How many times have you had an employee in your office, frustrated and telling you in no uncertain terms that they can't work with a certain person on their team or in their office? They can tell you exactly what the other person does on an hour-to-hour basis that drives them absolutely crazy, and how it's a barrier to their success. And what do they want at the end of the day? That other person has to go.
But how often does the complaining employee also talk about the things that THEY can do themselves to help the situation? Not often enough, says Dr. Karlyn Borysenko (@DrKarlynB) today at the SHRM Smart Stage. Her 18-minute micro presentation talked about the importance of finding your Zen. Not the Zen that we think of in the spiritual sense, but rather finding your happiness, your calm, your joy. Too often, employees become dependent on their external environment (coworkers, policies and procedures, etc) to create this. The inherent problem there, is that our workplaces are seldom perfect. People have bad days, the company makes decisions that may not be fully understood by their employees, things like that. So when employees look to their work environment for their zen, they will always fall short.
Dr. B goes on to discuss the need for us to create own Zen. And the first step is to change our attitude. "How we treat people is a reflection of how we feel about ourselves", she says, and this means that people who behave badly to us or others are struggling deeply with some internal issue such as depression, anger, or loneliness. We can combat this by treating everyone (these negative people included) with courtesy, respect, and dignity. Do your best to create the kind of work environment you want to work in.
You can choose to be happy, rather than allowing your happiness to be dictated by others. And in my experience, that happiness is contagious. To quote Gandi: "Be the change you wish to see in the world."
Dr. Borysenko will also be presenting a concurrent session entitled "Playing Politics: The Psychology of Getting Things Done" on Tuesday, 6/19 @ 7am.