Yesterday in our executive team meeting I was reminded of the well-known statement that “employees don’t quit jobs, they quit managers and office environments.” The research by brain scientists such as Daniel Pink and positivity in the workplace research by Losada, Heaphy and others, bear this out.
When we sat down for our meeting there was not only a high frustration level in the room but also fatigue… The server went down, the IT support group was slow on the uptake, pressing deadlines for proposals, marketing and other initiatives were stretched to the max by information not accessible on the recalcitrant server hard disk, to name only a few issues.
Instead of jumping into the agenda, I requested that we take two minutes for each to just blow off steam. Permission was granted by all to not even try to be skillful, but to simply express what was there. Profanity was welcomed. Everybody looked around in a dazed way and the unspoken question was; “2 minutes? You got to be kidding! I need 30!” Well, everyone let it rip as we took turns. First round done – with a lot of laughter and relief – I offered another round that nobody picked up.