Magazine article New Zealand Management

Building a More Resilient Workplace

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Building a More Resilient Workplace

Article excerpt

Kiwis are notoriously pessimistic--sometimes it shows as endearing self-deprecation, but too often it leads to negativity and unproductive workplaces. While changing your attitude may seem easier said than done, there are some simple things you and your team can all do to be more optimistic and resilient and work more productively together.

1 TAKE OWNERSHIP With an ever-increasing drive towards accountability it's staggering the way people still pass the responsibility for their moods and emotions over to others. Every time you catch yourself saying "She (or he) has really upset me" you are passing the buck. You may be upset, but no one did this to you. And don't let members of your team blame others for their upset either--acknowledge their distress and search for a solution that doesn't involve making anyone else the bogeyman.

2 RECALL THOSE REMOTES Passing the buck for your attitude is rather like handing out remote controls for your emotions to all and sundry. Recall all those remote controls, and be very selective as to who you give them to in future.

3 REVIEW YOUR THINKING HABITS Einstein said that a problem can't be solved with the same kind of thinking that caused it. Psychology tells us that the major reason for our attitudes (our moods and emotions) lies in our thinking habits. Many of these habits began in childhood, but as adults we've never scrutinised them. Reflect on your thinking habits and examine whether they still work for you. When a member of your team is behaving negatively, find out what they're thinking--and calmly challenge them to come up with a more optimistic explanation.

4 TAKE CHARGE OF THE ELEPHANT Think of your moods and emotions as the elephant and your intellect as the rider. An elephant can be very productive if it is well-trained, cared for, and given proper direction. Or it can be destructive. You need to be in charge, to train and give direction to your own moods and emotions.

5 ASSUME GOOD INTENTIONS Many people develop bad attitudes by assuming bad intentions on the part of others. Nine times out of 10 when a member of your team is bleating on about the way a co-worker has angered or upset them, the co-worker has no idea it is happening. So rationally ask whether that co-worker intended to upset anyone. When your team member applies some adult thinking, they'll probably realise there was no intention to upset.

6 RECOGNISE AND MASTER THOUGHT ATTACKS When your emotions start running away from you it's a sure sign of a "thought attack"--a childish response to a situation that requires cool adult thinking. …

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