Feelin’ the love
When it comes to achieving a thriving, happy, productive workplace, communications and performance expert Amanda Gore says it all comes down to feelings. She shares her practical and proven techniques with Profile Magazine on how you can create a joyful workplace and improve your bottom line in the process.
Amanda Gore first came to my attention during a presentation she gave to a packed Sunshine Coast audience last year, about the importance of waking up to what really matters.
Highly entertaining, captivating and thought provoking, it was the dynamic delivery of her message as much as the content that really made me sit up and pay attention. What’s more, I retained much of what she spoke about and continue to use some of the key tools she shared with us on a daily basis, both at home and at work.
You see, Amanda is a presenter with a difference. Renowned for her ability to break down the barriers that separate people in an invigorating, action-packed ride towards self discovery, she is one of Australia’s and America’s most sought after motivational speakers – and it’s not hard to see why.
During her high energy presentation, the dynamic pocket rocket demonstrates how people can reconnect to the energy and emotional layers that really drive performance, innovation, relationships, engagement and creativity in their business and personal life.
Right from the get-go, Amanda forces the audience to step outside their comfort zone and empowers them to let go of the fear of what others think or FOWOT – but we’ll discuss more about that later.
“Every single thing in life is about feelings. Everything,” says Amanda. “How you feel about yourself is the single most important thing in your life. When we start to take ownership of our feelings, only then can we stop blaming others and start being responsible for our own happiness.”
She says the same theory can be applied to your business and workplace.
“Success in business is also about feelings – a good leader is in touch with how their staff are feeling and empowers them by making sure they feel recognised and acknowledged. They lead authentically to inspire and motivate those around them to achieve outstanding results.
“Business owners need to remember that people don’t operate on rationale, they are 80 per cent emotional and 20 per cent rational.
Amanda says the first step in creating a joyful workplace is changing people’s behaviour, and the importance of recognition and acknowledgement is the key topic that underpins her entire ethos.
“It’s about building trust; it’s about being in tune with their moods. You have to take your time. Find a story that will touch their heart and then use that story as a metaphor for what you want them to do. I often hear people say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I think you absolutely can. Anybody can change, and they do, but they have to want to change. Sometimes there are physiological parameters involved, but not very often.”
How you feel about yourself is the single most important thing in your life. When we start to take ownership of our feelings, only then can we stop blaming others and start being responsible for our own happiness.”
The second step is to create the right environment.
“Business owners need to create a space where people can be the best version of themselves, by providing a joy filled and fear free environment. Ruling with fear is just flat out not smart. It may work for a short time but it backfires and stabs you in the foot! Operating from a fear base is designed to destroy your business.
“Leaders must create a workplace in which people can be the best they can be - that is joy-filled and fear-free.
Joy decreases burnout by 125 per cent, increases productivity 37 per cent, increases sales by 31 per cent and reduces errors by 18 per cent. Who doesn’t want to achieve that?!”
Amanda says helping people believe in themselves is the third part of the puzzle.
“Did you know belief in your own ability is a better predictor of success than any level of skill?,” she says.
“You must discover how a person feels about themselves and then recognise and acknowledge the value they bring to the organisation by being very specific about what they have done and how it contributed to the team.
“It’s the little things that make a big difference. It can be a big thumbs up or a little sticky note on their computer telling them what a great job they have done, or bringing it up at the next meeting.
“Recognition is the single most important thing to everyone,” says Amanda. “When we are little, we have what I call lots of ‘ta-da’ moments. When little kids do ‘ta-das’ adults applaud them, so they do them all the time! When we reach about eight years of age, it becomes uncool to do ‘ta-das’ but we are still doing them on the inside! The single most important thing we can do is see people’s ‘ta-das’ and create a ‘ta-da’ culture!”
Passionate about spreading joy and teaching people to be ‘energy igniters’ rather than ‘energy suckers’ in the workplace, Amanda says there are lots of positive ways employers can encourage staff to remain positive and motivated at work, which contributes to a happier environment, including her first world problem kit, which comes from an Apple iPhone advertisement.
“It’s basically a plastic zip bag with a straw to suck it up, a picture of a bridge so they can get over it and a cup with a lid so they can shut the full cup! When someone complains about a first world problem at work, you simply give them the kit and say take your pick!
“If all else fails, you can always pull out the gratitude glasses,” she says gesturing to the huge yellow love-heart shaped glasses she carries everywhere to remind us to be grateful for all the good we have in our lives.
Business owners need to create a space where people can be the best version of themselves, by providing a joy filled and fear free environment.”
Amanda says bosses need to also keep in mind people’s three core fears.
“The three things people fear most are ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not worth loving’ and ‘I am unsafe in some way’,” says Amanda. “That’s why there is a big push from the US to create safe workplace – it’s paramount to get people working their best.
“Look at the feelings of the people in your organisation. How happy are they? Assess the joy within your team. You want optimistic positive people. If they are miserable, people will move from a job that is higher paying to a job where they have more purpose and meaning.
“You have to make sure they are emotionally safe; you have to make sure they are growing. You have to take enough time to pick someone who is going to fit the culture you want to develop. You have to be the person you want them to be.”
Wise words indeed, Amanda. Now, where did I put those gratitude glasses?