What is your ideal environment? When it comes to work, we may not be able to answer that question, albeit I’m sure we can recognise when a situation isn’t working for us. Sometimes there are factors that are outside of our control, and we can feel a little resigned to the situation being that way. But what are the things within your sphere of control that you can determine to help get what you need? Things may not be perfect all of the time, and we are all reasonable (well, most of the time!) but if we are able to create the right conditions to get into our flow then we are able to get more done, feel more energised and enjoy our work more. If we’ve got to be working for a large chunk of our day, it would be good to enjoy it, don’t you think?
Now whilst there will be some universal truths of things that we consider important to a positive working environment, there will be some subtle nuances that are particularly important to us. These may be very different to our colleagues and team. What works for your manager may be very different to what floats your boat. Despite how frustrating some managers can seem sometimes, I’ve never met one who is being intentionally difficult to hack off their team. In order for them to support you in the way you want, firstly you need to determine what that looks like. If you’ve got an Insights Discovery profile, then there is a great page in there on Ideal Environment. This can be a great place to start to highlight which aspects are the most important for you. If you’ve not been through a personality profiling process before then just take a few minutes to reflect on what is and isn’t working for you at the moment. Perhaps consider a previous role where things went really well or really badly. What specifically was it about those situations that made the difference? Perhaps you are someone with a strong introversion preference, and you really appreciate that your team leave you in peace when you are deep in thought trying to work through a challenge. Are you someone who needs to talk ideas out loud to be able to process them, so really value a team member who is happy to be a sounding board for you. We all like to feel recognised for a job well done, but how that recognition takes place can be very different depending on our preferences. Are you someone who feeds off regular feedback and praise? Or do you prefer to celebrate whole team successes rather than individual achievements?
In my Insights profile, one of the statements that resonate for me is “there is an opportunity to socialise with colleagues in and out of work”. When I first set up my consultancy, this could not have been further from my environment. No more walking around a large open plan office of 200 people followed by a glass of wine (or two) after work on a Thursday night. Recognising my need for that personal connection though has spurred me on to find it in different avenues. Reaching out to fellow facilitators and coaches for a catch-up call or a quick check-in with a Whatsapp group has enabled me to still achieve that social aspect of work, even when sat at the dining table alone staring at the walls. Whilst I will always miss sharing cakes in the office for another birthday, I’ve taken some control of creating an environment I can thrive in. What is within your control to create the environment you want? If there is something your manager or team can help with, perhaps you could add it to your next 1:1 or team meeting agenda? We all have different preferences, so who knows what simple tweaks you could make to create a big difference.