rarely in ways training suggests. Compare how race, gender and other social distinctions foster more thinking and better results, inspiring groups to mix it up.
11. Do you or peers come to work rested and ready and roll daily? If you answered No, suggest a few intrapersonal approaches to change activity in order to restore energy, and to speed brain waves for action.
12. Does professional development increase workplace skills on regular basis? If you answered No to opportunities for professional development, attach or hook one personal experience to any part of a difficult to do task, and learning increases. Learning may stop in broken systems, yet the human brain can be invigorated daily for learning dividends.
13. Do ruts or routines define most activity with few chances for change? If you answered Yes to ruts and routines at work, why not repeat one newly learned task a few times today to embed innovation and renewal into basal ganglia.
14. Are some workers celebrated more for their intelligence than others? If you answered Yes to a lack of recognition for mental acumen, deliberately do one task from each of your 8 intelligences over the next week.
15. Do cynical mindsets block creativity, impact talent, or stomp out innovation? If you answered Yes to cynical drawbacks at work, create something, develop talents you enjoy and inspire innovation. Show peers how cynicism stomps out brainpower, and several tactics to build on creativity and curiosity rather than succumb to cynical opposites.
16. Would focus be a typical characteristic when new challenges appear? If you answered No to focus, or nod toward frantic, create a to do list, create hook for keys, or jot down directions received. A brain literally must choose focus over frantic daily.
17. Would most consider themselves younger and smarter because of success? If you answered No to agility, why not break the ice and tell three people your age. It’s a terrific segue to remind them about miracles of neurogenesis, where workers find inspiration in maturity.
18. Encouragement can change the chemistry of a brain through raised serotonin. If you answered No to an atmosphere of support - do the opposite of bad moods today and watch emotional intelligence kick in. It takes intrapersonal intelligence, and it inspires others, through mirror neurons, to do the same.
19. Are relationships tense or trust lacking as people don’t say what they mean? If you answered Yes to poor relationships at work, encourage others to say what they really mean by finding the tone to disagree. When people learn brain based skills to speak honestly, the entire workplace benefits.
20. Do people integrate hard and soft skills to solve problems with finer solutions? If you answered No to accurate integration of workplace skills, apologize to colleagues impacted by errors made. Then teach a wronged person a math or science skill that transforms traditional approaches into brain based smart skills.
21. Does stress appear often or tone act more as silent killer than caring staff? If you answered Yes to tone toxins, walk today toward lower stress, and listen to improve your tone when stressors hit. Walk up stairs rather than take an elevator, walk during your breaks, find excuses to move more as you work. When you walk more, you increase the brain’s oxygen for solutions against stressors that enter most workplaces. Did you know that 22 stressors strike the average worker on an ordinary day?
22. Do workers often speak other’s name with a spike in personal awareness? If you answered No, why not ask names of three new people you meet today and then speak their names in response. Research shows that when a person hears their name spoken – their brains activate areas of well being, and we know that adds serotonin for more productivity in any workplace.
23. Do leaders inspire creativity and invention through teaching others? If you answered No to cooperative learning for innovative benefits, why not teach one skill to another person at the same time you too are learning it. Did you know that you retain far more when you teach others, than when you merely listen to lectures or read? That’s why some say it’s better to teach your dog a new skill at the same time you’re learning it, than to listen to a talk on the topic.
24. Do workers and leaders look at problems with solutions in mind at work? If you answered No suggest one approach to doable solutions for a problem you face today – then do it to model the results. For example, displace a large T chart on a workplace bulletin board or wall. Then write a problem to the left of the T. Invite colleagues to offer solutions by listing them on the left side of the T. Suggest the group meet in a week or so to discuss all solutions, and offer a reward for the solution that the group agrees to use.
25. Are women’s and men brain valued intellectually in ways that optimize talents? If you answered No to … affirm men’s and women’s brains in balance today so that both prosper.
How many of these brain related solutions would remove toxins from your workplace? How many could offer you healthier outcomes where you work? Will others witness well-being because you or I worked today?
In the book Caustic Colleagues, see how to cope with toxic co-workers.
Or try out 11 opposites to cynicism as you:
1. Target agreement is disagreeable settings.
2. Reboot brainpower through growth surveys.
3. Offer fresh perspectives to time worn terms.
4. Check out cynical results and name their outcomes.
5. Replace meta-messages with genuine words.
6. Practice opposites of a cynical mind in daily chunks.
7. Choose peace over battles when solving conflicts.
8. Suggest fresh solutions from broken traditions.
9. Learn tactics to keep calm under pressure.
10. Expect bullies who wire brains for cynicism.
11. Learn to let cynicism go in favor of growth.