Sunday, July 6, 2008

Feeling mean? Try a little happiness.

Feeling mean? Try a little happiness ...

1. Work nice with co-workers. ASAE has a stressful case study (online and in their magazine) of staff who snipe at each other all day - to the point it's even obvious to the officers and volunteers. Who could stand working someplace like that, or volunteering with that kind of attitude around them? I find when staff becomes mean there's typically something personal going on in their lives and they take that out on other people; or they believe that someone else is making too many mistakes or not working hard enough and it's how they try to draw attention to it. And those situations do need to be addressed. There is nothing that drains the energy of everyone as an office culture of open conflict. It's fine to allow varying opinion on specific projects as to how to proceed, but not nasty comments to each other.

2. Play nice with others. This quote from a really good article on the Inman real estate blog, "I am uncomfortable being on the receiving end of mean, and not just because sticks and stones hurt like a son of a gun. My generation was a generation of Eddie Haskells. We were taught to feign niceness even when we were ornery to the core. Now we seem to think nothing of confrontation; it is simply a communicative tool, one used to reinforce a pecking order. Except, I personally have never felt better for having made another feel worse." I agree that even if you have to pretend to be nice, that it's better than an outcome of being mean. Unfortunately there will be volunteers who make a sport of being mean, always looking for something to criticize - but that's not something that can be changed by being mean back. A tip: if you smile before you pick up the phone it changes your voice.

3. Find ways to remember even little things that make you happy. It is sometimes difficult when too busy, too many negative calls, a bad economy to focus on happy things. I joined a cairn terrier group on Facebook and added a live mini-webcam of the Eiffel Tower to my iGoogle page. Sometimes just seconds of an image can snap you back into happiness.

Try a little happiness ...

1 comment:

ljunker said...

Thank you so much for your comments on the case study, Cindy! It's great to get a CEO's take on this particular scenario.

(And speaking of little things that can make you happy, I'll admit to being a sucker for cuteoverload.com. Adorable animal photos can always brighten my day ...)