Sunday, 27 March 2011

Lovely weather we're having!

Here in the UK we’ve been blessed with a few days of what we Brits would describe as ‘good weather’. By ‘good’ I’m talking no rain with highs reaching a whopping 14 degrees Celsius!  Blessed indeed!

But, what I did notice during this mini-heat wave was the almost tangible lift in people’s mood.  Co-workers appeared happier in their work and were more willing to offer their help to those that requested it.  And this positivity wasn’t just confined to the workplace.  People out walking their dogs or taking their children to and from school were more likely to acknowledge your ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Afternoon’ whereas when I’d tried to engage them when the weather was miserable; they appeared, well, miserable too.

So what is it about the weather that gives us this psychological lift?   I’m sure there’s a plethora of well informed research out there and frankly, I’m not about to access it now.  I think you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from and will have your own theories on the subject.  But my point to all this is the search for the answer to the following question:

How can we create this positive psychological outlook irrespective of the weather conditions?

Employers have a duty to nourish and care for their workforce.  Irrespective if the workforce is a group of office-based administrators or a team of manual workers employed in a quarry.  The so-called ‘psychological contract’ (which will be discussed in a future blog entry) is vitally important to employee engagement – but there is something we can all do at an individual level that can produce the same results as you might expect during the sunniest of days.  

And that is the ‘pay-it-forward’ principle.

It’s my understanding that the ‘pay-it-forward’ principle relies on the goodwill of someone to first do something at their personal cost for someone whom they have probably never even met.  In carrying out this good deed the process begins so that the beneficiary is compelled to do something worthwhile for someone else and so-on and so-forth.  Eventually, with everyone in a perpetual state of ‘paying it forward’, the reward will come back to the originator – and maybe just at the time that he or she really needs it. 

How does this help bring about a positive frame of mind and create a happy disposition?   

Well, theoretically in paying-it-forward not only will you feel good about helping others but you know that someday it will be your turn to be on the receiving end of someone else’s care, consideration and generosity.

I don’t know about you but I am a believer in what goes around come around – to some extent anyway.  

Creating a pay-it-forward culture in business means getting people to give something up on a promise that they’ll get something back (one day) in return.   

Can it be done?

Who knows?

Try it for this coming week.  Pay it forward and see what the results bring.   

I’d love to know.

With very best wishes and good luck in all that you do.

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