What Does It Mean to Take Pride?
Taking pride can mean different things to different people.
For some, it's that feeling of satisfaction you get when a particular task's been achieved. For others, it's an ongoing commitment to high professional standards, even if the end products aren't always perfect.
Pride can be based on definitive results, such as output, efficiency or profit. But it can also come from less measurable sources, such as the service you provide or the support that you give.
Perhaps you take most pride from the contribution you make yourself. Or, maybe you're only truly happy when everyone's played their part – because you need to take pride in your organization as a whole.
Pride at Work – A Nice Theory?
What most people can agree on is that taking pride is a good thing. The Merriam-Webster dictionary includes two particularly positive definitions for "pride." It's "a reasonable or justifiable self-respect." It's also "delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship."
However, research suggests that pride is not a widespread emotion. A Gallup survey found that only 35 percent of U.S. employees were fully engaged in their roles, suggesting low levels of pride at work.
Still, pride remains a clear aspiration for many – particularly people at the start of their career. Price Waterhouse Cooper's report, "Workforce of the Future," showed that Millennials are particularly concerned about finding jobs where they can "be proud of their employer."
Values to Be Proud Of
How we take pride seems to depend heavily on our definitions of success. It starts with knowing what our values are. Then it's about how well we feel we're living up to them in our work.
Dr Srikumar Rao writes about values in his book, "Happiness at Work." Mind Tools Club members can listen to Dr Rao's Expert Interview, in which he says it's essential to value the work you do, whatever role you play. A strong "sense of purpose," he believes, pushes you to perform at your best. It also prepares you to handle any problems that arise.
And the more you can see a positive impact from your work, the prouder you're likely to feel as a result.
It's a personal approach that can also have a major professional impact. A Facebook survey showed that pride was highly motivational, boosting engagement, productivity and profit.
Your Top Tips for Taking Pride
We wanted to hear about some of the ways you take pride in your work. We were keen to know how you go about it, and also what you feel are the key benefits.
So we reached out to you on social media, and here's a selection of your replies:
Playing Your Part
Joe Murphy, from Northampton, U.K., wrote about the pride that comes from setting high standards. He said, "I take pride… by being punctual, dressing acceptably, maintaining a positive, can-do outlook when encountering problems, and by going above and beyond what is expected of me… Giving the bare minimum is not acceptable to me."
Joe's views were shared by a fellow LinkedIn follower, Lewis Wootton, from Chelmsford, U.K., who said, "Pride for me is taking ownership of a project or body of work… and knowing I have done all I can to make it as brilliant as possible."
For Twitter follower Ruknudin Abdulla, from Doha, Qatar, pride was a mixture of personal passion and wider purpose. He said, "Love the work and see the big picture."
This was echoed on Facebook by Rodger Chimatira, who said, "I take pride… by working to the best of my ability and knowing that my small contributions impact the organization's goals."
Back on Twitter, Towniegal focused on maintaining personal values at work. She said, "I treat people as I wish to be treated. Humanity and compassion doesn't cost a thing."
For Catherine Quinn, pride comes through going the "extra mile" and "always thinking of the additional step(s) to take when asked to do something so delivery is more than request."
Amos Inume, from Edgartown, Massachusetts, told us on Facebook that pride also supports key business principles. He said, "Loving your job is the best way to improve efficiency and increase productivity."
Dr Rajeswari Gopinathan, a Clinical Data-Management Team Leader in India, advised managers to have pride in their people. He said, "Reward, appreciate and thank them even for small work. Value them." And the trick to staying positive ourselves? "Move with positive people."
Facebook friend Randy Jenkins also wrote about generating pride through collaboration. He commented, "Take pride in loving the people. Yes, attention will be given to the job but even the best job will be miserable if there is no lasting connection with people.
"Make your joy contagious; encourage cooperation, gift giving, support and smiles."
Likewise, for Tran Gia Hai, taking personal pride at work is only possible with the help of others. He said, "An indispensable thing is the cohesion, harmony… the spirit of effective cooperation with colleagues."
And the last word, for now, goes to Nancy Ellis, Department Lead & Graphic Designer at Tri-Star Industries Ltd. in Nova Scotia, Canada. Nancy used LinkedIn to sum up the impact of shared pride, saying, "I take pride by rewarding/celebrating my team's accomplishments and setting new goals. Their success is my success at keeping us on track and motivated to get the job done well."
For Nancy, taking pride means constantly pushing forward as a team. She added, "Working together to figure out those ways to improve – that's taking pride."
Thank you to everyone who responded to our #MindToolsTips question. We hope you can all take pride in your excellent contributions… and you can still have your say, below!