Why should you treat your social environment mindfully?

Written by: Masha Ovechkina
Published On: 24 Jul 2020

Masha Ovechkina Let's talk about the ecology of your social environment, and how corporate culture influences the ways that employees can achieve success and well-being.

Certainly, you might have noticed that when you are talking to positive and happy people, your mood gets better too. And it isn't just your mood of the day. When you work in a successful company, your projects take off immediately because of the success of others rubs off on you. ; when the team is working incredibly, every project catches fire, the process is smooth and becomes wonderfully effective. Additionally, there is much fun, and everything feels sweet and easy.

One candidate I know was feeling unsuccessful, undervalued and unhappy with his fate. It had a great impact on his self-esteem, which affected his entire life. Was he unsuccessful because of his capabilities?  No, absolutely not. When he resigned, he chose another career path in an absolutely different industry. This made all the difference in his mood, his sense of self and his sense of effectiveness. This despite the fact that the industry he joined is more complicated and the work far harder. Guess what? He is flourishing there.

It is not only the workload that brings down someone's effectiveness. It has little to do with qualifications and everything to do with corporate culture, with working relationships and deriving a sense of purpose.

People with insufficient capabilities have all the chances to succeed if they find themselves in supportive and productive cultures. No matter how good a worker may be, if the management is ineffective or poorly led, any worker will be suppressed, demotivated and essentially denied the chance to succeed.

   Why is it so? Because harmful behaviours are as contagious as diseases, while uplifting emotions and behaviours can be as infectious as laughter. That's why the culture of companies and teams alike is vital for your success. The same applies to your family and friends.

   There was a 20-year-long study called The Framingham Heart Study Community (Google it) that showed that happiness depends on how happy the people around you are.

   Just a few numbers, to fire up your curiosity.  If you stopped smoking,  the likelihood is 67% that your spouse would quit too, 36% that a friend would follow, and 34% that a coworker would try quitting too. Isn't it amazing?

Each Happy friend boosts your mood by 9%. Want more? Each unhappy friend drags 7% of your happiness.

   It is clear to me that you need to treat your social environment as mindfully as to choosing veggies.  This care is even more critical when you are choosing your employer.

   In the long-term, corporate culture will contribute more to your success and well-being than short-term benefits.

   If you only focus on the high salary or prestigious title, and you stop at that point, your progress may not meet your aspirations.

   Be selective.  Sometimes it is better to avoid those who are dragging you down. Whenever you come across people or corporate cultures you find toxic, ask yourself if you are resourceful enough to improve their state by 9%, or whether they will get your 7%? It looks like a Sim-city game, doesn't it?

  

   Having worked for so long in recruitment, I saw a lot of people who were struggling with toxic corporate cultures or unhealthy team morale. It's possible to succeed in this kind of the environment but think about the amount of energy you would have to spend coping with so many difficulties that give you negligible advantages for your growth.  Is it worth it? 

   Unfortunately, sometimes you may need to stay in such environments for many reasons for a time. If so, how to keep safe and take care of yourself?

Well, the answer is - Work on your resilience. 

Here are five tips on maintaining resilience. There is no one best solution, but it's good to re-think the importance of each one.

  1. Be realistic, about your situation as well as your expectations
     
  2. Make sure you have Social support. This can be a Mentor or Coach, or someone close who you trust.
     
  3. What is there in your life to protect your sense of self? If all you have is work, you are putting yourself in danger.
     
  4. Helping others. Giving is living.
     
  5. Gratitude. You reached the point where you are now through the kindness of others, too.
     

   When thinking about these tips, make sure to give yourself space and time to go through challenges. Don't try to be perfect, and don't try to rush changes.

About the author

Masha Ovechkina is a professional coach and career consultant for Life Sciences Industry professionals. 

She is focusing on Life and Career Balance issues as well as the more common forms of coaching and career consulting.The degree in psychology, in-depth knowledge of Life Sciences Industry and her personal international career help her clients reach their life goals and fulfilment every day.

Related links