Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What CAN You Change?

In many organizations, especially those under heavy regulation (banking, healthcare, etc), you just don’t have a lot of opportunity for change. For a gung ho leader, that can make a tough job even more though, not to mention more stressful.

There are actually some things that you CAN change in your environment to decrease your stress. The thing is, you’ve probably thought about some of them already, but just haven’t gotten around to implementing them. Now is the time. It’s on your mind. You have some time (you’re reading this, aren’t you). So Do It.

Learn to Have Some Fun. Business is business, but it doesn’t have to be all spit and polish all the time. Release that inner humor. Smile. Talk at the water cooler about what happened last night on “Two and a Half Men.”

Learn to Say NO. Remember this? – “You can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” When you’re plate is already stuffed, you just have to respectfully say no. It's better to do fewer things well than to do more things half-a**ed.

You’ve got to Manage Your Own Schedule. Too often supervisors get so caught up in managing others that they forget that they need managing also. Don’t leave it up to your boss, do it yourself. Get a planner, PDA (my personal favorite), or a desk calendar (do they still sell these?). Record every meeting and event as soon as you find out about it. Do a little triage. Is it a meeting you actually NEED to go to?

Be Optimistic. It’s human nature to pick out the negative. Be conscious of that and look for the good in everything that you do AND everyone that you meet. People have good qualities. Look for that first. You’ll feel so much better about yourself, your staff and co-workers, and your job. Attitude reflects attitude.

You can’t change everything, but you can recognize the things that you CAN change and work on them. You may not be able to change the regulations, but you can always change yourself.

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