So many things are happening in our world today, and some people feel there is nothing they can do to improve their business or personal circumstances. Jobs are stressful at times, and family issues are always at the forefront of our minds.
So how in the world can people change and shift the way their life is going? Is it even possible? You bet there is a way!!
If you have followed my writing at all, you know my personal life has not always been comfortable. There was a time in my life when I’ve gone hungry to make sure my infant son had food. I’ve washed clothes without laundry detergent because I did not have money. However, I am not complaining because the whole experience made me pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward.
When my x-husband had my son on a visitation weekend, I started cleaning a home. It gave me the money I needed to secure my son’s care as I worked my regular job. I knew I also needed to do something at work that would help me move up the latter and make a better salary.
I had to decide what I was going to do at work that would show my ambition to learn and my willingness to do more. I had a job I did not like and wanted to do something different. I was not going to get away from that position unless I did the best job I could do.
I had people at work that disliked me, treated me poorly, and I’ve been labeled unjustly at times. These types of issues are nothing new to most of us. And, there are a lot of people who have these problems and more. But, there is a way to make a change.
So, how in the world do you change something of which you have no control? Well, you do have power. Whether it is personal or work issues, make a plan to improve the problem. Get advice from someone you trust to help coach you with ideas of how to make a change.
For example, if you are in a job that seems to be stagnant with no upward momentum, you may feel you are stuck and have no way to do anything to get out of that role. However, one of the changes I did was to become more visible.
When I had a coworker in the department going on vacation, I asked my boss if I could learn the job, and then do the job while that person was on vacation. Eventually, I learned every position in the department. And, by me taking the initiative to learn every position, I was getting notice because I had done something I had never done before.
It was not long doing this volunteer work that other managers in other departments started noticing when they needed something, and the person they usually talk to was not there, I could help them. When we had a vacancy in the department, I was the go-to person to help fill in for the position until the new hire was on board. And, I gladly did the job and trained the new person too! In some cases, I earned the position as my full-time job. And even though it was not a promotion, I gladly made the change to keep my mind fresh with learning new things. No matter what happens in life, keep a smile on your face, and a positive attitude and people will gravitate to you.
Have you ever spent time around the ‘grump’ of the department and wonder how this person can be so unhappy with life? Sure, I felt down at times and wondered how I could go on, but I never showed that side to coworkers or my boss. People always felt they could come to me with questions or an issue and I would help them solve the problem. Nobody wants to be around a grumpy person.
You know the grumpy person. The one you avoid at all cost even now? Well, I have a way to help solve that issue too. Strike up a conversation. Ask them to go to lunch with you. Typically, that person just feels isolated. They think nobody likes them (which pretty much they caused that themselves but will never realize it).
I have a friend who has a strong southern accent. She calls the ‘not so pleasant’ people ‘grumpy butts.’ Can you just hear that name calling in your head with a strong southern accent? It’s funny, but I find those people fascinating and will do whatever I can to make them smile in spite of themselves.
Eventually, I was running the department. You see, things will not change unless you make a change. You have to want a change bad enough to make things happen. And, if things do not happen right away, make more changes and keep going. It will work!
One time, I was in charge of giving a change management class. I was trying to figure out a smart way to grab people’s attention. After all, we have all been in a room whereby we were about to fall asleep, right? So, after I spoke for about an hour, I could see the crowd with ‘glazed looks’ of, ‘I would rather be anywhere but here look.’ So I told the participants we were breaking, and to come back in 10 minutes. When they came back, I had changed all of the name cards to a different seat.
They grumbled for a good 15 minutes moving their things and complaining they wanted to sit by their friend, or by the door, or whatever the excuse was at the moment. They finally realized what I was doing, and all started laughing, and from that moment, we went off the actual book and had an open discussion about change. We all had a blast after that, and everyone participated and enjoyed the class.
Personally, I also try to do what I can to give back. I’ve been fortunate to do well in business. I have a ton of friends I adore, and who I can call on anytime I need them. I love meeting new people who become life-long friends as well.
My way of giving back is sometimes my writing, and another way is impromptu encounters. One day I was at Costco, and I decided to look at all of the cashiers and find the one with the ‘grumpy’ look. I got in that lane, and when it came time for this person to wait on me, I smiled and said, “I heard you are the best cashier in this place, so I wanted you to check me out.” I surprised this person, and after that, we were laughing and high fiving each other. People around us both thought we were crazy, but it was ok. We were having fun and, for a moment, I made a difference in a life.
Some people just need to know they are good enough. They need to feel appreciated and cared for…..bosses need to recognize people more rather than putting fear in people just to feel they are a good boss by being so strict.
A happy workforce will always do more.
Recently, I happened to be in a place where I saw a young girl maybe in her late teens crying. I looked her way and said, “Are you ok?” She said, “Yes,” as she was wiping her tears and came over to me. She told me her family had been having some issues and she just did not know how to deal with it.
I talked to her for a few minutes and assured her all would eventually be alright. She hugged me and thanked me for being there for her. At that moment, she felt a little better, a little stronger just knowing someone she did not even know cared. And you know what? The comforting I did only cost me time.
And, if you have not figured out by now, my reaching out to people is my way to change not only me but the world around me. Maybe you should try it too!
If you knock on the door and it does not open, knock on it louder in a different way. Be the catalyst to the change you seek.