Love, Reflection, and the Employee Experience

How our emotions, mindsets, and communication styles impact the workplace, as explained by motivational quotes

The new year is a time for self-reflection. It reminds us to look back and process what’s happening in our lives and perhaps even set intentions or goals for the year ahead. Ideally, we keep this energy and continue reflecting and evaluating throughout the year. 

So knowing that change starts within us, ask yourself:

How was last year for me? 

What do I want to see when I look back on 2023 next year? 

The way we feel about ourselves impacts how we show up in both our personal lives and in the workplace. When we talk about self-reflection and personal development, we are really talking about self-love

And for this month’s installment of Workplace Matters, what better focus could there be than self-love? After all, if we want to change or improve our workplace culture, a good place to start is within us. Through the motivational quotes in this article, we can reflect on who we are and our relationships with those around us in the workplace and beyond. 


Quote #1

Brené Brown's Quote

Have you asked yourself:

What emotion am I feeling at this moment?

Do I tend to operate from fear, jealousy, resentment, or frustration? 

Am I taking responsibility for my actions?

We can’t hide our emotions. Even if we try to push them down, they tend to show up somewhere, somehow. And personal development has been much more reflective in the last several years than ever before. Many of today’s workplace culture best practices focus on self-awareness. The most effective leadership development programs encourage vulnerability and introspection. 
Whereas in generations prior, there was a distinction between work life and personal life, those lines are now blurred. Encouraging employees to be their authentic selves (and not separating the employee from the person) means dealing with real human emotions. 


Quote #2

Carol Dweck's Quote

Have you asked yourself:

What can I learn to help create the reality I want for myself?

Which aspects of my life are no longer serving me?

How do I view mistakes?

What is this challenge teaching me?

As this pep talk from Kate Winslet shows, our mindset makes all the difference. 

And when you are open to change and have a growth mindset (as opposed to a fixed mindset), you believe that your abilities are augmentable (versus unchangeable). People with a growth mindset see mistakes as learning opportunities (as opposed to a confirmation of their inadequacies). 

When companies adopt growth mindsets, employees report feeling high levels of collaboration and innovation. These types of companies support growth in both words and deeds (actions being a key here). This commitment makes all the difference in the employee experience.

When a company goes beyond its lofty mission statements and actually demonstrates that it is committed to a growth mindset, its employees flourish. When we think of ourselves as on a journey and not at the final destination, we open up the infinite possibilities.


Quote #3

Norman Vincent's Quote

Have you asked yourself:

Am I focusing on what I have—or on what is lacking?

We know that gratitude is proven to make us happier. If we focus on what we do have, rather than what we don’t have, our outlook improves drastically. Gratitude improves our health, relationships, and overall outlook because we remind ourselves what is working rather than focusing on what isn’t. It’s a subtle yet powerful reframe.

Just like any habit, it requires practice and repetition to reap the benefits. Whether you cultivate gratitude through meditation, journaling, or silent reflection, try it. It works! 


Quote #4

Seth Godin's Quote

Have you asked yourself:

How do others experience communication from me?

Do I listen to others or just wait for my turn to talk?

How do I handle challenging conversations?

Communication is one of the most important skills we can master. And it intertwines with every theme in this article. Every day, we can choose how we act, what we say, and how we communicate with others in every aspect of our lives.

In the Crucial Conversations style of communicating, for example, people may choose silence or violence when they start to feel unsafe in a conversation. In this style of communication, “silence” is masking, avoiding, and withdrawing from conflict. “Violence” refers to controlling, labeling, and attacking when faced with conflict. Engaging in either of these styles will not resolve conflict. In fact, these techniques only make challenges grow into full-blown dramas. 

How we choose to express ourselves and relate to others makes all the difference. When you approach communication from a conscious approach and get past reactivity, both you and the other person can experience a win-win. Most of our employee experience boils down to how colleagues communicate with each other in the workplace. Is the communication respectful? Can employees resolve inevitable challenges effectively?

There’s a way that you can both be heard and resolve conflict in a healthy way (I promise!). It may be one of the most challenging skills on earth to master, but it is possible. You’ll find that if you can improve your communication style (even a little bit at a time), your relationships will improve in and outside of the workplace. 

Listen to Gregg Kendrick, Director of SweetRush Transforming Leaders & Culture (TLC), explain human needs and perceptions in addition to how Needs-Based Communication can transform our relationships. 

This isn’t an overnight change, but a willingness to try and an open mind go a long way. Be open to the many tools out there!

Helping Others

Quote #5

Mary Anne's Quote

Quote #6

Dr Martin Luther King's Quote

Have you asked yourself:

How am I helping others?

Everyone is dealing with their own challenges and struggles in their lives. Whether it’s the trauma of the last few years or something from the past, most of us don’t go through life in a bubble of rainbows and unicorns. Work doesn’t need to become another source of trauma

Ideally, the workplace could be somewhere we heal and grow together. It starts with helping those around you, which motivates those who you help to help others.

Helping others isn’t purely selfless because you reap the benefits as well! Mentoring in the workplace, for example, not only benefits the mentee but the mentor as well. A welcomed change from the “dog eat dog” mentality of the past, today’s focus in the workplace emphasizes the importance of empathy.


Quote #7

Dalai Lama's Quote

Have you ever asked yourself:

What would I like to change in my life?

What am I manifesting?

Do I focus on problems or solutions?

It’s not easy to ask yourself these hard-hitting questions and face some tough truths. Being self-aware is not for the weak! But if we put our ego aside, we can really see who we truly are and what makes us happy.

Today, we have more access to tools and resources to support us in our pursuit of a happy life than ever before. And there’s much more of an open discussion around mental health than in years prior (both mental health in the workplace and general mental health). We have access to books, shows, podcasts, and all types of media that share best practices for mental health, self care, and the pursuit of a happy life. 

While many things are outside our control, many things are within our control (even if it’s just how our mind perceives our reality). We can create that happy life at home and at work (and sometimes, they’re literally the same physical place).


Quote #8

Amit Ray's Quote

Have you ever asked yourself:

How do my actions affect others?

In simple terms, a workplace culture is a collection of individuals coming together, agreeing on ways of being together. Each individual in a workplace adds (or detracts) from that culture. Like life, the workplace brings together all types of people. You likely relate to some of your coworkers better than others. 

How you decide to show up directly impacts not only your coworkers, but also their families and their communities in a ripple effect. What we choose to speak about and focus on, how we resolve conflict; it all impacts those interactions. 

Like a living, breathing organism, culture is the sum total of its parts. And you are a vital part of any group you belong to (place of worship, family, friends, local community, workplace, etc.). When you make changes individually, you affect the whole.


Quote #9

Jaggi Vasudev’s Quote

Have you ever asked yourself:

What actions am I putting out there in the universe? 

Am I aware of my emotions, communication, and mindset?

Finally, this last quote really shows us the impact of our personal development and evolution. To paraphrase another famous quote, the wisest person knows they still have a lifetime of learning ahead of them. 

When we are open to growing, learning, and evolving, it doesn’t impact just us; it also impacts everyone around us. While personal growth can start in the workplace, taking that growth and reflecting on the topics in this article can create a roadmap to enlightenment. Personal enlightenment transcends the workplace and impacts families, communities, and ultimately, the world. 

If we want to see things change in the world, there is one place we can start: within ourselves.

Continue doing the hard work and looking within, and you can change your workplace (and the world)! I know you can do it.

I hope those quotes motivate you to continue to reflect! 

See what other professionals in my network had to say about the motivational quotes that inspire them in the workplace. Share any a-ha moments you had or quotes you want to share here.

And make sure you sign up for the Workplace Matters series, which includes:

There are lessons all around us that we can apply in life, at work, and everywhere in between. Keep your eyes, ears, and hearts open, and you’ll find them.

I’ll be back next month with another topic. Stay tuned for the next installment of Workplace Matters!

Hanan Harb Sahourieh signature

Your workplace BFF