What if you extended the same generosity you show toward your best friends to those at work? What if you had a “bring your best self to work” day, showing care and attention to those around you?
But wait, you say. You don’t know the people at my work. They aren’t my family. They aren’t my closest friends. In fact, there’s THAT person who I struggle to even be civil to, much less love. If I’m honest, they’re simply means to an end or distractions from attaining my goals.
Fair. But here’s the dilemma. To get what you want – what you really want – at work, you probably need to engage with some of these same people. Not only that, you need and want to create a space where others around you know you have their back.
That’s hard to do when your brain is hijacked, when it’s screaming, “NO. Not THAT person.” Good luck being safe and sane when the hijackers are in your control room.
Here’s how to redirect your mind when it’s hijacked away from showing care toward others:
- Remind yourself that this other person is someone’s son or daughter, someone’s best friend, perhaps someone’s brother or sister. Imagine them in those settings. Remember that their lives matter, their families matter, their dreams matter.
- Maybe that’s a stretch. Then try reminding yourself that the work you’re doing together matters. Slow down and show care for the other person because you love the work you’re doing together. Remind yourself that if they feel your affection for them and for the work, they may give more to the work.
- Maybe you’re working with someone you can’t stand on a project that’s pure drudgery. While that’s a rough situation, it’s not beyond hope. You can see this person and this situation as a character workout, as a situation where you have the opportunity to become more patient, kinder, and more present. It’s a workout for your soul.
It turns out that even difficult people can be beneficial. We just have to rethink how we approach them.