just no getting around it. Times are tough. The economy is in crisis,
businesses are struggling, previously secure workers are now fearful of losing
their jobs. The emotional impact can be great, leading to feelings of anxiety
and depression - and a concomitant loss of focus and creativity. The potential
effects on work performance consist of reduced productivity, innovation, and
overall employee morale.
is opportunity for growth in the midst of these economic hard times. While it
might go against intuition, success in difficult times calls for holding true
to basic tenets of effective behavior. With the proper attitude and approach,
you can indeed thrive in uncertain times.
interest of full disclosure – and to give credit where credit is due – I have
to thank my 5-year old son for the inspiration for today’s tips. For it was
during a delightful Sunday afternoon together – filled with game-playing,
puzzle-assembling, artwork and general enjoyment – that my attention was drawn
to the power of the basics. Here are a few tips I’d like to share with you:
as a team. Whether
you’re putting together a Spiderman jigsaw puzzle (as we were) or advancing a
new product to market, there’s nothing like the power of collaboration. Working
together allows for faster progress and more creative solutions.
you’ve made a commitment, stick to it. And while you’re at it, hold those
around you accountable, too. My son didn’t waste a moment taking me to task
when I tried to divert him from his much-loved game of Candyland. “But Mom, you
promised!” And so I did.
your coworker or report does something well, give him a well-deserved pat on
the back. If he’s uncertain and needs a little encouragement, offer it up. I
can’t tell you how lovely it was to hear my little guy comment on my drawing by
saying, “Mommy, I love your work.”
times can mean limited access to valued resources. The temptation might be to
get what you can for yourself and your team, even if that means leaving others
empty-handed. Yet sharing resources (in my case, taking turns with the yellow
crayon) with others means they’re far more likely to do the same for you.
times can take a profound toll on your physical and emotional well-being. Don’t
forget to take some time to refresh and reenergize yourself at regular
intervals. Your approach to refreshment may differ from my 5-year old’s
(snacking on Cheerios and chocolate milk), so find what works for you. Then do
times call for flexibility and a willingness to do things differently. You may
have to take on new responsibilities, modify your schedule, or work with a
different set of people. Letting go of disappointment (for my son, that meant
not finding his favorite program on TV) and being open to new opportunities
will help you gain credibility as a resilient and cooperative team player.
at the risk of sounding rather Pollyannaish,
the worst of storms passes with time. Remaining optimistic, grounded, and
focused on the future will help you weather the hard times and move bravely
ahead. I was so proud of my son, who had been feeling somewhat under the
weather, when he declared, “I’m sick but I’m happy.” Now there’s an attitude
that will serve him well in both good times and bad.