This question marks a change in the focus of our inquiries. Until now the questions have asked people to share the facts and information they know. Fact and information answers are important–in fact, business runs on them. But they don’t tell the whole story. Organizations are filled with people, and people are filled with feelings. Leaders who believe that they can focus their work on the tasks at hand and leave the "soft stuff" to the human resources department shouldn’t really call themselves leaders! If you choose to continue to about working in your organization, the next several questions are the perfect place to start. Remember, the process is simple–ask, listen, and say thanks. Take the risk. I know you can do it.
Remember those questions on intelligence tests that give you a list of words and then ask which word doesn’t belong? Try this one: Enthusiasm, Passion, Excitement, Fun, Work. What is your answer? Hopefully, you came to the conclusion that this was an example of a poorly constructed or trick question. They all go together, don’t they?
Or, maybe you’re wearing your Dilbert hat and wonder why anyone would bother to ask such an obvious question. Work has nothing to do with those other words. If that’s your response, shame on you! Think of the energy an organization would have if everyone in it agreed that enthusiasm, passion, excitement, fun, and work were synonyms. What could your organization accomplish if just half your employees believed that? Has it occurred to you that even 15 percent would be an improvement? Are you clueless about how people feel when they enter your doors? Believe me, how your employees feel as they start their workweek provides great insight accept my challenge and focus your attention on the way people feel about how they’ll interact with each other and with your customers.
When you decide to start talking about the feelings that fill your workplace, make a commitment to find, support, and showcase the positive ones. Don’t read that to mean you should ignore or dismiss the negative emotions; just don’t make them the center of your action. Look for ways to increase enthusiasm for solving problems, ignite passion for learning, encourage excitement around success, foster fun as a stress reliever, and discourage seeing work as a fourletter word. You’ll be doing your job.