I was talking with a friend recently about their job change. They’re still working in the same company, still doing the same type of technology support, but their position had been moved from a user area to the information technology department.
This person seemed happier in their job than they had ever been before. They smiled more during conversations. They seemed more relaxed and at peace. The workload was the same, the content of the work was the same, but there was one big difference – the people she worked side-by-side with every day were different.
In her other department, even if she started the day with the best attitude possible, by the end of the day her motivation was gone, she was worn out, she felt times of stress, and she often felt down.
In her new department, she ended the day with more energy, she was generally happy, the tension and stress weren’t there anymore, and she felt at peace about the accomplishments of the day’s work.
I’m sure she herself had something to do with how she felt in this new department, but just as big an impact on her were the people that she worked with in each place. In retrospect, she viewed her co-workers in the first department as Deflators. The people in her new department are Inflators.
In the previous department, staff talked negatively, didn’t plan well, made every issue a big issue, were concerned more with their own image than team performance, communicated expectations poorly, and then complained when hidden expectations were not met. These were the Deflators.
Her new department included people who were very professional, well-organized, understood their common goals, enjoyed each other’s company in fun activities like fantasy football, were happy to jump in and help co-workers, and generally functioned as a team.
Take a look back at what caused one group to be considered Deflators and the other to be considered Inflators. Then look at yourself. What impact do you have on your co-workers with your attitude, your planning, your willingness to help, and your focus on others?
Make sure you’re a model of great teamwork. Be an Inflator.