Welcome to the August 2010 issue of Alignment Solutions! Here’s what’s going on:
Our article series called Research News You Can Use selects findings of academic research that are applicable in the workplace, and suggests how you might implement them in your organization.
Premise: Creating lasting positive job attitudes and retaining good employees may be as simple and low-cost as treating job candidates well during the job negotiation process. A recent study found that perceptions of subjective issues significantly influenced candidates’ subsequent job attitudes, whereas the economic outcomes of the negotiations did not. We list five suggestions for setting new workers up for a positive workplace experience.
This month’s theme is taking charge of your life. Employees often feel that people and things outside of their control are running their lives. The recent incident involving the JetBlue flight attendant who dramatically lost his cool is only one example of what happens when people reach their breaking points. While I cannot say what caused this individual’s very public meltdown, I can say that it didn’t need to happen. People have more control over their lives than they may think. This month we address how to help recognize and exert that control.
The Feature Article, “Taking Charge of Your Life: You DO Have a Choice,” explains the role that one’s mindset plays in determining one’s quality of life. It provides a quick exercise that illustrates the powerful impact of one’s perspective.
In “How to Help Your Employees Take Charge of Their Lives,” the Business Solutions section provides five suggestions for how managers can help employees dramatically improve their workplace experience.
In the Personal Solutions section, “Thriving Personally in Challenging Times Redux” updates a 2008 article that provides suggestions to help you maintain a sense of control in your life by focusing on ways to enhance your well-being.
I invite you to visit my newly re-designed web site at www.BusinessAlignmentStrategies.com and my blog at www.OptimizeBusinessResults.com to find other articles and resources that may be of value to you and your colleagues. I welcome your feedback!
Do you know someone who could benefit from the value we provide? If so, let’s create a win-win-win situation! Contact us about how we can make this happen.
Taking Charge of Your Life: You DO Have Choices
Who is in charge of your life? Who makes the decisions that determine how you experience your life? Regardless of who you are, the true answer to both questions is, “You are.”
Often we feel as though others are controlling our lives: if we work for someone else, for example, we have to meet or exceed specified job requirements. We usually have to complete the designated tasks or achieve the results within a given time frame, and sometimes we have to do them a certain way. If we have a family, we often feel we have to do the things that they want or need even when we don’t want to do them. We may have church or community obligations. Given scenarios like these that make us feel as though we’re being pulled in way too many directions, is it any wonder we feel that life is out of control? The truth is, each of us gets to decide how we experience our life. Our decisions have to do with how we view our lives and frame our choices.
Being in charge of your life means that you are making choices about how you view your situation at any given time. Because your decisions frame how you experience your circumstances, they determine your quality of life. For example, people who lose their jobs through no fault of their own have a choice: they can see themselves as victims, or as being presented with an opportunity to find a job or career they love. While the perspective they choose does not change the circumstances, it does determine how people experience them. Those who choose to be victims will see misery and find it everywhere; those who choose to see opportunity will discover it all around them.
Here’s a quick and insightful exercise that illustrates the powerful impact that can result from a change in mindset from one of “victim” to one of being in control.
You are the only person who can choose how you view the world and your specific situation. Making that choice is the first step to taking charge of your life. I invite you to do yourself a favor and learn to see your life as a series of choices for which you are the decision maker.
To learn some specific tools that managers can use to help employees take charge of their lives, please see our article How to Help Your Employees Take Charge of Their Lives. For tips on how to take control of your personal life, please see our article Thriving Personally in Challenging Times Redux.