Thursday, December 12, 2013

This is a Career Health Warning

It’s that time of the year again when the jolly fat fella dons his red suit and improbably squeezes himself down the chimney to leave his prezzies. It’s not surprising he gets overweight given the number of cans of beer and bits of cake we’ve left for him over the years. Probably explains why Santa has gone a lot more virtual in recent times. Dancer and Prancer et al get fed but much more in line with the caveman diet with carrots and water left for them. The cat used to drink the milk so we gave up on that. Needless to say, with their exercise and diet they are nice and slim. There’s a Christmas message in there somewhere I guess but one that will quite rightly be ignored.

Christmas and the end of the year is a sort of psychological ending to a chapter: the promise of a new start and a fresh look at things. It’s the opportunity for a career change and a bonus perhaps. This can be vastly accelerated by getting really sloshed at the staff Christmas party and telling the boss what you really think about her performance in 2013. Dead set guaranteed to get you a nice pay out as you look for the nearest Centrelink office. A quick grope of the new admin assistant’s bum works a treat too, as does making suggestive comments about what can be achieved on a photocopier. An imitation pole dance to the sound of Justin Beaver (pun intended) might not get you a golden handshake but it may take a rung or two out of that career ladder. Incidentally, psychological groping of the boss by gratuitous flattery as you sway from side to side with a stupid smile on your face is not likely to be taken well, either. Do not on any circumstances tell dreadful jokes. If you find yourself doing any of these things you are best advised to simply immediately faint on the spot and blame your impending diabetes and the Christmas cake.

Great thing alcohol. I’ve often thought that they should issue warnings on the TV similar to the RBT ads around this time of the year. It would be a valuable community service and save many a career. Personally, when I was in management roles, I would have one light beer and bolt. One reason was to avoid people saying things they shouldn’t and the other was to avoid doing the same thing. A nice dose of ethanol to the brain can completely block out that nice man in my frontal lobe that controls emotions and judgement. As a boss there are a trillion things you don’t say and do to people through the year and there is a real risk of a NLTMYLD moment. For those not familiar with this acronym it is, ‘Now listen to me you little dipstick’ (substitute little and dipstick for any adjective or adverb you wish-those starting with the sixth letter of the alphabet are best). Those with what is known in psychology as Dipstick (or other substitute) Build Up (DBU) can be particularly prone to outbursts of NLTMYLD.

It is also the time when we show our gratitude to others for being…..well, just for being a great colleague, employee, employer, friend, support person. There is some lovely research showing that couples who consistently demonstrate gratitude for the small things that are done for them by their partner have much more satisfying relationships than those who don’t. Rolling of the eyes and other dismissive expressions are more likely to mean a relationship is off in the direction of the Titanic.

The gratitude thing also works in workplaces for similar emotional reasons. We like to be acknowledged and we like to feel that we are a valuable member of the team. If people feel valued they are more likely to be engaged in their work and, hence, more productive and, very important in this world, innovative.

So, let’s all show our gratitude this Christmas to those we work with. Better still, make it a New Year’s resolution to show gratitude more often.

Thanks to everyone that has read my blogs through the year and those that have engaged me in vigorous conversation. It has been great and I’m already looking to a fun and productive 2014-have lots of new ideas in the pipeline.