WASHINGTON'S LEADING BUSINESS MAGAZINE

Author Says Work Environment Not Hard Work May Be Source of Ennui

Twelve Common Workplace Behaviors That Can Drain Your Energy

 

Worn out at Work? Twelve Common Workplace Behaviors That Drain Everyone’s Energy—and How to Purge Them in 2011

The source of your exhaustion might not be the tasks you’re doing or the hours you’re working—it may be the actions of the people laboring beside you in the “salt mines.” Jon Gordon identifies twelve draining behaviors to watch out for—and explains what you can do to counteract them and create a more nourishing workplace in 2011.

If you’re like most people, 2010 was a long, exhausting year at your workplace. You’re tired, depleted, and quite frankly just done with “business as usual.” You’re laying the blame for your fatigue squarely at the feet of the increased responsibilities and long hours you faced. But according to Jon Gordon, you might be wrong. He insists that working hard—when done with a good attitude in the right environment—can actually be quite invigorating.

In other words, what’s wearing you out at work might not be the work.

“Most people wrongly assume that their tasks and responsibilities are what’s grinding them down,” explains Gordon, author of the newly released Soup: A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture (Wiley, 2010, ISBN: 978-0-4704878-4-6, $22.95, www.Soup11.com). “However, while ‘work’ is a convenient scapegoat, the real culprit is often the negativity of the people you work with and for, their constant complaining, and the pessimistic culture that is now the norm in a lot of workplaces.”

The fact is, many of us work in a world of drainers. And what, exactly, is a drainer? Gordon says the term can describe anyone in the workplace—a boss, coworker, employee, or client—who sucks the life and energy right out of you.

No one sets out to be a drainer, of course. It’s just that some people regularly (and inadvertently) exhibit energy-draining behaviors. What’s worse, many bosses allow them to continue—or are themselves guilty of practicing these behaviors. And over time, the entire culture becomes poisoned.

Don’t fret, though: Gordon promises that if managers are able to identify the offending behaviors and fix them, they’ll be able to spend more time nourishing their companies’ cultures—which will, in turn, make employees