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  • Writer's pictureDr. Neal Nybo

If people aren't the point, what's the point?

Make Sure People Are the Point

Of course, we want our peers and co-workers to be effective, enthusiastic, and motivated. Those are the happiest kinds of people and the best to work with. We want the same thing for ourselves. Ultimately, we work with other human beings. They are the point. They aren’t the only point. None of us are. But, their well-being, their happiness, is the point of how and why we act the way we do towards them. In the end, as an added benefit, all those other goals, like efficiency, creativity, and cooperation, will increase as well.

I have a friend, Dave, who manages teams remotely with people spread out across the world. You can imagine this can inspire some employees towards being lone rangers, even rogues who go their own way. Dave had one of those he was constantly trying to reign in and be a team player. In fact, he had been working with this person about being more of a team player for the last three years.

Recently, the whole team came together at their headquarters, including the lone ranger who had to fly in the day before. Dave could easily have avoided him and postponed engaging with him until the meeting the next day. Instead, Dave took the opportunity to have dinner with the person. He did not set out to change the lone ranger’s actions or attitudes. Dave genuinely just wanted to get to know him better. Most of the dinner was taken up with personal conversation. They compared notes about a diet they were both on and what Costco foods fit the requirements of the diet.

Towards the end of the meal, the lone ranger changed the subject and asked, “So what's this meeting tomorrow really about?” Dave told him and shared some collaborative goals he hoped the person would support. The next day, the employee volunteered three areas where he could bring his work more into alignment with the rest of the team.

By making the other person the point, Dave was able to build enough trust in the relationship for the Lone Ranger to join the team to everyone's benefit.


How to get started with positivity in your organization

A couple of years ago, my writing partner, Nicole Phillips, and I turned our passions and interests in kindness toward companies and organizations. We combed through hundreds of suggestions and best practices we have received and developed during our speaking and coaching careers. We settled on 30 micro-actions of kindness any of us can do. These are actions so small they will fit into any busy manager or supervisor’s schedule. Some are self-reflective, some have an instant impact on others and some are just fun. We collected them along with stories and data to support them. Then, we created personal worksheets for each micro-action. We took all of that and put it into an oversized guide and workbook called Workplace Positivity.

Workplace Positivity

Every story, insight, and action we share with your team will multiply until you are sharing and overflowing with your own.

Now it’s your turn.

In the comments, tell me your #1 takeaway from this post and how you plan to use it in your workplace.

Want more? Click here for a free excerpt from Workplace Positivity with three micro-actions.

Workplace Positivity will be published in early March 2021.

For a free excerpt or to learn more about the work I am doing, go to

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