What does it mean to be a Healthy Corporate Citizen?

ace alignment Mar 02, 2022

♠️ “Being in alignment is a powerful place to be.” ~ Laëtitia Gnago ♠️

Being a healthy corporate citizen is important. If anything, the last few years may have taught us that we need to do a little better. Having a job is one of the basic drivers for most people, and making the most of the experience is nothing to sneeze at! Many of us have worked in environments that are less than desirable. Others have been lucky enough to land types of milieu that enhance who they are as professionals and that provides a sense of stability. There is nothing like feeling professionally safe. So we must ponder, are there things we can do to ensure we contribute in the best way possible? Indeed there are.

Why not take some time to not only reflect on how we got to this point but also to think about some of the things we can do to ensure this year starts off on a positive note. We must take a good look so that we understand the roles we play in our professional communities. How do we do this? By maintaining our level of alignment so that we can contribute well to the environment of our professions in this new normal. We should strive to evoke better things from our colleagues. We should expect to have a better experience in the coming year. We should understand that we can create experiences that will lead to more peaceful and productive workflows. We should realize that the professional choices we make will enhance or limit our abilities to recover from the disconnections many of us have experienced in the past.

Creating meaning is how we can start. Creating meaning does not have to be difficult. But it starts with us. We need to understand that it is not anyone’s job to create meaning in our professions or for our careers. We must choose to do so ourselves. The great news is that it is simple to do. Finding passion in our work, committing to it, caring about the people we work with, communicating effectively when concerns arise, and choosing to own our energy at work is key. We must maintain alignment. Without alignment, none of the things we work so hard to create can have any chance of sustaining on a long-term basis. Let us clarify:

Choose to like what you do: Even if you are in a temporary job, or doing work that is not exactly your dream career, finding things to appreciate will go a long way. For example, are there tasks that you happen to be great at, that no one else on your team does as well as you? That’s an opportunity to see the brighter side of things. Are you one who communicates so well, that errors are avoided, clarity ensues, cross-team work interactions are enhanced and team members feel involved? Leverage this as a way to remind you of your value to the team. Do you share many of the values of your organization? Look for commonality there to appreciate being part of something greater than yourself. It comes down to choice and the things you decide to focus on. Simple!

Stay engaged: Being engaged will impact your level of commitment not only to your work but also to your team and to the organization that has given you the opportunity to earn a living and feed your family. It’s not always easy, especially when adversarial dynamics of those in positions of leadership impact everyone else. But remember, what other people choose to focus on, not only has nothing to do with you but should not impact your ability to remain committed to performing at your best. If the environment you find yourself in is less than desirable, then find ways to refocus, reconnect and limit your personal interactions with those who tend to bring your energy down in ways that make it difficult for you to stay upbeat and appreciate your environment. We are not saying this is easy, and it is best to do this subtly, but we are saying to focus your energy on the little control you do have so that the other things can eventually dissipate from your lack of attention to them.

Sharing is caring: With that being said, appreciating our colleagues’ efforts when working with them is important. Sharing a kind note after a strong push on your project or a simple thank you is all that’s needed. People want to work with those who are happy and who appreciate their contributions. Let that person be you. It will make for better relationships and connections and will also make it easier for your colleagues to help you in urgent situations. In addition, when it’s genuine, you will feel good. This impacts your environment in a much stronger way than you might imagine. The key here is to be genuine.

Mind your interactions: Some of us have worked in environments where someone may be upset with something we may have done but does not explain the root of their concerns. That is a recipe for problematic spread and does nothing for the work environment. Follow-ups are important as everyone is dealing with juggling many moving parts. When issues come up on teams, many times, communication is the culprit. How do you fix this? “Stop the madness”. Be purposeful in your communication and focus on "solutioning". Communicate, even when ignored. Do your due diligence so that you can be at peace. The thing is, no one cares about your feelings when it comes to accomplishing tasks and meeting deadlines. Make the work your focus and things will eventually fall back into place. In the [occasional] cases when the leader is not doing their part, do yours and create a better experience for yourself. Simply put - decide that you have a positive impact and make it count!

Choose your own energy: Your mental energy can help you be a better colleague and more importantly a more productive professional. Many times, when an organization or team is going through challenges, it takes a toll on individuals on a personal level. You have to decide that you will maintain a positive energy level if you are to manage yourself in challenging dynamics in order to focus on the right activities. How can you do so? Sleep, workout, appreciate your surroundings, remove yourself from negative situations and negative conversations, and optimize your mental energy by lowering your expectations of others because they might disappoint you. Instead, attach yourself to your work’s mission, calling, purpose and projects. That’s how you keep your personal power and inner peace.

Maintain your alignment: All the points we have made so far will not keep you successful unless you create a method for habitual practice. Remember not to react to others' reactions to you and make anyone who seems to have a pull on your well-being irrelevant. That’s right. This is meant to ensure that you maintain your focus on your skills, your contributions, as well as your abilities to help your team and organization, even if the person with the strongest pull happens to be in a formal position of authority. Stay grounded and stay gracious. Not everyone is in a place to understand their own impact, sometimes, and unfortunately, even those in leadership positions. When and if they return to a positive state of mind, not only will they appreciate you having maintained your composure but you will leave them with a lesson in professionalism. Continue to do the best you can.

Being a healthy corporate citizen is not always easy but it is the key to maintaining a successful professional experience. Organizations go through ups and downs and some, it seems on a continuum. Being a healthy corporate citizen means you choose to maintain your alignment despite the mental challenges that present themselves. Emotional intelligence, resilience, focus and appreciation are things that can be leveraged to enhance healthy corporate citizenship. It may not be obvious, but people appreciate working with those who maintain a healthy sense of enthusiasm as it makes them easier to work with and promotes the unique qualities they bring to their team or organization. And we have to stress managing this even in cases when we must have to deal with a disconnected leader. Being able to overcome this major challenge, will prove to be a catalyst for impacting the environment where you can. Stay positive! So, this is the challenge we urge you to take on: How will you commit to serving yourself, your team and your organization as a healthy corporate citizen?


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