After a turbulent period of stress, I have re-emerged and re-engaged in my work and my life. I wasn’t really gone, but I certainly wasn’t at my best these past few months. Stress was oozing out of every pore in my body and was probably apparent to my clients, contacts, family and friends. For that I am sorry, but I acknowledge my humanness with all of its inherent fallibility.
“To err is human; to forgive, divine.” – Alexander Pope, English poet (1688-1744)
Last week’s networking tip I spoke about giving yourself permission to take a break from networking. A short hiatus from networking activity including attending networking meetings, coffees, lunches, phone calls and on-line conversations may be helpful to you. The break could give you the time you need to focus on your self-care and restoration. You can re-emerge stronger, more motivated and more productive.
Some people call this “unplugging.” I think it’s a good thing for your mind and body to “just say no” to the constant over-scheduling, calendar demands and meeting mania that has become “normal” in our work and lives (at least temporarily).
I suggest that you take a little more time to: slow down and breathe deeply; to rest a little more; to reflect on your life and what brings you joy; to practice mindfulness and gratitude a little more. These are the first steps towards refreshing and renewing yourself.
After you renew yourself, you will need energy to get yourself back in the game and to sustain your activity. Human energy can come from many sources including physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
For me, ideas give me energy. I find the process of brainstorming to be energizing. I used to tell my staff that they were not required to execute every idea that we came up with, but that the process of braining new ideas had value in and of itself. It creates energy.
Of course, not all energy is good energy or long lasting energy. Here’s a brainstorm list of the activities that produce either long-lasting energy or short-lived, quick fix kind of energy. If you have thoughts on this or want to add to this list, please share your ideas on Facebook (like us on Facebok – Networking Ahead for Business)
Please note that the list below is not meant to be a moral judgement. My filter was about the length of energy that each activity produced. How long did the good feeling last and would it sustain our bodies, or would we quickly crash and need more of the quick fix?
|Activities that generate long-lasting energy
|Activities that generate quick-fix, short lived energy
|Eating nutritious food
|Junk food/ fast food
|Caffeine, coffee, sodas
|Learning and development
|Developing new skills
|Television & media
|Social media / Facebook
|Advocating for social good
|Fighting / arguing
|Annual 2-week vacation
|Saying YES to everything
|Shopping / retail therapy
|Buying lottery tickets
|What else can you think of?
|What else can you think of?
In this recession, most employed people that I know are happy to have a paying job, but many are not happy with the work, the job, the team, the employer. They feel trapped. They hang on out of fear and need for security. They are not fully engaged in their work.
The Gallup research organization suggests that there is a big costs to companies and our economy from “disengaged employees” – you know the ones that show up to work, do a lot of complaining, take the paycheck but aren’t really happy to be there?
Which statistic below best describes your organization? Which category do you fall into: engaged or actively disengaged?
- In average organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 1.83:1. (that is: almost two to one people are engaged vs. disengaged)
- In world-class organizations, the ratio of engaged to actively disengaged employees is 9.57:1. (that is: almost ten to one people are engaged vs. disengaged)
“Actively disengaged employees erode an organization’s bottom line while breaking the spirits of colleagues in the process. Within the U.S. workforce, Gallup estimates this cost to be more than $300 billion in lost productivity alone. In stark contrast, world-class organizations with an engagement ratio near 8:1 have built a sustainable model using our approach. As organizations move toward this benchmark, they greatly reduce the negative impact of actively disengaged employees while unleashing the organization’s potential for rapid growth.” – source: http://www.gallup.com/consulting/52/employee-engagement.aspx/
Engagement at work or in any relationship is a two-way street. Both parties share responsibility in what goes on. But the real owner of your experience is YOU, the individual. Ultimately it’s your life and your career and you must take full responsibility for your experience and your journey.
Dick Adams, CEO and founder of ElisitSolutions LLC agrees. Known as the “business operations miracle enabler”, Dick knows a thing or two about the importance of employee engagement.
” A ‘poor me’ or ‘they’re so bad’ attitude will not get you anywhere. More attitudes of ‘forgiveness is easier to get than permission’ can work wonders. What is life without a few risks?”
Don’t be dead weight
“Put up or shut up” is an expression you often hear. It’s a little raw and rough around the edges, but it has some truth to it. If you say someone should put up or shut up, you mean they should either take action in order to do what they have been talking about or stop talking about it.
You have no personal power if all you do is complain about your situation. If you don’t like something, then change it. Change starts with you: your attitude, your thoughts, your emotions, your body, your beliefs, your behavior, your actions. That’s really all you have to work with. Everything else is external to you. You may be able to influence other people and outcomes, but ultimately you cannot control anything or anyone but yourself. Even that can be dicey. Letting go of the fixation or the illusion of control can be just the thing to set you free.
Engagement is a choice
Are you ready, willing and able to re-engage in your work and life? Will you choose to start anew today, this very moment, and assert yourself positively back into the game? Do you choose to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem? What is your choice? What is your decision?
Your Networking Goal for the Week
Re-engage yourself back into the networking game. Get excited about the prospects of meeting new people. Set a goal to connect with 1, 2 or 3 new people this week. Ask tons of questions and be curious to learn about them. Find out what energizes them and what feeds their soul. Engage with them at a meaningful level.
Re-engage with existing people in your network. Pick up the telephone and call them – have a real conversation. Do not text or email or tweet them – that’s lazy. Find simple ways to energy them on that telephone call or voice mail message if you have to leave one. Make it positive and uplifting. Use your vocal power.
Re-engaging with people will re-energize you: your life, your career and your business. Now, doesn’t that feel good?!