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2015—A time for workplace renewal

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The Starke Reality
A good office atmosphere is essential for happiness at the workplace.

Hopefully, you spent a great deal of time with your loved ones and you already are at work, or are about to head back out to work soon, after the holidays—if you are fortunate and blessed to have a job. 

If you think about it, we do spend a great deal of time in the workplace and if we are to be brutally honest, too many are just plain miserable. If you are among the minority who look forward to going to your workplace each day, do not take this for granted. You are among the few that are very fortunate. 

Remember to greet your co-workers warmly and appropriately:

If you are miserable at work, there is a great deal that you may be able to do to improve your feelings, if you decide to take charge of the situation and claim the positive attitude to which you are entitled. Even if you feel despondent and really down in the dumps, definitely enter your place of work with a smile or at least a pleasant look and wishes for a “Good Morning,” to those you encounter. I have heard so many people complain about the absence of this little gesture which can communicate so much to so many. A heartfelt greeting as you enter the workplace is really important and can determine the quality of your workday.

Let go of the past— this includes old resentments

Also, the start of a new year is always a great time to try to put old grudges behind us. 

Try to let go of last year’s bad feelings that have stayed with you because of some other person’s harsh or unkind behavior. I can tell you that forgiveness can feel very good. And remember, you will feel better for greeting that person who upset you as a way of letting him or her know that you have put what happened in the past. You don’t even have to say, “Sorry,” as actions speak louder than words. Kindness can sometimes lead to greatness.

Be assertive, not aggressive

Another change I have heard many talk about is a desire to be more assertive. When people wrong us or speak badly to us, and this seems to be the norm in so many places, it really makes us feel bad if we are so dumbfounded by their attitude that we just don’t respond or respond aggressively, only to regret either response later. We are mad at ourselves for not saying anything to the person and we are made at ourselves for having given the person the satisfaction of seeing us behave in an unbecoming or unprofessional manner. What then is the answer?

Practise to be assertive! I think it’s always a good idea to point out to the person that he or she is being rude and ask the individual not to speak to you in the undesirable manner. Many times, the individual is surprised by this civil request and may comply; if he or she does not, do not join their rude behavior and so, do not empower them to be more hostile to you. Maintain your calm behavior and speak to a supervisor if you think this might help. Walking away can also be a solution. Your calm attitude and your demeanor of respect should model the type of behavior you deserve and expect. Help create a workplace where assertive, not aggressive behavior becomes the norm. Assertive behavior is based on the practice of mutual respect; aggressive behavior is based on rude and disrespectful behavior and should not be tolerated in the workplace.

Put forth your best efforts

I believe that we should always strive to give our best in whatever task we undertake as we just never know where our good efforts may take us—a promotion, a better job, a raise? Even if all we get is the inner satisfaction of knowing that we have given our best that should count for something. Have your own vision for the kind of year you want to have and then take steps to make that happen. Try not to let the past deter you. Try not to let the fears that we all naturally have, take such control that we are paralysed into doing nothing. Be brave and even take a risk as you pursue your goals for what you hope to achieve at work this year. Write your goals down and take action. Seek support and encouragement from those around you. Ask to be mentored and you may be surprised how many may be willing to encourage and support you – once you have this bright, respectful and self-assured attitude.

• Happy New Year.


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