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What’s the value of fun in your work?

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Are the fireworks in your office celebrations or toxic fear-based rants?

“I don’t believe this work needs to be fun!!” a coaching client barked.  That was obvious.

She was particularly tense and frustrated because results were suffering again. I had interrupted her toxic rant by asking: “are you having any fun with your work lately?” You just read her response.

This difficult conversation needed to happen,  As a periodic visitor, the steady office morale decline was easy to see and feel. To describe her team as “winners” lately would be a big stretch.

This particular coaching meeting had consequences. One full wall of her executive corner office was floor to ceiling glass. With my back to the glass wall…she faced me during our conversation. Instead of radiating goodness, she was unknowingly spewing the “I-don’t-think-work-needs-to-be-fun” body language out into the open office air. And people noticed.

At one point, I glanced at a happy desk picture of her family and wondered: would she lead this way if she knew her girls were watching?

Last time I checked, we’re all working longer and harder than we expected. Good results are seldom easy. What causes good people to try fear-based threats to spark a turnaround?  Does toxic energy ever motivate winners?

Digging through her frustration, we found bright spots peeking through the purple stink cloud.  We reflected on the value of encouragement and confidence in tough situations like this. “Would it make sense to host a daily stand up meeting during this dark time, to ask the team members what progress we could celebrate today?” I asked. She smiled, and replied: “Of course! Why didn’t I think of that!?”

Not everything about our work is supposed to be fun. And yet, this specific situation sharpened my point of view on good leadership: while “winning” at work usually generates fun…I don’t see how a team can start winning again, without finding the fun first.

So what’s the value of fun in your work?  Fun is fuel for winners. Can your team win without it?

Good leaders make a habit of managing their emotions, because the whole office is watching how they handle pressure. And they understand winning only comes from encouragement, confidence and finding the fun at work.

What do you do to remind yourself about the fun in your work?[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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