I just got back from the best holiday ever. And it’s because a week into it, I learned an important lesson from my three children (7, 5, and 2 years old): they are at their happiest when they get dedicated attention and are approached in a positive way. Looking at your cell phone two hundred times a day and giving an annoyed response when they ask something obvious usually results in an opposite situation: a warzone. After about seven days, I realized that I simply can’t do multiple things simultaneously. So I got rid of multitasking, devoted my time to the little ones, and really dove into their world. The result was amazing: our family had the best holiday ever, and I even got to work out and enjoy some much-needed ‘me time.’
Back in the office, changing course
Now I’m back, completely recharged and full of new insights. I promised myself to take time to listen carefully to my co-workers, take them seriously, and try to help them.
This morning, I asked a co-worker how his house hunt went. He told me getting a mortgage proved to be more difficult than he thought. As I’d happened to have had this issue myself, I could give him some useful advice. Had I not asked and listened, I never would’ve been able to help. And here’s the great thing: I feel better about myself now.
Kim Cameron, a professor at the University of Michigan, conducts research on positive leadership, explaining how people get more productive when you approach them in a positive way. What is going well, when do we over-perform, and how does this affect people?
It’s an uncommon management style; most leaders have a negative impact on their employees’ happiness and productivity, as they tend to get angry whenever results do not meet their expectations. Being emotional or mad, however, does not help move people forward. And considering the fact that people are much more affected by negative experiences than positive ones, this is concerning at the least. For every negative experience, we need three positive ones with similar implications to rebalance. So even though positive leadership requires hard work, it’s indispensable – and as a (travel) manager, you need to fully commit to it.
Happiness: an integral part of your travel program
At Roadmap, we believe in traveler happiness, and we think that creating it will make your travelers more productive and more willing to engage with your travel program. So start approaching your travelers in a positive way and provide them with tools that allow for a better travel experience. The result? Happier travelers who are much more willing to work with you and listen to you. It might cost you some time, but it’s worth it. As Cameron has shown, positive leadership brings health, engagement, and even financial benefits.
Even reading about it makes you instantly happier, doesn’t it?
Have a great second half of the year.