Tag Archives: Team relationships

Feels Good to Say Sorry

I let someone down at work a little over a year ago and never had the opportunity to let her know how sorry I was (she retired before I was ready).  I would think about her periodically and feel regret that I added to her stress overload.  And I secretly believed that I was part of the reason she retired.

Anyway, someone on my team still keeps in contact with her and was asked to share her personal email with everyone she worked with.  So I took the opportunity to write a letter telling her how sorry I was.

It is such a relief to get that off my chest – even though she probably hasn’t even read her email yet.

My 10 yr old son told me recently that he hates to say sorry because he feels stupid.  Maybe I have a little bit of that problem at first, but after some time has passed I just really want to tell the person that I am sorry.

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Don’t be afraid to express yourself!

In response to Powerful Suggestion.

What’s the one piece of advice you wish someone had given you a year (or five, or ten…) ago?

My 3 to 5 year old self (never mind how many years ago that would be) would have benefited tremendously from this advice, “Don’t be afraid to express yourself.”

I have had an alarming mix of self repression with total lack of restraint in other areas of life; areas where one should have some restraint.  I believe that the lack of restraint was there to balance out my repressed self expression.  This pattern started at a very young age for me and was fully ingrained as my modus operandi by the time I was a young teen.

Some people do not need this push in the correct direction, but I needed it badly.  I’ve been aware of this tendency for several years now, and awareness is the first step to healing.  I still struggle daily, even with the little forms of expression that so many people are capable of without the least bit of thought.

I hesitate.  I think about how expressing myself will upset the other person.  Maybe they won’t like me.  Maybe they’ll laugh at me.  Maybe they’ll leave me.  Maybe they’ll tell me I’m wrong to feel the way I do.  Maybe they’ll tell me it is my fault.  Maybe they’ll get defensive and argue, which will make me want to run and hide.

So, I try to express myself so that I own my own feelings and let the other person own their feelings.

Here’s some thoughts from others on this topic:

Basically Beyond Basic | Powerful Suggestion
the bookaholics rehab | Powerful Suggestion
The Wandering Poet | Daily prompt: Advice
from dusk to dawn…. | Advice about….. read the post…..
Journeyman | Powerful Suggestion -The Really Important Things in Life
The Jittery Goat
The WordPress C(h)ronicle | Powerful Suggestion
Bob’s Blog-O-Rama | Daily Prompt : Powerful Suggestion
The Ambitious Drifter | Good Advice?
My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between… | Prompt: Powerful Suggestion
Prairie Views
the FLAVORED word | A coffee enema? Say what?
Due Delight | Powerful Suggestion ; Love’s The Best
tuckedintoacorner | The Power of Suggestion
Sue’s Journey | Good Advice?
wannabedeenbuddy | Who listens?
RANDOM!!! | Powerful Suggestion

Choose a Reality

I’ve been thinking about happiness for quite awhile now.  Being gracious, thankful, happy, etc.  I want that.  It’s not that I’m unhappy, but that things can always improve.

I’ve read (but never finished – truthfully) several really good books on the subject:

I am currently working through Before Happiness and will be blogging about this in an effort to get these concepts to stick in my head.

Working on Choosing a Reality

Recognize Alternate Realities

This is simple, recognize that what you initially perceive as reality may not be the only reality.  If you land in a potentially negative situation, there may be an opportunity hidden in there somewhere.

Vantage Points

Shawn Achor’s books are wonderful.  It is amazing how much input our minds receive moment to moment.  How do we decide which input to focus on?  We can only focus on 40 bits of information per second out of over 10 million bits we receive.  Shawn talks about recognizing alternative realities.  With that much information pouring into our senses every second, we need to learn how increase our likelihood of seeing these other realities.  He talks about vantage points.  You’ll have to read his book for the details, but I see this as “looking at the BIG picture.”

I’ll use a floundering marriage as an example.  If you are only focusing on your unhappiness, you may not see that you are truly loved by your spouse and that she is showing it in ways you may not recognize.  Maybe you wanted her to be the entertainment planner but she’s focused on making sure the house is clean so that you don’t need to worry about that when you get home.  In order to see that she really is showing her love, you need to look at things from different angles.  This might involve learning more about love languages (there’s a book for that: The 5 Love Languages, by Gary D Chapman) and learning how to communicate with her about what makes you feel loved.  It might involve studying other couples to consider the various ways they show love.  Or if you’re really brave, maybe it would involve reading a love story, keeping in mind that the situation in the book will be so over the top that it will knock you back down into what is real.

Pursue Valuable Reality

Now that you can see different realities because you’ve added vantage points, it is time to learn how to pursue the reality you feel is most rewarding.  This part is less clear to me, so forgive me as I muddle through.  Shawn talks about the positivity ratio, which I’ve read about before (especially in How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O Clifton, PhD).  For every negative in a work relationship, there should be 3 positives to maintain a positive work environment (engagement, sales, productivity, low turnover).  In marriage the ratio is 5 positives to 1 negative.

Next Shawn moves on to talking about overcoming blind spots.  I see this as an effort to gain perspective, gather data / information, and consider multiple view points.  This relates it to his next topic in the pursue the reality you feel is most rewarding section – Embracing Multiple Cultures.  Discuss things with a variety of different people: male, female, American, European, Chinese, executives, professionals, etc.  To me this is just a continuation of vantage points, but maybe that is because I have more difficulty with the abstract than the concrete.

Ultimately, the difficult part is to recognize alternate realities – not to choose one that is beneficial.

Stay tuned for the next chapter, Mapping Your Success Route.

Woe Is Me

You brought me down when your job was to build me up. You attacked me when you should have guided me.

You took a broken person who was on the mend and tore new wounds. Your words could have divided our team but instead I am finding that it is building new and stronger relationships. But not in all cases.

We know that you have favorites. We see that opportunities go to the few. We see that special recognition goes to the few.

I plan to remain strong. I plan to use this as a learning experience to benefit myself. I plan to use this to build on the tenuous relationships I have formed as a result of this.

Peace out!