Archive for the ‘Improving Morale’ Category

Thank Your Boss

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

If you think “It’s lonely at the top” is just a cliché that doesn’t reflect a hard reality, then you’ve clearly never been at the top.

When one person is put in charge of others, no matter how good or kind or fair that person is, the power differential causes resentment in the others. Every time. It may be subtle or it may be overt, but it’s pretty much always there to some degree. And because of this underlying resentment, employees tend to be very unforgiving of tiny imperfections in the boss. And heaven forbid he or she has any major imperfections!

Your boss isn’t perfect—and neither are you. In fact, the world is made up of imperfect humans who make mistakes from time to time. So why do we tend to hold our bosses to standards of perfection not even WE can reach?

It can be lonely at the top. The fact is, bosses get kicked around, slandered, gossiped about, and blamed—a bit of a thankless job.

So why not make it just a little bit more…thankful?

Instead of joining in the chorus, show you are a class act by thanking your boss for all the things he does for you—the way she helps you learn, his patience, her clear direction, or even the special Dilly Bars he brings in as a treat occasionally. Be sincere when expressing your gratitude.

This kind of thing happens so rarely that, believe you me, it will make a huge impression. And it will go a very long way to blunting the hurt many bosses feel from the slings and arrows they get from the rest of the staff.

No, that’s not brown nosing. That’s being a good human.

The Go-Getter

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Every boss loves a go-getter, somebody who goes the extra mile time after time. But once in a while, if you are that go-getter, you might get the sense that your contribution is getting on people’s nerves. Sometimes that’s just jealousy from coworkers who would rather clock in and clock out, so they feel you’re making them look bad.

And hey, you know what? Sometimes the shoe fits. If they’re dogging it day after day, why should you fall to their level? You shouldn’t. And for the sake of the company, you just CAN’T. But you also can’t plow through a wall of resentment every time you enter the office. That’ll eat your go-getting energy in no time flat. It’s worth thinking about how you might turn down the volume of resentment without completely folding your tent.

If your boss is also showing signs of having enough—well, then you know something has to change. Not your energy or commitment, just something about how it gets expressed.

It never hurts to take a close look at how you are approaching things. Put yourself in the shoes of a colleague or your boss. Is your tone always helpful rather than pushy? Are you careful not to elbow others aside? Are you always working collaboratively rather than going off on heroic missions alone? Are you taking on tasks that NEED doing rather than creating an empire of your own accomplishments separate from the strategic plan?

(Psst: that last one will get on the boss’s nerves quicker than anything.)

Most important of all, if you’ve heard direct criticism, especially from management, ask what you should keep doing and what you should stop doing. If you haven’t heard direct criticism, it’s time to invite it. Then listen—really listen—and make the necessary changes.

Keep your cool after rejection

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

Remember that high school romance that ended badly? The one who promised you eternal love ended up on somebody else’s arm at the prom. And all you could do was watch.

Fast-forward to adult life and the workplace, and that painful prom is roughly the situation for millions of workers who are passed over for promotions each year, only to continue working in the same department—often for the person who actually got the job.

It’s natural to sink into a self-pitying funk and to beam that dark attitude into everyone you meet. But do yourself a favor and DON’T DO IT. Nothing will cling to you longer and harder than a reputation for being a poor loser or a whiner. (more…)

Make Yourself Happy

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Dear Roxanne,

I oversee a small staff that includes one person who is frankly a downer. Not clinical depression or anything, just a kind of determination to be unhappy ALL THE TIME. I talked to her once about it and she said it’s a “family thing.” Her parents and sisters are the same, and there’s nothing she can do about it. But it kills her productivity, so as a manager, I feel that I need to get to the bottom of it. Is she right? —Gene W.

Dear Gene,

She’s partly right…and mostly wrong. Yes, a good portion of our general attitude is hard-wired. But an awful lot is still in our control. Let me bring an expert into the conversation to show you what I mean. Then you can help her find her way into a happier AND more productive place —Roxanne

Make Yourself Happy

Psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness, says that half of a person’s happiness is predetermined by their genes. That’s a lot…but that’s not all. Ten percent of a person’s happiness is based on that person’s life circumstances—where they live, who they live with, the social class they were born into, and so on.

That leaves 40 percent of a person’s happiness that is based on things they can influence—the intentional activities and thoughts you choose that either increase or decrease happiness. That’s incredibly good news. We control 40 percent of our happiness!

So if you’re busily blaming life’s circumstances, stuff a sock in it! Life’s circumstances are NOT what are making you unhappy. You make you unhappy. (more…)

Strengthen Your Job Security?

Sunday, February 26th, 2012


How are you responding to these stressful times? Feeling frazzled? Going to bed a little later and getting up a little earlier? Eating lunch at your desk?

If your intention is to strengthen your job security as layoffs happen all around you, you just might want to reconsider that six-cylinder, 24/7 strategy. It’s counterproductive. (more…)