Changing The Atmosphere

by  Cassandra Ferguson  |  Workplace Issues
Changing the Atmosphere

After being laid off for eight months. I was so excited, both because I had a new job and because it was my first day in the medical industry after being in banking for more than fourteen years.

After experiencing the ups and downs of the banking industry, I was finally going to be learning something new and different.

As I walked in and greeted everyone, I noticed everyone was not happy to see me. I was getting the “why are you here?” look.

I thought, oh boy we got some tough cookies here. I asked God why I had to leave my comfortable home to come into what seemed to be a toxic environment. How was I to deal with this without letting my pre-menopausal emotional side show?

I endured a very heated discussion on how things were done there and what I should and should not do. As that discussion ended, it was revealed to me that not only did they feel threatened by the arrival of new talent, they also felt overlooked and unvalued.

It was all very clear to me now, why I was placed in the Lion’s Den and what my assignment was. The first thing I had to do was assure everyone I am a team player and I am here to help you, not take over your job. Then I had to figure out a way to make everyone feel valuable.

So I begin to go to them and ask questions daily. When I did that, I noticed a spark in their eyes. This really broke the ice. One day I decided to bring in breakfast, as a way of showing gratitude for their help in completing my daily tasks.

All of a sudden everyone started bringing in breakfast. I was told that it had never been done for their team. They felt everyone else got the lunches but they hadn’t been treated to the same privilege.

At that point, I knew we were headed in the right direction and the lines of communication has been opened.

After 90 days of being with the company I was told by the manager that when I walked into the room, the atmosphere changed. That is what you call the “power of influence to change the atmosphere” leader. What if I chose to be selfness and didn’t care how everyone felt?

I could have easily just had the attitude reflecting “those people don’t sign my paycheck.” But I knew I needed to connect with the team in order to work with them. Being selfish was not an option.

I know as leaders we often have to put a watch over our mouth and walk away to re-group. But the results are more important than that moment of frustration.

Positive thinking produces positive outcomes. Change the atmosphere where you are little by little.

Research reveals that positive thinking is about much more than just being happy or displaying an upbeat attitude. The impact of positive thinking on your work can cause a company’s revenue to increase. Positive people are more creative and team players.

Keeping this in mind, as you go through your day to day remember to:

  1. Do not react, but respond.
  2. Review the whole situation.
  3. Ask yourself these “why am I here?” “How can I be used to make a difference?”
  4. Create an “I judge no one zone” and get to know everyone around you.
Have you ever been part of a toxic atmosphere? What if anything made a difference?

About The Author

Articles By cassandra-ferguson
A passionate, courageous, business and organizational strategist/trainer – Cassandra is often called upon to not only teach adults of all ages but teens and young adults as well. Cassandra has taught and spoken in churches, community centers, corporations, schools and on radio. Her passion is often displayed in her teaching. Cassandra feels that her assignment is to help develop leaders of influence of all ages.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

John Smith  |  17 Oct 2015  |  Reply

Hi, Cassandra:)

Thanks for this very interesting and thought-provoking post.

You described beautifully how to build trust within a group and create strong relationships based on asking questions, focusing on the needs of others, and sharing experiences, both personal and professional.

I noticed that you did not mention anything about your “official” capacity, so I do not know whether you were a colleague, supervisor, or what. I get the general impression that you were simply one of the gang, and as you noted, you had decisions to make about how you engaged with those other people that had nothing to do with titles or authority.

However, what you did has everything to do with influencing others and being a servant leader, regardless of status or title.

This was a great post and I am looking forward to your continued contributions:)


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