When we return from a vacation, it’s easy to get overwhelmed quickly and forget our good intentions. This year, make a promise to yourself not to get caught up in the details. Make a promise to yourself not to let your tension or reaction affect other people’s moods and ways of working.
The way you react to a situation says a lot about your current state of mind. When we are confused, scared or stressed, we can make poor decisions. This can include using unintended words or actions at work. Our behaviour can project a person that we don’t want or intend to be.
So, this year, before you react, perhaps you can frame your reply (or lack of reply) in terms of the person you want to be.
For example, here are three ideas you could take with you into your work next week:
- Does it make sense to offer an opinion on how particular work is done? Will saying something offend the other person and damage your relationship?
- Conversely, in a team context, what has been on your to-do list forever and you’re always putting off? Ask yourself what your reasons are for putting this off. Can you find some time to do this for the team’s betterment in the next week?
- Did you already react badly to an email you received while you were away? Ask yourself, why is that? Are you reading too much into the email that isn’t there? Try not to reply to the email before you’ve spoken to the person, wished them Happy New Year and found out how they are getting on.
Here are a few other tips that you can use to make your daily interactions a little smoother in 2024.
- Pay attention to how you use words. Don’t criticise others directly or even indirectly. Instead, suggest that as a team, you still might have some work to do.
- Be the first to ask for help or ask a question. This helps new team members feel like they are not the only ones dying to ask a ‘stupid’ question.
- When you have to take an opposing view, do it gently. Look for signs that this situation might have arisen due to circumstances outside your or others’ control.
- Recognise that we all have lives outside of work. Sometimes we can’t be 100% professional.
- When you’re feeling frustrated with work, have a break. Take longer than you think you need before you come back to your desk or computer. Take a real break. You’ll be doing everyone a favour including yourself.
- Occasionally, be relentlessly positive.
- Always look to turn failures into opportunities.
I wish you all the best for 2024. I hope that through acting with openness, clarity and rationality we can all have a successful and truly happy new year.