Take a Walk!
Take as many extra steps as you can in every work day. Park further from the door, stand up and pace while you are on the phone, go talk to your co-workers instead of emailing or calling them, walk around inside or out- side the building after lunch, take the stairs instead of the elevator.
That extra movement is an easy way to increase your activity level which can ultimately help you:
Reduce your risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer
Boost your mood
Give you more energy
Help you sleep better
Increase bone density
Strengthen the heart and lungs
Improve your quality-of-life
Modeling Respect at Work
Don’t be fooled—it isn’t the economy or stress, and it isn’t “just the nature of the business.” If backbiting, name-calling, gossip, and general nastiness are the norm where you work, you have a disrespectful work environment. Left unchecked, disrespectful interactions feed on themselves, growing into a culture of personal conflict and simmering resentment.
Disrespect: In Action and Words
Disrespect can be conveyed through a broad range of interpersonal behaviors. Often, disrespect is not intentional -it occurs because we are unaware of or insensitive to the feelings of others. Some examples include:
Statements or actions that patronize or “put down” other people on the basis of gender, ethnic background, title or position, race, religion, age, ability, sexual orientation, appearance, physical features, or mannerisms
“Poking fun” at people with jokes, horseplay, etc.
Spreading rumors or gossiping about others
“Barking” orders, being gruff or discourteous
Interrupting or talking over someone, or carrying on a separate conversation with someone while another person has the floor during a meeting
Looking away or continuing to work on something when someone is talking to you
“Playing favorites” by showing courtesy or giving attention to only a few people, while excluding others
Rejecting or minimizing someone’s ideas without listening to or considering what she or he has to say
Using stereotypical or demeaning phrases or terms, such as “the girls” or “good old boys” or “you know how women/men are”
Failing to use common courtesy, such as saying “please” and “thank you” and “you’re welcome”
Invading someone’s personal space by unwelcome touching, asking personal questions, or going through their personal items.
Promoting a Respectful Environment
Respect is a mind-set that must be promoted and practiced by everyone. Your co-workers take a lot of their behavioral cues from you. Dedicate the next week to stepping outside of yourself and observing your daily inter- actions. Be mindful of both your words and your body language. Are you polite and patient or gruff and abrupt? How do you respond to let-downs or unexpected bad news?
No one is perfect, but being conscientious about how your behavior is amplified within your work group will help you to start modeling the kind of behavior you would like your co-workers to demonstrate. Here are a few things you can do to promote a respectful work environment:
Greet your co-workers every day; express genuine concern for their interests and well-being whenever you can.
Listen and make eye contact when people speak to you.
Be complimentary; recognize individual strengths, weaknesses, and points of view.
Take the opportunity in both informal discussions and work group meetings to praise examples of respectful and sensitive behavior.
Wait for the other party to finish speaking before you comment or raise objections, use a calm tone of voice.
Intervene when you see or hear insensitive behavior, remind co-workers that everyone deserves respect. Though it can be uncomfortable, part of your responsibility to yourself and your co-workers involves ad- dressing insensitive behaviors when you observe them.
Value others as you would want to be valued; this includes valuing people’s time—be punctual for meetings and work obligations, inform the appropriate per- son/people ahead of time if you know you are going to be late.
Be mindful about how much you talk versus allowing for others to speak up, ask for other people’s opinion during a discussion.
Be patient and professional as you work through conflict with your co-workers; model for others how to attack problems, not people.
Use good manners—saying “please”, “thank you” and “excuse me” conveys a respectful attitude.
When you use another person’s idea, give him or her the credit for it.
Apologize for any contribution you have made, or may be perceived to have made to misunderstandings—it is a simple practice that effectively diffuses conflict and defensiveness.
Treat company and co-worker property with the same care you do your own property at home.
Be respectful of others’ opinions, styles of communication, likes and dislikes even when they clash with yours—diversity makes life rich and challenging.
Observe privacy and territory boundaries—do not sift through a colleague’s files to look for a memo, open another’s drawer to borrow a ruler, or switch on some- one’s computer to find a file without their knowledge and permission.
Be approachable and open to feedback—demonstrate that you invite constructive criticism by making it “safe” for co-workers to come to you to offer feedback and input; don’t punish co-workers with defensiveness and anger when they offer you constructive, courteous feedback.
Respectful behavior stems from a person’s values. If you believe that other people are as worthy as you are, you will treat them with respect. You will also treat yourself with respect and not tolerate poor treatment from others.
For support and guidance in addressing disrespectful behavior, contact PAS for confidential assistance (800.356.0845).
The Art of Life Balance
Achieving life balance is not just learning to cram more into less time or perfect- ing the efficiency of your daily schedule. It is a lifelong process of determining what is most important to you, then giving time and attention to those things. In practical terms, the benefits of balance in your life are:
Knowing that you give your best to whatever your responsibilities are
Sharing loving relationships with those who matter most to you
Enjoying a spiritual life that is a source of strength and encouragement
Working toward optimal health through appropriate nutrition, exercise, and medical care
Having the security of knowing you have enough money to purchase what you and your loved ones really need
Finding pleasure in spending time with hobbies or special interests
Being grateful for the good things in your life
What is most important to you?
To define what is most important to you will require some honest reflection. Many people are often driven by what others think they should be or do instead of by their own personal convictions. It will take courage to identify the things that are most important to you and to let go of things that are crowding out what really matters the most. Following is an exercise to get you started.
What are the roles you play in your life?
In the right-hand column, circle those roles that give you the most satisfaction.
Draw a square around those roles that you enjoy the least.
Can you think of other roles you play? Add those to the list on the right.
How many circles do you have?
How many squares are there?
If there are more squares than circles, are there ways to reduce or eliminate the roles you have squared?
Draw a line through roles you don’t really need to play. What if you eliminated all those roles that you have crossed out? What roles remain?
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