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Who/What Makes a Workplace Healthy. Kathleen A. Holt UW Employee Assistance Office kaholt@wisc.edu. Not About. What is wrong with your workplace. An opportunity to blame others. Is About. Discovering what you can do to contribute to a healthy workplace.

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Who/What Makes a Workplace Healthy

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Who what makes a workplace healthy l.jpg

Who/What Makes a Workplace Healthy

Kathleen A. Holt

UW Employee Assistance Office

kaholt@wisc.edu


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Not About

  • What is wrong with your workplace

  • An opportunity to blame others


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Is About

  • Discovering what you can do to contribute to a healthy workplace


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Everyone contributes to making the workplace healthy


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Assumptions About Our Involvement

  • Button Pushers – both ways

  • Life is a journey – not always a vacation


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  • Being proactive work self = positive experience

  • Checking things out

  • Depersonalizing responses

  • Being true to yourself


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Exercise:

Taking an assumption from above, turn to

your neighbor and discuss why it stands

out. Say something about your

Experience with it – switch roles.


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My Goal Today

Share with you some ways to discover how to create a healthy workplace


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Appreciation as the Basis of a Healthy Work Environment

It is the essential element of:


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Coordination: How you get your work done.

  • What systems are in place to support what you are doing?


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Meaning: How we interpret the words and actions of others.

  • Are assumptions made?

  • Do I check them out?

  • What might get in my way?

  • Do I take time to reflect?


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Harmony: How the web of relationships work. How we affirm others and how we show respect for others with whom we share work space.


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How does your workplace move towards more appreciation and health?


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Principle 1

  • The world is socially constructed. Nothing in our workplaces will motivate us unless it has meaning for us.


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Principle 2

  • Constructions inform action. You invite people to be involved when the workplace and its goals are seen as valuable and every individual’s contribution is recognized.


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Principle 3

  • Realities are produced in relationships. Constructions are created in relationships from early family to today. Through these we determine what is valuable for us.


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Principle 4

  • Meaning is created through appreciation. Meaning is born in the act of appreciation. Meaning happens through another’s words and actions.


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Principle 5

  • When you build an appreciative organization, it increases value within your relationships, within the work you do and the image of your workplace.


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Health & Dialogue

Creativity are Enhanced

Increase Value Appreciate

Within the Other’s Words

Organization and Actions

Increase Value

Within Relationships


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Imagining a Healthy Workplace

  • Introduction: Workplaces function most effectively when they are vibrant and healthy. You can sense the spirit of the work place is positive and supportive. People feel pride in their work and support and build on each other’s successes.


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This can-do attitude is infectious impacting

everything including the handling of mistakes

which are viewed as a learning opportunity.

People deal with each other in a direct,

respectful manner and acknowledge that

differences are bound to exist. This positive

energy becomes part of the culture. It feeds

upon itself – deepens and lasts.


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Instructions:

  • Take the time to read the introduction to this exercise. After doing so, pick a partner to interview (preferably someone you do not know). Take 10 minutes to interview your partner with the questions. At the end of that time switch roles. I will keep track of the time for you. Take some notes – things that stand out for you.


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Interview:

1)Tell me about a time at work when you experienced positive energy and appreciation. What was the situation? Who created the positive energy? How did it affect you? How did it affect others? How did it feel to be part of it? What did you discover a) about yourself and your subsequent interactions b) the effect on your work?


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2) Without being humble, tell me what you value deeply? About yourself? When feeling best about your work?

3) What is the core factor that gives vitality and life to this school – the one thing without which this place would just not be the same?


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4) If you had 3 wishes about how to create the best work environment possible that would be an expansion of the best you have experienced in your past, what would you wish for?


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Post Interview Discussion:

  • What stood out in the interview with your partner?

  • What sparked your imagination?

  • What sparked your imagination?


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  • Share some of your ideas regarding the core factor question.

Wish Question:

  • Join another pair and discuss your wishes for the workplace. Pick one that you can influence. Discuss what you could do to make it happen.


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Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.


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Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.Mahatma Gandhi


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The Role of Conversations in Creating Social Reality

The traditional view of “reality,” particularly as it

applies to human behavior, is that:

  • Reality only exists external to us;

  • The eye is a neutral mirror of the reality that is out there; and

  • The function of language is to describe that reality.


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The social constructionist perspective holds

that, through language and social discourse,

we are constantly evolving and creating new

realities:

  • The images of things that we anticipate (such as the anticipation of seeing someone who makes you feel really good about yourself) are a powerful reality in and of themselves.


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  • These images lead to actions/behaviors.

  • Conversations (particularly inquiry) continuously create new images that in turn lead to new actions, which in turn create new realities.


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Because we can decide what to focus on in our

Conversations, we have a choice. If we are

focused on “improving” an organization, a team,

a family, or a relationship, we can choose to

focus on what is broken, what is a problem, and

what is frustrating us. Or we can choose to

focus on that which is life-giving, energizing,

and valuable to us. The choice is fateful!


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