mardi 24 mars 2015

Choose to be positive!

We all can have difficult moments at work: conflicts, misunderstandings, stress... and quite often we tend to fall in a negative attitude where we play the victims and behave in an aggressive way. Well, we simply shouldn't! I believe that in most cases, we can easily avoid and master negative feelings. Indeed, we first need to acknowledge the existence of these negative feelings, then to consider objectively their causing environment, and finally to find the positive elements in this situation.

I would like to focus on two kinds of situations: doing a required but painful activity and being in conflict with other people at work. I will discuss them through examples from my personal experience.

In the first kind of situations, we are asked to do something that we perceive as painful:
  • As presales engineer, I had to reply to an energy consuming RFP which I knew in advance our zero chance to win. That was really stressing and frustrating but I got conscious about my negative feelings. My first action was to challenge my management in order to define reasonable objectives of our answer to the RFP, thus increasing my chances to reach them. This way, I have acted directly on the causing environment. Then I tried to figure out what benefits I could make of my investment on the bid even if I loose it: new skills in bid management, working with new people...Well, I lost the bid unfortunately, but I do not regret this experience, on the contrary, I learned a lot from it. Moreover I am better prepared psychologically for similar situations in the future.
  • In a general way, when we are asked to get out of our comfort zone, we get overwhelmed by negative feelings of stress and apprehension: change job, work on new technology, take a new challenge... Personally, I consider now going out of my comfort zone as a sport but for my intellect. Indeed, sport can be painful when practicing, but on the long term it improves health and it even becomes an addiction.

In the second kind of situations, we are in conflict with people at work: a colleague not helping you in a project, a client almost insulting you...I think that the key is to think in a materialistic way instead of considering people as mean or unskilled. In a materialistic thinking, you ask your self what are objectively the factors that hold my colleague from working on my project? We must try to put our self in their skin and understand their conditions and constraints: Your colleague might be overloaded with other more important projects. Open and regular communication with others is essential to better master our negative feelings toward them.

In all situations, you have a lethal weapon for positive attitude: your smile :) Smiling is not opposite to being serious! I do believe that just by smiling sincerely and freely to others we drive everybody into a positive karma, including ourselves :)

I'll finish by saying that it is up to you to decide to be in the positive virtuous cycle or the negative vicious cycle.

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