3 Powerful Books That Debunk Workplace Myths

3 Powerful Books That Debunk Workplace Myths

Every day, we are presented with information about how people function in the workplace. For those of you that are team leaders, it means having a constant eye on everything from personality types to staff development opportunities. The trouble is, not everything we hear or believe is true. While this can be a challenge (one we know you are up for), here are three workplace myths we want to dispel with great reading to back up the myth-busting.

Workplace Myth #1: Not everyone on your team is creative.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear* shares that there is creativity inside all of us. We simply have to be open to it and invite it out to play. Think of creativity like a muscle. You gotta work it!

Here are easy three ways you can start to foster creativity on your team:

  1. Introduce a 30-second Brainstorm to your meetings. At the top of every meeting here at Swift Kick, we tap into our creative juices to prime us for the day. For example, “List five creative ways to get to outer space without a spaceship. 30 seconds on the clock and go!
  2. Create a Google Doc or make use of the whiteboard collecting dust in the office to create a brainstorm list. Allow team members to add to it whenever they have an idea, big or small. Maybe someone’s idea can spark another and folks will get excited when their idea comes to fruition.
  3. Vitamin D! If you notice that your team keeps eating lunch at their desks, encourage them to take a 10-15 minute walk outside, especially if they are mulling over a problem they can’t solve. Stepping away and getting some sunshine and fresh air can reset the brain and give a new perspective.

Workplace Myth #2: My most effective employees will be extroverts.

Nope. For a long time, extroversion was seen as the ideal characteristic of an employee. As Susan Cain talks about in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking*, creating spaces for introverts to think and share can highlight their capacity to work.

Not sure how to connect with the introverts on your team?

  1. Speaking up in a meeting can be intimidating. Offer time after a big brainstorm session for your less outspoken team members to speak with you. Sometimes, they need to process the information quietly before coming to a conclusion or offering their thoughts.
  2. Keep a room available that is quiet as a recharge station for those that need the quiet to get back on their game.
  3. A lot of introverts aren’t thrilled about being called out in public. Use one on one meetings to give kudos and criticism. Better yet, use this time to get to know your introverted team member. They tend to like one on one connections better than sharing in a large group. Create a plan for how your team member prefers to interact and receive feedback and praise.

Workplace Myth #3: If work stresses you out all the time, then you are not happy and should quit.

As a team leader, days can be stressful. And if you haven’t created clear boundaries between work and home life, nights can be stressful too. If you find yourself looking for your glasses that are on your head, late to most meetings and maybe have mismatched shoes – okay, that just sounds like a new parent – check in with how you are handling your stress.

In The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It,* author, Kelly McGonigal shares that how you view stress informs how it’s expressed. Our lives will be stressful. Guaranteed. Try one (or all) of these instead:

  1. Lean into your stress and call it excitement, rather than trying to calm it down. A study by Harvard professors (more in the book) found that by saying “I am excited” rather than “I am calm” produced a more confident group of test subjects.
  2. Admit when you are overwhelmed! Work with your team to divide tasks appropriately and see your team develop new skills in areas you thought only you could do.
  3. Find someone you trust to use as your soundboard. Sometimes, the work we do might not be a good fit. Talk it out with someone to make sure the stress you feel can be channeled into productive work and not more dread.

What are you reading to help you dispel workplace myths and manage your team more effectively? Share in the comments below!

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Melissa Ruiz
melissa@swiftkickhq.com

Lead Facilitator at Swift Kick