You’re contagious

Laughing is contagious.

As I am writing this, a friend of mine is lying on our lounge room floor, laughing at stand up comedy he is watching on his phone. It’s too quiet for me to hear what the comedian is saying but I find myself smiling and giggling along with him. I can’t help myself!

His world affecting mine. Positively.

I like being around people who laugh and enjoy making others laugh. They know how to lighten the mood and relax peoples nerves. More often than not, they are the same people who, when the workplace gets a bit stressful, help everyone to step back and take a breath.

I think it’s important to be able to laugh, especially at yourself — it shows humility.

There are people who struggle to have a laugh. Sometimes these people can be real drainers.

I once worked in an environment with a man who could walk into the room, and within minutes, attract a crowd in agreement with his whinging here-say. He was like a dark cloud that hovered, threatening to rain down on everyone’s parade. He brought with him a certain negative energy that stole people’s joy.

I recently watched a Ted Talk by Adam Grant, titled: Are you a giver or a taker?

He says that in every workplace, there are three basic kinds of people: givers, takers, and matchers. If you have 14mins, I recommend watching his talk.

While I believe his theories may be true, I think people can show up at work with one of two attitudes, a positive one or a negative one. Both of which are contagious, although, the symptoms are not always obvious, so be careful you don’t catch the latter.

I have worked in too many workplaces that breed negativity and I would find myself going home feeling rotten. I have worked with people who love to gossip and spread rumours, people who point out when others are doing it ‘wrong’. People who hate their job, their manager, their clients, the weather! Gah, people who are unhappy soles who want to drag everyone else into their unhappiness.

My brother-in-law use to tell the street kids he looked after, “Attitude determines your altitude”.  

For this reason, I have set myself a personal code of ethics:

1. Smile and say hello to people when they arrive at work

2. Don’t complain, change something

3. If you failed, admit it, apologise and move on

4. Clean up after yourself

5. If someone is struggling, ask if you can help

6. Share positive news, celebrate others success

7. People aren’t you, it’s ok that they do things differently

8. Don’t roll your eyes, even to yourself

9. Don’t complain about clients, they pay you

10. Don’t tell anyone to shut up

11. Do your best to help the business do its best

12. Share your food

13. Be honest, straightforward, but not rude

14. Laugh, work isn’t a chore

15. All feedback is good, don’t shoot the messenger

16. Everything communicates, be positive

Lauren Vilitati