Energy VampiresThursday, January 5th, 2012
A new year is the perfect time to break bad habits and create a positive space in one’s life. We all need to protect ourselves from people that bring us down, and although we’d love to think we’re immune from negativity, research indicates otherwise.
I recently read the book, How Full Is Your Bucket?, by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton, Ph.D., which examines work environments, productivity and active disengagement or constant negativity.
Why does this matter? Negativity is not only unhealthy, it’s expensive. The researchers estimated 22 million extremely negative or “actively disengaged” employees costing the U.S. economy between $250 and $300 billion every year in lost productivity.
On the bright side, when managers focus on employee strengths, “there is just a 1% chance of that employee being very negative or actively disengaged and individuals who receive regular recognition and praise: increase their individual productivity, increase engagement among their colleagues, are more likely to stay with their organization, receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers and have better safety records and fewer accidents on the job.” The authors use the following metaphor to suggest ways to avoid such workplace negativity.
The Theory of the Dipper and the Bucket
- Each one of us has an invisible bucket. It is constantly emptied or filled, depending on what others say or do to us.
- Like the cup that runneth over, a full bucket gives us a positive outlook and renewed energy. Every drop in that bucket makes us stronger and more optimistic.
- But an empty bucket poisons our outlook, saps our energy, and undermines our will.
The book provides leadership tips such as: avoid energy vampires, give individual, specific and deserved recognition or “drops,” and balance five positive interactions for every negative interaction. Creating a positive work environment is essential to our well-being and the success of our businesses.
Here are other professional development books from StrengthsFinder that are available through Valoramás:
Now, Discover Your Strengths
Go Put Your Strengths To Work
Strengths Based Leadership
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