How To Be Less Frustrated At Work

“Hunker down. Fight for what you believe in. Nine out of ten days are frustrating. But hang in. And along the way, never lose kindness and decency.”
Tom Peters
       First of all, frustration doesn’t have to hold you in its grip nine out of ten days.
       If you think about it, the frustration arises because we think we know what’s going on. The personal context we bring to any given situation determines the meaning we assign to other people’s actions. For example, if we have a pet peeve about cell phone use during meetings; that it’s rude and disrespectful; we have pre-determined the motivation of another’s action and set ourselves up to be frustrated.

Consider this scenario:

During an important budget meeting one of your department heads was late and is now busily texting away instead of participating. Questions directed to him are answered in mono-syllables. You observe the other managers casting frowns his way.  And you feel your own frustration level rising. “What is this jerk doing?” you ask yourself.

      Wouldn’t everybody feel less frustration if they knew the manager’s mother was in a hospice and he was texting with his wife about his dying mother’s condition? How quickly frustration can turn to caring, and perhaps, even a sense of admiration that the manager is trying so hard to handle his work responsibilities in the face of an impending death. Information leads to an opportunity to shift our attitude.
      With a new attitude of kindness and decency we can make a big difference in this situation. As the meeting leader, we would more likely call for a break to find out what’s going on, as opposed to making a harsh comment about texting or calling out the team mate. The break would give you an opportunity to talk to the manager and discover the underlying reason behind his, what was for you and the other attendees, outrageously frustrating actions. Compassion would further lead you to suggest that another staff member fill in so the department head can be with his wife and mother.
      In the philosophy of Love is Good Business, kindness and decency flow naturally from the Positive Regard we have for our teammates. Positive Regard for others creates a space for our frustration to be channelled in more constructive ways so we don’t say or do something that could be detrimental to our working relationships; or later make us feel inadequate. The practice of Love is Good Business lays the foundation to create openness and authenticity within the workplace encouraging teammates to be forthcoming and real about their internal world, or where they are, at any given moment. This, in turn, enables us to be more open in our support for each other.
      As we come from a place of Love for ourselves and others, kindness and decency naturally follow; so do wiser choices. A simple change of our personal context opens us up to the possibility that we don’t always know why somebody is doing something. Kindness and decency then lead us to find out what’s really going on and, ultimately, provides a way to lessen the number of days we are frustrated at work. 
      Would you share a story about a frustrating incident at your work place and what happened or what you wish had happened? 


 by Michelle DeLaBarre and Arlin Pauler
 

Dare to Care

“Caring can be learned by all human beings, can be worked into the design of every life, meeting an individual need as well as a pervasive need in society.”
Mary Catherine Bateson
In our busy work days it’s oftentimes easier to run away when a co-worker hints at a personal problem so we don’t have to deal with our own feelings when we hear what they have to say. But if we stop for a moment and show we care by giving our undivided attention, great things can happen:
The lead contract specialist sits at his desk, head in his hands. He is quietly weeping. In a courageous move, you pat his shoulder and sit down ready to listen to the problem. Once he has composed himself, he tells you his dog has died. It’s the dog in the picture on the credenza showing the contract specialist dressed in hunting garb, rifle angled in the crook of his arm, the dog sitting next to him grinning through the tangled feathers of a goose. You feel his pain because you care. And you listen to him recount the story of the picture. Maybe even tears spill from your eyes. In this moment both of you have established a deeper relationship—through the simple act of caring. The next time the two of you meet to discuss your disagreement over a procedure or goal, the link established earlier will form the basis of a respectful, open and productive  exchange.  
The fact is the line between personal life and work life continues to blur. As more people telecommute and work longer hours, spillover is bound to occur. As managers, we have to be aware that a depressed or angry attitude may be the result of something personal and not related to the workplace at all. This is where caring can have a great impact.
One of the reasons we are hesitant to show caring is our own fear; fear of embarrassing ourselves or others, fear of being misunderstood. This fear is the biggest factor to overcome if we are to really live a life where Love is Good Business. Taking that first step, as in the scenario above, leads to the compassion that creates openness and acceptance for all.
Will you share some of your actions that expressed caring and the results?


What we are about. . .


The practice of Love in business is good business. This is an idea that is no longer in debate. When we make the practice of Love a natural part of the way we do business, customers want to come back, employees are wholehearted in their performance, vendors are eager to serve and business leadership takes on a whole new meaning and significance.

 

However, the idea of using Love in business isn’t easy to put into action. Where this idea and the reality of Humanity intersect, opportunities clash with difficulties. But it is at this very intersection that sustainable business success can become reality.

 

That’s the reason we’ve developed this blog–to support people working at the intersection of the practice of Love and the Reality of Humanity. Our upcoming posts and articles, based on real situations, will explore the many clashes happening in today’s business world. Our explorations will offer the information, inspiration, and guidance that will advocate and support the practice of Love in business.

 

We sincerely hope that you will join us in this journey to bring the practice of Love in business from idea to reality.

 

So we ask you:

 

What challenges and victories are you facing right now in your Life at Work as you practice Love in Business?

 

Arlin K. Pauler

and

Michelle R. DeLaBarre