A coping strategy when things “drive you crazy” at work or home:
Take a moment to consider the potential positive side. About 20 years ago, in a college class about marriage, the professor pointed out this fact:
The things that we adore about our future spouses will eventually, at times, drive us nuts.
“He’s so spontaneous!” can become “He just won’t be reliable.”
“She is so loyal!” can become “I wish she wouldn’t spend so much time with her best friend.”
“He’s such a great listener!” can become “He never speaks up for himself.”
To cope with the little annoyances, remember the original bright side, and focus on that. The same thing can be true at work…
Let’s work backwards:
“There’s no organization around here…” can become “Those of us with self-discipline can set a great course.”
“My boss is always looking over my shoulder…” can become “I always know where I stand.”
“Our place has too many silos…” can become “Our team has autonomy!”
IMPORTANT – This “looking on the bright side” technique is only a short-term coping mechanism. Here’s what to do with it:
-Use it to stay a little less stressed and a little more empowered in the short term.
-Deliberately look at whether it can actually be a positive, and consider that it’s your outlook that might need adjusting.
-If not, work with a mentor, or colleague, or other ally. Figure out which one of these three courses you’ll take:
1-Suck it up and deal with it – it’s not that bad.
2-Change something about the way you do things – you can only control you.
3-Find a way to address it with the right people – the organization is too important and this issue is too large to ignore.
This is the real world – nearly everything we face gets dealt with in one of those three ways. Stay out of your own silo — use the short-term coping mechanism to keep your head clear for the long-term development of yourself and your organization.
Got any examples?