While many of my clients are entrepreneurs I also work with several fortune 500 corporate divas. Recently a corporate diva client of mine mentioned to me that she was having a really challenging time with her team feeling angry and resentful. She and her team had both been working very hard over this past summer. Being the exceptional client that she is, Mary-Anne, practiced her Law of Attraction skills in her work on a daily basis. "Nothing seems to be working" she lamented "They're just miserable and I feel really badly about this because they're such a great group of people. They work hard but no matter how much I verbally appreciate them they don't hear me." Literally she was holding her focus diligently on her team's success.
After much discussion I asked her if her team were actually appreciating themselves. Are they recognizing, acknowledging and celebrating their daily success'? Stumbling and stammering Mary-Anne finally came to the conclusion that they actually were not. "They're too busy to see the forest through the trees most days." Which in essence, I pointed out, means that they are not looking at the bigger picture.
They were focusing solely on the negative and were not giving themselves or others on their team the appreciation they required. We can be all "touchy feely" about this but the reality is as human beings we all want to be acknowledged for a job well done. Having this kind of appreciation helps to shift the group's focus to things that are more positive and away from it's feeling of anger. It helps them to create a much more pleasant environment and defuse those nasty resentments.
But how do you shift the energy and focus of a group of anxiety ridden corporate types???? Not unlike an angry mob mentality if you've ever seen them. Some times it's just not a pretty situation. I conveyed to Mary-Anne a story from my corporate days. I had adapted a version of Jack Canfields "Success Journal" for my own needs. I love this because you have the group doing the activity together. Each team member lists 5 successes, the reason why it was a success for them then the next step they will take. They then are focusing on the success and maintaining their focus on what needs to be done next. (PS this is not a to-do list!)
I decided to have my angry mob present their success journals around 5:30 each day. Everyone needed to come to this 15-minute meeting at the end of the day prepared with his or her sheets filled out. This was to be a 30-day exercise. With great excitement I pitched it to my team. Much to my dismay, I was nearly egged on the spot. "I already have too much to do!" said one. "I don't need another thing that will make me feel badly about what I do here!" quipped another. Other notable reactions ranged from: "you've gotta be kidding me?" And "Oh brother here she goes again with this self-help stuff." There were many sets of eyes rolling and deep huffs exhaled. Determined not to be discouraged I smiled at all of them and very sweetly said "I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to see how excited you all are about acknowledging not only your success but the success of your fellow team mates. I can see how excited you are! It warms my heart! I'll see you at 5:30pm today to kick this process off." (yes, sarcasm works wonders especially when you use it to completely ignore negativity! Ha!) The tension was thick for the entire day as I witnessed the team, in less than veiled whispers, talk about this task.
The first day was tough, the next day a little easier but then finally they all got into the process. All of sudden they were realizing just how astounding they were. They saw they were empowered and appreciated by me, the vice president, as well as other teams within the organization. The everyday tasks that seemed so mundane started to take on more meaning for them as they could finally see where they sat in the big picture of things (seeing the forest through the trees). Even the members of the team with the least experience started to realize their importance and meaning to the people around them. This shifted their focus to more positive things and they all began to feel more fulfilled and happy.
The exercise ended after 30 days but the impact was pretty amazing. On the toughest days I'd hear them saying to each other "ok, don't get discouraged, tell me about a success you had today." Or talking to themselves they as: "What was my success today?" It's subtle and gentle but it is something that helped to shift the workload anx to a higher, more productive and lighter place. And the not-so-angry mob continued on their way using the tools they resisted so fiercely. They learned how to move out of that dark spot we all can get ourselves into sometimes.
Are you doing this for yourself? Do you acknowledge your own successes daily? Hummmmmm, ok mother nurturers and father guides, you're on call here as well. How often do you acknowledge your own successes each day and appreciate yourself for a job well done?
If you're not dealing with an angry mob then you only have yourself to worry about. Here are 4 ways you can accomplish this everyday that won't take a major chunk of time out of your life – unless you choose to do so.
1) The Big List of FIVE - At the end of everyday make a list of things you consider a personal victory for your job, your business or in your personal life. The key number here is that there must be at least FIVE items on your list.
2) Download Your Day - Call a friend or colleague – one that is supportive of your success. Time each other; for 5 minutes talk about the success' you had during the day and why they feel so good.
3) Tiara Moments - Find the prop that makes you feel most special: a set of gold stars, a magic wand or in my case a tiara. At the end of most days I sit at my computer & place my tiara atop my head (yes, I am a cornball!). It makes me smile and I can easily recount what was good that day to myself. It also makes me laugh at the things I didn’t do so well. Use your prop as a way to formally acknowledge your finer moments. Kids really love this technique!
4)Book a Special treat for yourself - This could be something you do at the end of the week to congratulate yourself on your accomplishments. A great massage, a facial, a session with your favorite personal trainer or a fabulous dinner out with your special someone.
Appreciate yourself and the people around you! This will help to keep you in a positive space and maintain a much healthier focus for yourself and those around you.