My son, Jamie, once said, “Work is highly overrated.” Although his comment was in jest, there is some truth to those wise words for many people.
Sure, most of us are required to work in order to keep wieners and beans on the table. Let’s face the facts: most of us invest a large percentage of our waking hours working. So, it ought to be enjoyable, shouldn’t it?
But…there are many, many people who feel work is highly overrated. It is something they “have to” do. They need to “do their time” so they can have weekends and vacations. Almost sounds like a jail sentence, doesn’t it?
I believe there are two significant parts to this:
1. What you do
2. How you do it.
What You Do – the technology of the task
I’m not going to spend much time on this because you have made a choice about your work. I hope your choice has been exceptional and you are constantly thrilled and fulfilled with the work you get to do.
If it’s not that way, you can go find something else that floats your boat, regardless of your training or experience.
The choice to change your career sounds rather simple but it’s not, because there are a ton of fears that rear their head with a major change like this. If you’re not willing to face those fears head-on, it may be easier to find ways to really enjoy your current work, as long as your mental, physical, and emotional health can handle it.
I know about this because I’ve faced those fears several times. Some exceptional coaching helped me through it. And having Carol always there to love and support me was extremely valuable. Now, I get charged-up, jazzed, zip-dee-doo-dahhed when I’m working: coaching someone so they commit to enhancing their life; facilitating communication training; or working to make our community a better place. My career choice feels great for me.
What about you?
How You Do It – the technology of love
This is a much trickier part because your level of success is dependent upon getting along with people. And as you know, people are not all the same – what works well with one does not necessarily work with another.
In Communication Excellence, participants learn about a variety of behavioural styles, or processing habits. Powerful as that is, the most important part of the training is an understanding that if I want to communicate effectively with you, I need to do it in a way that is comfortable and understandable for you. Not me; you. I need to be totally conscious, awake, and aware of how you like to receive the message, even if it is in a different and uncomfortable way for me. And if I don’t know, it’s up to me to ask you, listen, and then apply what I’ve learned from you.
The technology is simple; application is much more challenging.
Recently a coaching client was sharing a success story. Previously, she had been having real difficulty communicating with her supervisor – they just weren’t getting along. Daily, it was getting worse. My client is very logical, structured, and to-the-point. When she speaks, there is no fluff or idle chit chat. Her supervisor is more of a people-person, gregarious, nurturing, and soft-hearted.
Can you understand how the friction occurred? You’ve probably seen similar situations, or been in them.
My client was able to shift her approach to a way that was more natural for her supervisor. In effect, she stepped into the style of her supervisor. Even though it was uncomfortable at first, she entered meetings with some idle conversation about kids, pets, and weekend activities. She asked about how her supervisor was feeling about the status of current projects and how she could provide reporting in a way that made it easy for her supervisor. And when her supervisor spoke, my client really focussed and listened to understand. At the end of the meeting, my client made a special point to genuinely thank her supervisor for support and guidance.
Almost instantly, there was a huge improvement in the quality of the relationship. As my client followed through on her commitments in how she provided reporting in a way her supervisor wanted, the relationship improved even more. And most importantly, there was a huge increase in the level of happiness and job satisfaction for my client.
So, my friend, what about you? You deal with people every day too. Here are some questions to ponder:
- How willing are you to be really conscious and aware of your own and others ways of communicating?
- What specifically can you do to communicate with others in a way that is comfortable for them?
- How can you model his/her style of communicating – even in small ways?
- What is it worth to you to have greater satisfaction, fulfillment and happiness in your work?
And here’s the real bonus. What works in your work environment works exactly the same at home.
Now, I’m going to turn this thing off, go communicate with someone, and apply the technology of love.
I love my work – it’s under-rated. What about your work?
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