We’re all drawn to people who are engaged in life, who have the “it” we look for in others. These people create excitement and have a sparkle in their eyes when they talk about what they’re doing. This passion that they have creates engagement; one passionate person can engage a team, and an engaged team can bring out the passion in an entire organization! This is how a company’s culture grows.
My challenge for you this week is to be the person who brings passion to your team and your organization. Here are six ways you can do it.
1. Bring Fun and Laughter to Those Around You
This is so easy to do with our friends and family, but at work we can get so wrapped up in “professionalism” that we lose sight of the fact that we all love to laugh! People who have fun and make us laugh are the ones we want to hang around. Professionalism and fun can mix.
2. Ensure Your Focus Ignites Passion
I recently asked a client about what the most important focus was for his company. His answer was “to make the stockholders happy.” Though I can understand why that’s the focus at his level, he’ll have a hard time getting his employees passionate about making stockholders happy. They need to be passionate about something that really excites them, like what their product does for their customers or how they impact lives in a positive way. Happy stockholders will be the result of what an engaged and productive workforce can produce.
3. Trust Others’ Abilities
There is nothing that will engage another person more than trusting in their abilities. Trust is built over time; however, it can get started in a matter of seconds. Trust should be a two-way street – from the follower to the leader and from the leader to the follower.
4. Be Passionate about What Matters
Teammates appreciate a leader with passion, but when our passion doesn’t align with the goals of the organization or when we act passionate about everything (even the things that don’t really matter), our passion can come across as misplaced and fake. Don’t wear yourself out getting all worked up about every little thing! Communicate your priorities by saving your excitement and your enthusiasm for the things that count.
5. Keep the Sarcasm and Negativity to Yourself
Day in and day out we encounter people with different motives and points of view, and we’re naturally going to disagree on the best way to get to where we want to be. Colleagues can frustrate and annoy us, but that doesn’t mean we have to vocalize every frustration and annoyance. Complaints are contagious, and it doesn’t take much effort for one negative teammate to suck the passion and enthusiasm out of an entire team. It’s fine to occasionally share your frustrations with a close teammate in confidence; we all need to vent from time to time. However, it’s not helpful to always be the dissenting, glass-half-empty voice of the group.
6. Be the Catalyst
Exude energy and excitement at work even when you don’t feel particularly excited. Share ways that you and your team can live out your mission. Celebrate the wins. If your passion is genuine, it will only be a matter of time before your colleagues catch on.