Tuesday, September 26, 2006

You can't avoid office politics so what can you do about it?

I took the above picture one fine morning at the KLCC Aquaria where the shark decided to pause and post for me. It looks menacing don't you think? Well, I think some office workers in today's corporate world look like this or behave like this predator fish even though they may not look like one. (Those that don't look like one outwardly is even more dangerous.)

A friend of mine has been feeling unhappy about the level of office politics going on at his workplace. He feels like he's swimming with the sharks on a day to day basis and often feels drained by the end of the day. So this post is for him, to provide him with some motivation to survive at his workplace environment.

Surviving in the corporate jungle today is really a case of survival of the fittest these days. Everyone is scrambling over each other to get to the top ...... at whatever cost. If you feel like you're being stepped on once too often at the office, here's an excerpt of an article you may find useful.
"If you have more than three people in the office, the politics emerge," says Marilyn Puder-York, an executive coach and author of "The Office Survival Guide: Surefire Techniques for Dealing with Challenging People and Situations."

"Simply put, office politics is the game of the workplace — the people, the culture and the rules that must be learned. That rear-kissing co-worker, the strict dress code, the secretary who supposedly just answers phones but really runs the office."

The author suggest five tips for surviving office politics:
  1. Think before you act (or speak).
  2. Nurture the stakeholders.
  3. Keep enemies close.
  4. Imitate the successful.
  5. Play the game.
"People, even if they figured out what the politics game is, they avoid it and the worst thing you can do is avoid it," she says. "It will catch up to you, and it will bite you in the rear."
The above is merely an excerpt. Please visit Ashbury Park Press Online to read the full article.
Have you visited the link and read the full article? If you don't want to get bitten in the rear by the shark above, you might just want to try some of the tips.

To my friend, personally, I feel that as long as your own conscience is clear and you don't resort to any backstabbing yourself, you work hard at what you do, maintain your integrity, avoid gossip and ignore the sharks, you should be ok. So cheer up! I leave you with this quote:

“From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life.” ~ Anais Nin


Monday, September 25, 2006

"Little Ones" - A Poem for my babies

Remember that song My Favourite Things by Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music? I like the idea of thinking about my favourite things when I am sad. And my most favourite "things" of all are my precious little babies, my little ones, of course. I write this poem to remind me to be thankful for them when they become more than just a little handful to handle it makes me want to tear my hair out. Lol! Its also a record of this special time I have with them when they are small.

Little Ones

Little arms that hold me tight
so fiercely with all their might
they find me even in the night
making everything feel so right

Little smiles meant just for me
ever ready for me to see
lighting up the room with so much glee
making me feel better, thats a guarantee

Little kisses sweeping over my face
while small arms wrap me in warm embrace
as tiny fingers explore and leave a trace
making sure good feelings are in place

Little hands that reach out for mine
to soothe and comfort when they whine
that precious feeling no one can ever define
making me feel simply divine

My little ones how I adore you
you're so innocent, so pure and true
when I'm with you I can't feel blue
I'll love you till my days are through

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Don't Sweat The Small Stuff

I like the "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" series of books by Richard & Kris Carlson. Just the heading itself speaks to me loudly and clearly. Yet..... I forget easily.

The other day, I did just that. I got annoyed by something hubby said to me on the phone on the way home from work. That got me thinking about how annoying I feel he is sometimes. That got me more annoyed.

And then I started worrying about some unfinished tasks and uncompleted matters and their possible negative outcomes. That got me worrying ceaselessly. I worried about all the "what ifs" that could arise from possible delays or problems.

And then I got annoyed by how everyone these days are so unhelpful. It seemed to me that everyone only cared about themselves and their own welfare. No one seems to want to go out of their way to help others anymore.

And with that, my mood and my day went downhill. The kids started acting up because mommy was not mentally there for them and the poor things became the brunt of my irritations. And of course the hubby was not spared and naturally his mood turned sour too as a result.

And then I was woken up at about 2.45am by baby and I could not go back to sleep till 7am due to my negative feelings of annoyance and irritability. How utterly stupid.

And you know what? By the next day, everything righted itself. My unfinished jobs were completed and other things started moving along the way it should. And I had spent one whole sleepless night for nothing!

I had sweated the small stuff. I allowed little things to get to me. I allowed feelings of irritation, annoyance, unhappiness and worry to envelope me. My whole mood, stance and behaviour reflected my inner feelings. And what I got was a sleepless night and more unhappy people around me. Duh! I must remember that I am in control here! It was how I reacted to circumstances and people that made my day turned out the way it did. I could have easily not allowed my day to turn out badly by changing my own thoughts and mindset.

I shall try to remember this day and these quotes to handle another day like this one better. I'm trying to tell myself something here so most of the quotes say the same thing basically ie its how you choose to react that determines your feelings and eventually your interaction with others and your days.

"Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength" ~ Corrie ten Boom

"It is the way we react to circumstances that determines our feelings" ~ Dale Carnegie

"The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not on our circumstances" ~ Martha Washington

"A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes" ~ Hugh Downs

"What happens is not as important as how you react to what happens." ~ Thaddeus Golas

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

About marriage and compatibility

What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but how you deal with incompatibility. ~George Levinger

I like the above marriage quote and can identify with it. My husband and I are so different we can hardly be called compatible. We're as different as night and day. He is a morning person, I'm a night owl. He is very organised, I'm terribly disorganised. He loves routine, I'm impulsive. He is meticulous, I am easy going. We like different foods, listen to different music. So opposites really do attract! Although our differences did not become apparent to me immediately when we first met.

To the above quote, I'd like to add that "What counts in making a happy marriage is how you handle your differences, its not about your similiarities." And we do have a lot of differences of opinion in many issues. How we handle those and how we eventually emerge as a couple from handling those differences is really what matters.
Meanwhile, here is another quote which I really would like to practise in my relationship.

Success in marriage does not come merely through finding the right mate, but through being the right mate. ~Barnett R. Brickner

Monday, September 4, 2006

Just Do It!

Hourglass picture from World of Stock.com

Procrastination is something best put off until tomorrow. ~Gerald Vaughan

I've got tons to do and seemingly so little time to do them. When I keep putting off the tasks I have to do, they snowball and it becomes even more overwhelming.

Today, I am reminding myself to Just Do It! I've got to break down those tasks into small little ones and handle each of them immediately, right now. Just Do It!

Recently, I applied this Just Do It! concept to my weekend and was very pleased with the results. Instead of sitting around doing nothing and being lazy, not knowing what to cook, too lazy to do anything else.
On my Just Do It! Sunday, I woke up, took a brisk morning walk to buy breakfast for the family, then took the kids swimming and dealt with the cleanup immediately afterwards. (The kids had been pestering me to take them swimming but I had been putting it off due to the massive cleanup that is usually required after a swim.) I told myself to Just Do It!
After the swim we took the kids out with us to run some errands. Just Do It! Because of the swim, I had to content with a grouchy spouse whose routine had been broken by the swim. (My spouse loves routine). Just Do It! So it was time to make sure spouse gets some rest by giving him some foot reflexology and at the same time must make sure the children rests too even though all the running around had taken away their nap time. Grouchy spouse and cranky kids can be quite a handful. Just Do It!
At the end of the day, instead of feeling tired and rushed or overwhelmed and lethargic, I felt alive and rejuvenated. So next time, I am lazy, I shall Just Do It! In fact, I've got to get offline now to Just Do It! Just Do all the tasks that are waiting for me to do right now. To name a few.....
  • mending blankets and sewing loose buttons
  • sorting through some hand-me down outfits I received for the kids which had been lying in the cupboard till they grow taller etc. (Sometimes they lie in the cupboard till they outgrow them!)
  • throwing out some junk I hoarded
  • normal daily tasks like lessons for my girl
  • my daily exercises
  • etc etc. theres always something to be done and something new to add to the list (which grows longer and longer the more I procrastinate)

Yes, I'm going to Just Do It! and Just Do It! NOW!