Word-Of-the-Week #731: Perspective

August 9, 2018 by · Comments Off on Word-Of-the-Week #731: Perspective 

Perspective – how you see things; outlook. 

Do you work with people a lot younger than you? Do you think they act entitled? Or that they don’t work as hard as you do?

Joyce Rosenberg’s article YOUNGER WORKERS CAN OFFER NEW OUTLOOK. Business owners find staffers in 20’s, 30’s ask ‘why’ more often, but have fresh perspective” shows how communication helps with young staffers.

“Rory Carlton is getting used to hearing younger staffers ask, “Why are we doing this?”

It’s a question Carlton would never have asked his boss when he started working nearly 40 years ago. When he was given an assignment, he just completed it. But Carlton, like other business owners in their 40s and older, is learning how to manage employees in their 20s and 30s who don’t look at the world or the workplace as he does.

He’s learned that staffers aren’t asking questions to be difficult or argumentative — they’re curious.

“I find today’s younger employees have a hunger to learn and progress, and they want to understand the bigger picture — the ‘why?’ behind what they are doing, rather than just the ‘what?’ of the assignment they are given,” says Carlton, owner of Arketi Group, a marketing strategy company based in Atlanta. “It’s not a confrontation, it’s a collaboration.”

Small business owners can sometimes be perplexed or annoyed by younger staffers, whom they see as demanding or entitled in asking for time off or to know when they’ll get a promotion. But owners who take time to understand, train and mentor staffers say younger workers bring perspectives that can help a company, and that lumping an entire age group into a stereotype is detrimental to everyone.

“This group of individuals does get a bad rap,” says AdreAnne Tesene, owner of Two Bostons, four pet goods store in the Chicago area. “It’s up to us as owners and managers to just let them know what’s expected.”

Most of Tesene’s 36 employees are in their 20s and 30s. She looks at them individually to determine what each needs from her in terms of mentoring and coaching. Still, she finds some challenges. After several employees skipped two monthly staff meetings at which attendance is mandatory, they were surprised to find themselves dismissed.

She holds herself responsible. “If I bring someone into our team who doesn’t want to improve, that’s my fault. It’s not a generational thing,” she says.

Owners should try to understand their younger staffers, says Kate Zabriskie, owner of Business Training Works, which offers management and other business instruction. For example, she notes, younger employees are apt to ask, when can I expect a promotion? That may be less a sense of entitlement and more based on their experience progressing through school, sports and other extracurricular activities. They may also be seeking feedback.

“They’re new to the workplace. They want to know they’re getting it right,” says Zabriskie, who urges owners not to be authoritarian or dismissive.

Younger staffers may also seek more help and information than an owner expects. The right thing approach is to answer patiently, Zabriskie says. The wrong way is thinking, “I paid my dues, nobody helped me.”

Of course, older owners who complain are repeating history. Bosses with a work ethic honed during the Great Depression groused about baby boomers. And boomers did the same with Gen X workers.”

This week’s focus is on perspective. Do you feel management clearly states what is expected? Do you work in an environment that understands each individual’s differing needs? How open and receptive are you to different points of view?

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Word Of the Week #603: Perspective

February 25, 2016 by · Comments Off on Word Of the Week #603: Perspective 

Perspectiveyour mental view or outlook.

Are events that happen ever skewed due to your perception? How often are you aware of your breathing? How good are you at asking for help?

This is the last part from “How Successful People Stay Calm,” written by Travis Bradberry. He writes, “The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. TalentSmart has conducted research with more than a million people, and we’ve found that 90% of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.

  1. They Reframe Their Perspective

Stress and worry are fueled by our own skewed perception of events. It’s easy to think that unrealistic deadlines, unforgiving bosses, and out-of-control traffic are the reasons we’re so stressed all the time. You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control how you respond to them. So before you spend too much time dwelling on something, take a minute to put the situation in perspective. If you aren’t sure when you need to do this, try looking for clues that your anxiety may not be proportional to the stressor. If you’re thinking in broad, sweeping statements such as “Everything is going wrong” or “Nothing will work out,” then you need to reframe the situation. A great way to correct this unproductive thought pattern is to list the specific things that actually are going wrong or not working out. Most likely you will come up with just some things—not everything—and the scope of these stressors will look much more limited than it initially appeared.


  1. They Breathe

The easiest way to make stress intermittent lies in something that you have to do everyday anyway: breathing. The practice of being in the moment with your breathing will begin to train your brain to focus solely on the task at hand and get the stress monkey off your back. When you’re feeling stressed, take a couple of minutes to focus on your breathing. Close the door, put away all other distractions, and just sit in a chair and breathe. The goal is to spend the entire time focused only on your breathing, which will prevent your mind from wandering. Think about how it feels to breathe in and out. This sounds simple, but it’s hard to do for more than a minute or two. It’s all right if you get sidetracked by another thought; this is sure to happen at the beginning, and you just need to bring your focus back to your breathing. If staying focused on your breathing proves to be a real struggle, try counting each breath in and out until you get to 20, and then start again from 1. Don’t worry if you lose count; you can always just start over.

This task may seem too easy or even a little silly, but you’ll be surprised by how calm you feel afterward and how much easier it is to let go of distracting thoughts that otherwise seem to have lodged permanently inside your brain.

  1. They Use Their Support System

It’s tempting, yet entirely ineffective, to attempt tackling everything by yourself. To be calm and productive, you need to recognize your weaknesses and ask for help when you need it. This means tapping into your support system when a situation is challenging enough for you to feel overwhelmed. Everyone has someone at work and/or outside work who is on their team, rooting for them, and ready to help them get the best from a difficult situation. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Something as simple as talking about your worries will provide an outlet for your anxiety and stress and supply you with a new perspective on the situation. Most of the time, other people can see a solution that you can’t because they are not as emotionally invested in the situation. Asking for help will mitigate your stress and strengthen your relationships with those you rely upon.

This week’s focus is perspective. How effective are you at responding instead of reacting to circumstances not in your control? Have you ever just sat and focused on your breathing to calm down? How many people can you count on in your support system?

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