As I was trying to find the right message to kick off the year, this article came across my desk. Sandra does a perfect job of conveying what I was trying to say. The article below is posted with her permission. Have a wonderful year, I look forward to working with you! ~Donya
By Sandra Villegas, Associated Employers
Well, 2020 was quite a year. Welcome to 2021, and here’s hoping that it will be a better one! And to move the odds in our favor, let’s all work to make it a better one.
While individually we have very little control over such things as pandemics and the economy as a whole, there are still things we can do. Things that we can do as individuals, to make things better for
other individuals. So rather than focusing on what we can’t do, let’s focus on what we can do:
Have Empathy. Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, or to put it another way, to “put yourself in their shoes”. Empathy is important for everyone involved in an interaction, regardless of the positions they hold or the reporting relationships involved. The challenge for many in having empathy is to make the effort to understand another person’s viewpoint when they do not agree with the other person’s viewpoint. But you don’t need to agree with the person to empathize – you just need to listen, and to have as much respect for their views as you want them to have for yours.
Cut a Little Slack. What is important to keep in mind is that we are all carrying some proverbial “baggage”. There may be factors entering into another person’s actions or behaviors that we don’t know about. Not that it’s OK for someone having a bad day to make sure everyone else is also having a bad day, but consider that they might have some personal issues that they’re dealing with – a sick family member, a rough patch in a personal relationship, a kid struggling in school. Try not to take things too personally or have a knee-jerk reaction – maybe just let it slide. But if it is something that needs to be
discussed and resolved, choose a good time and a respectful way to do that.
Lead by Example. No matter what position we hold in the organization, we can all be leaders. You don’t have to be the Manager to influence the behavior of others. And as such, each of us needs to be the example of what we expect from others. If we want others to be professional, we need to be professional. If we don’t want others to gossip, we shouldn’t gossip ourselves. Walk the talk.
Trust. We all have people in our lives that we trust, and people in our lives that we don’t trust. That trust (or lack of it) affects how we deal with those people on a day to day basis. Often we have experience with another person that plays into that level of trust, but sometimes it’s just a “gut feeling”. While your gut isn’t necessarily wrong, try not to let it start you out with a position of distrust. Starting there and making them earn your trust may cost a lot more time and energy than it needs to! Most people really want to do the right thing, so try to start with trusting them unless that person shows you that you shouldn’t.
These are four things you can do to make things better in your world, and we can probably all add a few more of our own. Hopefully they will spill over into others’ worlds. Here’s to a great year!
Associated Employers is part of MCU’s VIP — Vendor Involvement Program. As a not-for-profit voluntary membership association, they are committed to the success of employers, their employees and their businesses. Founded in 1916, AE serves over 1,000 businesses and organizations throughout the region as the premier Human Resource outsourcing specialist. Their professional staff provides expert advice, support, information, research and training in a wide range of human resource and business development areas.