Maree Burgess shows individuals

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Teams - are we having fun yet?

We spend the majority of our life at work, with people that we see more of than our family and friends. And yet there are many people who don’t like their job or the organisation they work with, and they are miserable.

Many years ago, I used to often share a lift with a work colleague to our floor at the beginning of the day. Every time he used to say, ‘another day, another dollar’. Then as he was getting out of the lift he’d add ‘less tax’. EVERY day. He didn’t like his job, he didn’t like his boss and he didn’t like the organisation.

You can imagine how productive he was!

Being young and naïve at the time, I couldn’t understand why he didn’t leave and find something he did like. With more experience and lots of years in corporate I now know that organisations are filled with people like this, which is very unproductive.

Imagine if everyone working is engaged, love what they do it and look forward to coming to work each day. Why not create the type of work environment that is invigorating, exciting and energising? Why not become part of a team we look forward to hanging out with every day, who we learn from every day and who learn from us and we become energised rather than drained?

I call this being part of the ‘co-creating team’.   

Having spent a large chunk of my career working in the corporate world, I have been part of many teams: some have been co-creating, the majority have held together and got the job done, a few have been toxic.

It is an absolute joy to be part of a focused and engaged team where large degrees of trust exists which allows co-creation to occur. It is completely disempowering to be part of a toxic team, with infighting and a loss of knowledge when people left because it is so toxic. 

Culture can be likened to a bad relationship: the people in it know it isn’t healthy but the thought of moving or changing seems too hard or frightening, or we have become numb to how bad it actually is, so we tend tolerate lots of bad behaviour. It’s only once we are out of that environment that we start to recognise how bad it had been.

Culture is an area deemed to take a long time to change for the better, or create from scratch, yet it can happen quickly if the intent is there to do so.

Why are some cultures toxic where people feel unsafe to address concerns and hold others accountable and other cultures thrive with trust and enjoyment in what people do?

Think about where you work:

  • Do you, your team, or your organisation fall into set patterns that stop growth and limit solutions?
  • Do you ever find yourself exerting power rather than exercising leadership?
  • Do you or your team ever talk past each other without really listening to what is being said?
  • Do you say you want a culture characterised by innovation, initiative, and candour and yet your employees are saying what’s really valued is obedience, predictability, and deference to authority?

Culture is something we can change, and help create.

This is an excerpt from my latest white paper. If you would like to read more please contact me for a copy. 

Connecting Us

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This is your personal guidebook as a leader to building high performing teams.

My new book, Connecting Us, has just been released, and will help you build dynamic and engaged teams.

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The XX Files by Maree Burgess

Giving women the skills and confidence to step up in the corporate world

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