I Hate Mondays

“I hate Mondays.” “I hate being behind in my work.” I hate when people gossip.” I am so mad I could punch someone.” “Why don’t they listen to me, I am always right.” “Can’t they just do things my way.” “Why do I have to be here so early?” “Why do I have to stay so late?” How many times have you thought or said a comment similar to the ones listed? Sure we have all thought unhappy thoughts when we are angry or upset, but what about when you are not angry or upset. Or are you always angry or upset? Do you feel like things are always happening to you and there is nothing that you can do about it? Maybe if you could control the world around you, you would feel better. Control equals better right? Yes and no. We cannot control the world around us, no matter how hard we try, so you might as well save your energy and put it towards something you can control, your behavior. Your behavior is the response to a stimulus, or something happening to you. But there is a point in between stimulus and response when you have the right to choose how you are going to behave. The in between time is determined by so many factors, but mainly your values and how you perceive the stimulus. It is up to us to determine how we are going to respond to any and every situation. And this is control. The first steps in taking control of our behaviors is to understand and become aware of our behaviors and if they are appropriate or not. Do your behaviors accurately reflect your values or the values that you would like to possess? Below is a list of statements you need to ask yourself, or if you are brave enough, ask someone who you trust “do these statements describe my behavior? Answer each statement with Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often or Always. Please note these statements apply to all levels of employees within an organization, ultimately everyone is a manager whether it be of themselves or others.  Hide original message 1. Abdicates responsibility by not providing support, tools, or direction when needed 2. Prefers being popular to getting results, avoids constructive criticism to keep peace 3. Is arrogant 4. Relies on an autocratic, controlling style to get things done 5. Avoids making difficult decisions; either requires more data than is needed or seems reluctant to face tough issues 6. Blames others for failures; does not take responsibility for mistakes 7. Panics under pressure 8. Demands results at all costs, regardless of the personal toll it may take on others 9. Dismisses other colleagues and their ideas 10. Is critical of others 11. Escalates conflicts 12. Gossips about colleagues behind their backs 13. Makes negative and cynical comments 14. Does not hold people accountable for their results 15. Does not keep promises 16. Focuses on personal status, prestige and ego even if it hinders results 17. Gets angry under pressure, which causes inappropriate behavior 18. Takes credit for the work of others 19. Inflexible and rigid when making decisions 20. Makes rash decisions and is too quick to act 21. Does not listen to ideas or opinions 22. Myopic about his or her own area of expertise; does not acknowledge the “big picture” 23. Fails to support staff and colleagues in developing their career path 24. Uses uncivil language and behavior Out of the behaviors listed above, which do you observe in yourself most often? Provide specific examples of times when you have shown these behaviors. What will it cost you and the organization if your behaviors continue? For each inappropriate behavior you have listed, describe a more productive behavior you can institute instead. Once you have determined what behaviors need to be tweaked in order to align your behaviors with your values, what are you going to do to get yourself there? How are you going to measure your progress through this transformation? If very little or none of these statements align with your values or how you or others would describe you, then great job. I implore to create a list of statements similar to the ones above that do reflect your values and personality. This week’s take away is to understand that you cannot control what happens to you, you can only control how you respond. Through the control of your behavior, you will be able to control the outcome. You can determine if you are a “victim” of circumstance, or are a proactive participant in the life and world around you. One quote that I love that describes the power of control over one’s own behavior and reaction to stimulus is by Eleanor Roosevelt; “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

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