Realize when all eyes are on you

If you are a manager, team lead or business owner, setting the tone for the work environment lands squarely on your shoulders.

A good leader takes this responsibility seriously, knowing that there are grim consequences associated with a negative work environment.

On the flip side, a positive work environment can lead to contented employees, satisfied customers, greater employee retention and increased productivity.

And that can hopefully lead to a rise in profits.

What can you do today to become the best leader you can be? First, acknowledging that it’s up to you to take the initial steps toward change. Second, look within to see what changes you need to make. What type of butterfly effect is your mood having on the people around you? When you enter a room, are people happy to see you? Or, is your presence met with nervous glances to see what kind of mood you’re in?

Consider these two scenarios:

Your manager enters the office and from across the room you can already see a frown on her face.

You just hope she’s going to go straight to her own office. But, no, she looks at you and signals for you to come with her to her office.

Walking down the hall, you feel that nervous feeling in your stomach like you’re going to the principal’s office, even though you’re a grown up.

Once she’s at her desk, she starts drilling you about your latest sales figures, rolling in a few negative comments and she never cracks a smile or offers any support.

You leave her office feeling like you have a weight on your shoulders and embarrassed, hoping against hope no one overheard her raised voice since she left the door open.

Now consider this one:

Your manager enters the office, he says hi to several people that he passes and then he comes up to you with a smile on his face.

He says he’d like to speak with you for a few minutes in his office. You feel a little bit nervous as you follow him down the hall, not quite sure what is on his mind.

Once you get to the office, he has you take a seat while he shuts the door. After asking how your son’s latest t-ball game went, he pulls out a report on your latest sales figures.

You brace yourself. He reviews the numbers with you and asks you questions about what your strategy has been, what’s working to close your deals and what’s not working. You then create a plan together for the next 30 days, which includes an accountability meeting in 15 days. You leave the office feeling supported, energized and ready to implement new ideas.

Which scenario would motivate you to work harder and be more productive?

As a leader, make it your goal to minimize how much you expose your team to negative feelings and emotions that you will naturally have. No one is perfect and we’re all going to have bad days of our own. Aim for consistency in both your interactions and your mood when working with your team.

Be sure to be authentic because people can spot a fake from a mile away. If it happens to be that the business is in a really bad place, don’t put on a fake happy face.

Instead be open, honest and pull together the amazing brain power on your team to empower people to solve the problems.

Start every day with a smile and benefit from the many smiles coming back at you.

Monika Kristofferson is a professional organizer and productivity consultant who owns Efficient Organization NW in Lake Stevens. Reach her at 425-220-8905 or

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