Satisfaction comes from within. You cannot buy, borrow or steal it. Individuals experience it differently and it is important to understand that what makes one person satisfied will not necessarily do so for another.
Leaders can help guide their teams to greater satisfaction with the following suggestions.
Define the gap between reality and expectations.
Ensure those you coach are clear about their expectations. What do they want from and what can they contribute to work, home, community and themselves? If there is dissatisfaction in any area, there is not what researcher and leadership coach, Stewart Friedman, calls a four way win.
Is there a gap between what will make a person satisfied and where they stand now? Is that gap enough to make the person take action?
Assisting individuals to meet their key needs does not mean that you are responsible for meeting those needs. Motivation for action must come from within the person.
Coach people to understand satisfaction.
Help them to realize it does not look one way. Encourage individuals to reframe their thinking and look at situations from another perspective. How does an individual take ownership and make a difference? For instance, instead of feeling down and negative about long hours spent at work, reframe the thinking and set a positive challenge to be home on time, while still ensuring work gets done on time. Individuals who choose to see positives rather than negatives make the first step.
Leaders need to consider their role in supporting job satisfaction.
- Are you satisfied? Are you working toward achieving satisfaction or are you stuck in the negative? Appreciate that your attitudes, positive or negative, have a big impact on your team.
- Does your communication style work well for everyone? An interesting book to help build stronger relationships is Intelligent Conversations by Judith E. Glaser. She describes “conversation intelligence” as an organization’s ability to communicate in ways that create a shared concept of reality. It takes a focused effort to communicate in this way, but this type of conversation builds trust and satisfaction.
- Do you believe in the people and do they know it? Do you spend time providing the right level of honest, open feedback?
- Has the right training been delivered to provide the right skill sets?
- Is the physical and emotional environment conducive to great work?
Greater satisfaction in all areas of life, leads to increased productivity and success. Make the choice to reframe and refocus to achieve satisfaction.