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How To Turn Around Any Bad Day

Bad days are going to happen. It’s just a fact of life. What happens when the bad day strikes, however, is up to each of us. We have a choice to make: we can settle for the negative energy the bad day wants to give us… or we can choose to be happy. That’s right – happiness is a choice we can make even on our worst days.

How can you turn around any bad day to make it better? Here are some easy ways to make it happen.

1. Find the Source

Something has to be causing your bad day. Maybe you didn’t get enough sleep last night for some reason. The morning commute might have caused a tension headache. There’s a deadline looming and you need to fit 8 hours of work into a 4 hour window and you don’t know how you’ll do it. When you can find the source of what is causing your bad day, you’ll be able to start working on turning things around.

2. Find Gratefulness

The problem we all tend to have with genuine gratefulness is that it requires a certain level of humbleness. There must be a willingness to acknowledge that there are other people in this world that are having days worse than the one you’ve got going on. If you’re getting 3 square meals per day, have a warm home at night, a loving family, money in the bank, a job you love, or the chance to watch your favorite movie tonight with your favorite ice cream – well, you’ve got something that others don’t have.  Choose to be content and a bad day will have less power over you.

3. Create a Plan

Once you’ve made the choice to not let the negative energy of a bad day get to you, then it is time to take action. Create a plan that will take you through the steps you’ll need to follow to overcome that energy. Choose a healthy snack over a candy bar. Take a different route home. Ask for an extra hour at lunch to take a walk through a local park. When you can embrace positive energy, the negative energy doesn’t stand a chance.

4. Find Solutions

Now that you’ve got a plan in place, it is time to take control. Find solutions that will help you continue to overcome the negative energy from the bad day. Place yourself into situations where you know a positive outcome will occur. Take time to focus on your breathing. Instant message a friend and talk about the good memories the two of you have shared. Remember: the bad day only stays in control because you allow it to be in control.

5. Be Realistic

A bad day gets worse if you try to choose happiness and fail in your efforts. Be realistic about what you can do. Your boss probably isn’t going to let you take a 3-week trip to Tahiti with a moment’s notice. You probably won’t be winning millions of dollars in the lottery today. What you can do is pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and take a successful step forward toward happiness in a way that works for you.

The most important thing we can do is learn from the experiences our bad days provide us. This knowledge can help us to prevent future bad days from getting their negative claws into us. Choose happiness, make it happen, and you’ll be able to turn around any bad day.

5 Ways To Effectively Manage Someone You Don’t Like

 

In a perfect world, we’d all like to manage people that we’d be as comfortable sharing a drink with them as working with them on a professional team. Going beyond the pleasantries and ability to find common ground, when there is general “likeableness,” work is just easier.

Unfortunately not everyone wants to be your friend when you’re the manager. Some are out for blood and want to take your job! Others just hate you for the fact that you’re the one in charge. I once had a direct report try to sabotage a project because he thought that if the job looked bad, then I’d look bad and be replaced.

The reasons why we don’t like someone can vary. What doesn’t vary is how we can effectively manage them. Here are 5 key lessons I’ve learned over the years:

1. Friendships Are Less Important At Work

Having a good friend at work can help the day go by much more quickly. Multiple studies have shown, in fact, that there are higher job satisfaction levels present when people have a best friend at work! When you’re in management, finding friendships is still important, but finding them outside of your team is usually a better idea. When you’re friends with a direct report, it becomes more difficult to discipline them should it become necessary… and if you do, that discipline can end up stopping a friendship cold anyway.

2. Stay Positive In All Things

Those sayings like “find the silver lining” or “look for the sunny side of things” grate on my nerves some days, but the truth in the message is clear. By staying positive in all circumstances, even when you’re around someone you’d rather avoid, you are leading by example as a manager. Every project at work will encounter some sort of difficulty. How you handle it will help show your direct reports where the silver lining can be found.

3. Everyone Contributes Something

I’ve found that the people I tend to dislike the most while working are the people who are the most like me. I find that this dislike stems from the fact that they have the potential to do what I do, only better. As the manager, you’re supposed to be the best right? Not necessarily. As the manager, your role is to be the team leader. That means making sure everyone contributes something based on their best strengths – even if those strengths are similar… or better than your own.

4. Work Closely Together

It’s not about keeping your enemies closer than your friends. It’s about learning what makes a person tick. You don’t have to like a person in order to understand them. Then, when you have managed to understand their perspective, that dislike you have for that person tends to start fading away. It also works in reverse – when those who don’t like you work more closely with you, their understanding of you helps to ease the discomfort.

5. Confront Fast, But Praise Faster

The most common reason to dislike someone is because they don’t contribute like they should. It could be because of laziness, brashness, or even arrogance. If you’re noticing the bad stuff as a manager, your team has known about it for weeks most likely! By fast to confront negative behaviors that could drop your team’s morale, but be faster to praise the good job a person does. Negativity is often brought about because of a lack of recognition, so put the emphasis there.

Just don’t be afraid to be proactive about the bad stuff too.

It’s not always easy to manage someone you don’t like, but it is very doable. Use these tips to work on your own interactions and you just may find that the working relationship is more about respect than it is about how much one is liked.

Are You a Responsive Person?

When somebody asks you a question, how do you typically respond? Do you ignore that question because it seems silly? Do you attempt to answer the question in a thoughtful or informative way? For many managers, being appropriately responsive to specific situations is one of the most important qualities that they seek to find in prospective employees. If you don’t respond well or maybe even over-respond during unique situational circumstances, chances are you’ll be passed over for someone else. Here’s how you can make sure that your responses are in sync with what your employer may want to see from you:

 How Responsive Do You Need To Be?

One of the best ways to determine how responsive you need to be in any given situation is to segment out all of your contacts, like you can do with Google circles. Your general acquaintances may need one level of response, for example, while your direct supervisor might need another level of response from you. Of course this isn’t something that you need to publicize – simply determine what level of responsiveness is appropriate for each circle and then stick to what you develop.

How Responsive Do Others Need To Be To You?

In order for any relationship to be healthy, you need clear guidelines and expectations that are accepted by all of the parties involved. If you have a new client, start working for a new supervisor, or you get a new partner, it’s very helpful to clarify what expectations you have for them… and vice-versa. This creates a contract that will have everyone happy, as long as it is followed, that is.

Express Your Own Expectations of Responsiveness

If you have people who report to you, it’s important for them to know what you need from them in terms of responsiveness. The same is true for any vendors with whom you may work, other business associates, and partnerships that have a direct relationship with you. If everyone knows what the expectations are, then there is a certain level of accountability that can be had that helps projects get done much more quickly.

Be Proactive In Terms of Your Responsiveness

The nature of humanity is that we are all imperfect at some point during the day. We might not be able to respond to someone as quickly as we had initially anticipated. We might violate the responsiveness contracts that we have created with others. If we can give people a heads up when we know we’ll miss an expectation or follow-up with people who have miss our own expectations, we’ll be able to keep a relationship healthy.

You don’t have to be the same thing for everyone. It’s really not possible to be everything for everyone in this modern age. It is important, however, to set boundaries, communicate these boundaries, and follow through with your responsibilities. This can help you be the responsive person that you may need to be.  

How to Say No at Work

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with too much to do at work? I certainly have. Nowadays many companies expect their employees to do more work in less time. Here is the paradox of work. The better you get at your job, the more people will ask you to do. In other words, your boss will give you more responsibilities if he/she sees that you can handle the smaller projects. You will get to the point where your ability to finish all your work by the deadline will be next to impossible. So what is the solution? You can stay overtime and work weekends. This is a good temporary solution but this is not something you should do all the time because it leads to burnout. The simple solution is to learn to say no.

Most employees can’t say no because they want to please everyone, fear they might lose their job or not be seen as a team player. Saying yes to everything can actually damage your reputation and hurt your career.

Take time to think before committing to a new project, and before you say no, consider the ramifications.  Before you say no, spell out your current responsibilities and ask your boss to help you prioritize. Your goal is to let your boss know that you are not trying to make excuses why you can’t take on the project, but you want to be honest, realistic and upfront. After you have provided your reasons why you can’t take on the new project, proposed a solution or an alternative. This will show your boss that you genuinely want to help and you are providing a few options.

So saying no is not that bad after all. You might find out that people will respect you more when they know that you are not afraid to decline a request.

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