How To Empower Yourself In The Workplace
Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart give yourself to it -Buddha
Over the course of a lifetime, the average person spends one-third of their time at work. Therefore, the place where people spend the majority of their time should be one that makes us feel emotionally safe. The health pandemic has presented personal and work challenges resulting in adapting and adjusting to lifestyle changes. Whether on-site, at home, or in hybrid arrangements, the workplace can be a positive force in our daily lives. A healthy work environment enhances well-being and creates an atmosphere where people can thrive and flourish.
A workplace that embraces empowerment gives people a voice, increases engagement, and leads to greater trust and creativity. Motivated by a shared vision with purpose and core values, workers feel comfortable, accepted, and free to express themselves. This contributes to a healthy and happy environment where people feel confident, in control, and participate in decisions aligned with their personal and professional goals It is a win-win situation with positive outcomes that lead to job satisfaction, a decrease in workplace violence, and a productive workforce. As lifelong learners, empowered persons continue to grow and develop new skills. You can become empowered in the workplace by building connections, sharing your voice, uplifting others, and celebrating success.
Words are a pretext. It is the inner bond that draws one person to another, not words -Rumi
We have an innate desire to feel a sense of belonging that brings people together. Building healthy and sustainable connections with others is central in forming collegial relationships and partnerships that can extend throughout our lives. Workplaces that are diverse, equitable, and inclusive provide enriching opportunities to learn from others. However, conscious and unconscious biases inhibit working as a team. It is our responsibility to overcome these barriers that will help us gain new perspectives and expand our views on different issues and concerns. We can resolve biases by becoming self-aware and open-minded. Seeking opportunities external to the workplace, such as participating in diversity classes and involvement in community activities, can change our faulty beliefs, reduce conflict, and create harmony.
When we feel part of the team, with the focal point of a shared vision, it encourages working together and building trust. We may not agree with others. However, taking the time to listen can help us gain a new perspective and can be instrumental in managing conflict. Constructively resolving conflict can be achieved by active listening, identifying points of agreement, investigating courses of action, and developing and following through on plans. The talents and strengths of each member of the team should be recognized and appreciated in achieving efficiency and productivity. Empowered workers contribute to building strong connections and working relationships that bring out the best in themselves and others.
Share your voice
Raise your words, not your voice -Rumi
Everyone has a desire to be seen and heard. Sharing your voice can make an impact on those around you and inspire others. Fear inhibits people from sharing their thoughts, feelings, ideas, and opinions. Consequences in the workplace may include fear of reprimand, retaliation, and humiliation. An empowered person builds a strong work ethic; and can be an example for the team by being personally accountable, understanding their role, and establishing and achieving goals.
Freedom of expression is important. However, timing, language, and delivery are essential to making your voice heard. Assess the value of your ideas and express them with clarity and evidence to support your message. Practice good and respectful communication skills and be open to sharing honest feedback. Be attentive and help others speak up. This can be beneficial in uniting for worthwhile causes that may be beneficial to workers who are marginalized and feel alienated and isolated. Ultimately, empowered persons become confident as independent and interdependent decision-makers. It is important to accept yourself, be your best, and respectfully share your voice.
The one I love is everywhere -Rumi
Concern for the well-being of others during these challenging times is very important. Be thoughtful and create ways to support those who are struggling and experiencing a hard time. Be a good listener, observe, and validate their emotions. Verbal and nonverbal body language reveal cues and signs of changes in behavior. Imagine yourself walking in the shoes of another that person’s shoes that encourage empathy. Beyond the workplace, we can offer support. It is the small things that make a difference such as providing helpful information and resources, a simple phone call, sending a card, or just being present and available to listen. Caring for others boosts morale and improves our capacity for working together. Make teamwork, with a positive attitude, a priority.
Everyday is a day to love, treasure, and cherish ourselves, those around us, and everything around us -Rumi
Whatever you wish to achieve, do it with all your power. Have a vision for yourself and take action to achieve your goals. Let love be the center as you navigate your life. Learn from others and acknowledge their roles, not just in the workplace but in other areas of their lives. We all like to feel appreciated. Rewards are tangible and intangible that can be reinforcing and come in many forms. Recognize yourself and others for ‘a job well done’ by simple expressions of praise and compliments to acknowledge success. Be grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow and acknowledges not only the success of a project but contributions to the well-being of others.
Be the change you wish to see in the world. -Gandhi
Personal empowerment enhances all aspects of our lives and gives us a sense of freedom. When we feel in control, we become more self-reliant and can actualize our dreams. Work in concert with others for the good of the whole. Positive behavior influences others and produces positive results. Contribute to making the workplace a safe haven for engagement and support. Make each day in the workplace an empowering experience that radiates in all areas of your life.
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