The last few days have been more manic than usual in both my personal and professional life. Due to work commitments over the past week, I found myself having to travel around five hours a day to get to and from where I needed to be in order to get my job done. This is an exception for me and not a usual thing. Early mornings and late nights impacted my responsibilities as a mother more than anything. Whilst this week was unusual for me, I do also know it’s the daily life of many. The result is getting behind on everything, especially laundry, which is okay until your son goes “mom it’s Friday and I need a clean shirt”. Your children have been less than productive with homework and studying for tests, but then again their overall responsibility has taken a brief descent due to mom not being around. Routines are completely out the window because dad is abroad. However, the purpose of this post is not to whine about me and my family’s disruptive week with too little hours in the day for me personally, but to focus on the critical importance of teamwork. Advertisements
Bad or tough workdays – we all have them. Whether we are out of sorts and Murphy’s Law is ever-present or if someone else at the office is just making your day miserable. I have come across people who think that working in an office is the only way you will have a bad workday. This is simply not true. People working from home or for themselves also have bad workdays. It doesn’t matter who you work for and what you do. Whether you are an office worker, self-employed, a student a housewife or a househusband, we all have had our share of feeling depressed, demotivated and just fed up.
To be authentic is to be genuine, original and real. I have had many interactions where people feel authenticity to self is not an option, given the pressure to be a certain way in our ever-changing world. I, however, believe it more critical than ever before to be your authentic self because of the world we live in. We should adapt to our experiences, situations, and circumstances. The key is to know and decide for ourselves who we are and what we want to be. Demonstrating authentic behaviour is not just speaking about values but acting our values.
Are you the kind of person who always speaks from your heart? Or, are you the kind of person that prefers to keep your honest thoughts and feelings to yourself? Think about a time when you spoke truthfully about something affecting you at home. Then, think about a time when you needed to speak truthfully about what you thought about someone else’s work ethic at the office but you didn’t. What was the outcome?
For any business to succeed, it needs people. The best product, greatest of strategies and most innovative ideas will not achieve any desired outcomes in the absence of a strong organisational culture. Effective organisational cultures place as much value in its people as it does in business. Often though, business comes first, and people are treated like machines – there to produce outputs for the sake of a business’s success. Outcomes are expected without any consideration of people’s wellbeing.
The world we live in feels to me as if it changes daily. We are surrounded by innovation in a digitally connected world that requires new skills and knowledge in order to be successful. “It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be… This, in turn, means that our statesmen, our businessmen, our everyman must take on a science fictional way of thinking.” – Isaac Asimov
Being responsible for people whether it be in the workplace or at home, can be incredibly challenging. At home, we have a deep affection for the people closest to us which creates a bond that should be unbreakable. In the workplace, however, being responsible for a person with a personality that you find challenging to manage, or having to deal with poor behaviour, and sometimes a deliberate bad attitude, makes us question our own ability, makes us feel sorry for ourselves, makes us dislike a person, and sometimes just want to give up and run away. All of which of course is the wrong reaction. I have had my fair share of experiences in the workplace where I have directly been responsible myself for navigating my way through managing many different personalities. But, also guiding others in managing different personalities, and difficult people.
In our busy lives, so many of us feel physically and psychologically drained. This is a result of both our personal or professional lives, and let’s be honest, the one directly impacts the other. Often we are so overwhelmed by having to give so much of ourselves that we have no time to just be. And then, if you are the self-critic, you never feel adequate or satisfied by what you give or do. The result is burn-out, anxiety, stress and depression. I will share a bit about what I believe causes this in the workplace, some of my experiences, and my advice. I hope you find it helpful.
If you haven’t yet, please read Part 1 of “Having Difficult Conversations”. Part 2 is about difficult conversations I have had in the workplace. Despite what people might think of you, have the courage to lead difficult conversations that demonstrates you taking ownership, and ultimately taking action to ensure you address the things that negatively impacts your team or organisational culture. When people say things you don’t understand or that you feel to be untrue, confront it.