Posts

, ,

Rational vs. Irrational

rational vs irrational

Today’s reflection stems from my thoughts regarding this past week’s emotional roller coaster.

With people getting attacked for their views, I believe it really emphasizes the idea behind the science of social and emotional intelligence education.

Personally, I have to admit that this past week was hard for me.  Even with all the training I have had in life coaching and emotional intelligence coaching, I unfortunately allowed the whole negative energy to get “in” and affect me in a negative manner.  I can’t remember being so exhausted.

That being said, each experience does broaden our own personal awareness in order for us to use the experience to make future changes to enhance our quality of life.

Based on my conversations with many people, very few seem to have awareness about social and emotional intelligence. I find it worthwhile for this article to focus on what it is and what it can do for individuals and corporate organizations going forward.

Social and Emotional Intelligence is a learned behavior which I believe is the root of individual behavior and our quality of life.

Social and Emotional Intelligence has been defined as:  The ability to be aware of our own emotions and those of others, in the moment, and to use that information to manage ourselves and manage our relationships.

I believe that having an individual strong Social and Emotional Intelligence is so important.

I also believe there is an appropriate level of behavior that people need to exhibit when reacting to any situation, whether personal or in a workplace.  I believe that reactions need to be one of rational expression where we need to consider the whole situation and that we need to consider the ramifications of our own personal behavior.  I believe our behavior and reactions positively or negatively impact our lives and our relationships.

For example, think about explosive behavior in a workplace.  If you have a boss that does not consider all sides to a situation, but just reacts in an explosive manner, how does that make you feel?

This can be applied to any circumstance or relationship including that between yourself and your spouse, your parent, your child, your coworker, a checkout clerk, or that of a person driving a car next to you.

Our reactions are truly important to consider, which brings me back to why I wrote this article which discusses the potential different perceptions of people regarding rational vs. irrational behavior.  I believe we need to become aware of, and have a need for, broad social and emotional intelligence coaching.

In today’s society, I personally do not think we have the filters we used to have for our behaviors.  I also believe we have, as a society, have come to accept less controlled reactions from others.  It has become commonplace for bullying, riots, road rage and mass shootings, and we seem to have become desensitized and have come to expect these occurrences.  Personally, as we are not a barbaric society, I believe that this is step in the wrong direction.

While I do believe self expression is important, I also believe it is necessary to consider the “whole” and that it is the responsibility for each of us to control our reactions to not impede the rights, health, or to negatively impact the lives of others.  Ever hear the idiom “it is a two-way street”?  It may be necessary to consider that compromise is a necessary consideration in our interactions with others.  The problem with this is that we have to recognize how our behaviors and reactions relate to compromise and finding solutions to situations in a manner that is best for all.

I believe a strong social and emotional intelligence is necessary to have a quality of life for not only an individual, but the whole.

The following is an excerpt from the book, Emotional Intelligence written by Daniel Goleman in 1995:   “The emotional lessons we learn as children at home and at school shape the emotional circuits, making us more adept – or inept – at the basics of emotional intelligence.  This means that childhood and adolescence are critical windows of opportunity for setting down the essential emotional habits that govern our lives”.  He noted that hazards await those who, in growing to maturity, fail to master the emotional realm.  He further noted that deficiencies in emotional intelligence heighten a spectrum of risks from depression or a life of violence to eating disorders and drug abuse, and how teaching children the emotional and social skills they need can keep their lives on track.  Mr. Goleman reported that a survey of parents and teachers showed a worldwide trend for the present generation of children to be more troubled emotionally than the last:  more lonely and depressed, more angry and unruly, more nervous and prone to worry, more impulsive and aggressive.

Again, acknowledging that social and emotional intelligence is learned behavior, I advocate for the need for us to learn these necessary skills. Emotional Intelligence is an important component of the Foundation’s PREinvent YOUR Life® program.

During my Social and Emotional Intelligence coaching education, I learned there were 26 competencies that affect our reactions and behaviors that include: Emotional self-awareness, accurate self-awareness, personal power, behavioral self-control, integrity, innovation and creativity, initiative and bias for action, achievement drive, realistic optimism, resilience, stress management, personal agility, intentionality, empathy, situational awareness, service orientation, communication, interpersonal effectiveness, powerful influencing skills, conflict management, inspirational leadership, catalyzing change, building bonds, teamwork and collaboration, coaching and mentoring others and building trust.

I believe that you can build on your emotional intelligence strengths and that, if you have vulnerability in any particular area, it will negatively impact your quality of life and the quality of life of those with whom you interact.

Please feel free to contact me at 631-331-2675 if you have questions regarding social and emotional intelligence.  I would be most willing to discuss your personal situation.

With the knowledge that we are only able to control ourselves, our behavior, our feelings and our actions, I believe it is necessary to start with ourselves to insure a better future.  I believe it is time for us to each be personally responsible for our ability to achieve quality of life.

Just imagine the possibilities.

After all, it is time to enjoy life. It is Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC:

Doreen holds a Bachelor of Science in Management, a Masters in Business and Policy Studies, is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, a Certified Social and Emotional Intelligence Coach, Certified Professional Coach, Certified Life Coach, and the author of the book, If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.

Doreen is the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit organization with the mission and purpose to enrich the lives of others through programs, public awareness outreach activities, events and learning opportunities that further the concept of enjoying life.  The Foundation’s website, www.TimetoPlayFoundation.org, has resources, events and articles for a person to learn what they need to know for a better life.

The Foundation offers an unconventional approach in a non-threatening manner to provide solutions for the life situations that people may encounter.  Working in healthcare since 1987, and with her background in quality improvement, she has followed statistics showing our society’s current evolution to be more “sick and sad”.   She developed the Time to Play Philosophy:  you have to be happy, healthy, have money and a work / life balance for quality of life and believes everyone has the ability to enjoy life.

Photo credit:  https://sophistics.wordpress.com

 

,

In Love With Being in Love?

Romantic couple sitting on a sofa in a loving embrace laughing as they hold up a red paper heart for Valentines day

Are you in love with being in love? Well, to some extent, we all are. Being in love is one of the greatest joys of life. Let’s look a little deeper into this question; are you in love with the idea of being in love or do you want to be truly in love with a particular individual who will be your future partner? This is a shift that I work on with many of my coaching clients and workshop participants.

One of the questions that I frequently ask clients is, “What are the traits and values that are most important to you in a potential partner?” We call these your “Must-Have Traits.” Some answers that I often here are variations of: I want someone who will dance with me in the moonlight, who will walk with me on the beach, or who will cuddle with me on the couch. Now, of course, those are all great experiences and again, many of us desire that in our lives. But we want to get to the root of the love and ask ourselves, “Why do I want to dance in the moonlight with this person?” “What are his/her unique qualities and values that cause me to want to express that kind of affection?” Furthermore, “Why does he/she want to dance, walk, and cuddle with me?” “What are my unique characteristics that cause him/her to want to express that kind of affection?”

If we are not clearly in touch with the answers to those questions, then the romance is very likely to fizzle. If what is bonding us together is our love of being in love, then what we want most does not have the foundation to make it last. So, let’s formulate a well thought out vision, and let’s look for a particular person with the values, traits, and qualities that are most important to us. Then, let’s fall in love with a real person who possesses those characteristics, not with an abstract idea. As we slowly cultivate deep love with this person, then the dances and the walks and the cuddling can be authentic and lasting, way beyond the shallow fluff of romance in the media which leads us to be limited by our love of being in love.

,

WITH vs. FOR

WITH

WITHI’ve had an “AHA” moment which caused me to discover why I’ve had a disconnect throughout most of my life.

I don’t believe in “FOR”.  I’ve lived my life with the vision and expectation of “WITH”.  I’ll explain.

When I work with people, I never consider them working “FOR” me, or me working “FOR” them, but “WITH” me as part of a team.  I now understand why I’ve been met, time and again, with disappointment or frustration.

I’ve gone through life pretty much with this expectation – that no one does things (or should do things) “FOR” me, but “WITH” me. Even with my kids, the “WITH” has always remained prevalent. I believe that they should (or could) recognize things we needed to accomplish as a family unit.

I don’t really think the team mentality is always prevalent in our society.  With my “AHA” moment, I started to think further and realize that, perhaps, it’s hard to change the philosophy of people when we’re in a society that emphasizes “US” against “THEM” instead of “WITH”.

I believe the transition is hard, but not impossible.

I work “WITH” people.  I look for opportunities for “US”.  A way we can ALL benefit.

I believe that should be the goal, in the end, for all of us — whether it is in our jobs, our communities, or our relationships, families, to work WITH each other.  This simple concept can truly end hostilities and unrealistic expectations so prevalent in many families, relationships, organizations and communities.

“WITH” is really not a difficult concept, but more of an awareness of how our actions affect others.

As part of a collaborative effort, things will move farther, faster, while creating a much more peaceful, loving atmosphere for us to share.  So we can ALL enjoy life.

We can look further into this idea with the evaluation of the intention behind the action of another, as well.  What are we trying to attract?  What are we trying to create:  Love or hatred?  Camaraderie or separation?

We see examples of this in our everyday lives:  In companies who create insecurity and fear in even their most loyal employees where one day their positions are “poof”, just gone.  In our youth who create separation and hard feelings through bullying.  In our political arena where partisan politics divide our elected officials, and our society, and resolutions to issues are not reached.  In a scenario where there is “dog eat dog” competition or blame.

“WITH” is such a simple concept.

What is the best option for us all if we work WITH each other?  What can YOU do, TOGETHER, with others?

Think of the possibilities if you just could ask someone their opinion and find a peaceful and common ground?

It’s time for us ALL to enjoy life.  It’s Time to Play.

Love, Doreen

# # #

Doreen Guma, MA, FACHE, CPC, CLC is a board certified healthcare executive, a certified professional life coach, the founder of the Time to Play Foundation, a 501c3 not for profit corporation inspiring everyone to enjoy life and author of If I Knew Then What I Know Now, Our Quest for Quality of Life.  Time to Play and the Time to Play Foundation was absolutely created out of LOVE.  Please see www.timetoplay.com for more information.

 

, ,

Ask Rebecca Anything

Dear Rebecca,

I thought a marriage is about give and take and mutual support. I keep giving, but now I am resentful because it’s not mutual. My husband is good at taking and thinks mostly of himself. His actions are guided by doing what makes him happy. He shies away from responsibility. But he follows your principles of making self happy, putting his own happiness above all else. Example: When my son was fourteen years old and doing poorly in school, and clinically depressed, my husband was busy making plans to travel to New York to teach a workshop. That’s the part about the pursuit of self-happiness that I don’t quite understand. And I get it: I have to look out for myself and create my own happiness. I’m married to someone who is looking out for himself. I’m not faulting him, but it’s taken me twenty years and a major financial set-back to recognize the imbalance and why I feel so drained.

Dear Drained,

I am going to respond to you without a single reference to your husband. What your husband did, does, or doesn’t do has nothing to do with you or your happiness. Furthermore, your circumstances, including your child’s health, have nothing to do with your happiness. Nothing.

Let me be perfectly clear. It’s not your fault for thinking other people and various circumstances are responsible for your happiness. That’s what we all are taught at a very early age: Someone else is responsible for our happiness; something else is responsible for our happiness. Take a look at the media. There’s always someone else to blame. I did it. I placed the blame on everyone except myself as to why I was so unhappy. My dear Drained, the reason you feel discontentment and unhappiness is coming from inside of you. And contrary to what you think, the reason why you feel “so drained” is because your focus has been on everything and everyone else other than you.

 

The formula for happiness never includes another equation other than you. Everyone else is excluded including children, spouses, parents, friends, co-workers, cashiers, bus drivers, medical staff, travel agents, astronauts, animals, and the mailman. This is a very powerful concept to “get” because now you—and you alone—are solely responsible for your happiness. Let me repeat. You are responsible for your happiness. Spiderman, who quoted Voltaire, said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

 

Now that you know the truth, what are you going to do about it? As I see it, you only have two choices: (1) You can power-up and take on the responsibility for your happiness or (2) you can continue to feel powerless and make excuses and blame other people and or circumstances for your unhappiness. I look at life like this: If I’m solely responsible for my happiness, and I am, what do I need to do now? What do I need to change? How do I change? How do I integrate this new information into my daily life? I’m glad you asked. Here’s how.

 

You want to be happy? Practice the following every day, for the rest of your life.

  • STOP criticizing (yourself or others)
  • STOP complaining (about yourself or others)
  • STOP judging (yourself or others)
  • STOP expecting anything from anyone
  • STOP blaming someone else for your unhappiness
  • STOP having opinions about what someone else is doing
  • STOP discussing anyone else unless its complimentary (including yourself)
  • STOP focusing on what’s wrong

Now you don’t have to practice any of the above. But I promise you that if you don’t, you will remain unhappy. You want to be happy? “Unlearn” what you’ve learned and

 

  • START accepting people just as they are
  • START allowing people to be themselves, without judgment
  • START taking deeper breaths throughout your day
  • START focusing on what’s good in your Life
  • START becoming more self-aware
  • START being honest with yourself
  • START living consciously
  • START making small changes
  • START looking in the mirror for answers
  • START asking the Universe for guidance

 Remember, every time you criticize, complain, judge, blame, have expectations, and focus on “what’s wrong,” you literally subtract from your happiness. Now that you know the truth, what areYOUgoing to do about it? Remember, your happiness is never, and I repeat, never dependent on anyone else. I don’t care what they’re doing or what they are not doing. No one has the power to make you unhappy.

Finally, I’d like you to know that you will find the happiness you seek if you are willing to journey on the road less traveled. The reason why people are not as happy as they could be is because they arenot willing to committo the arduous daily task of monitoring all moments. It’s called living consciously and becoming self-aware.

Warning:Taking responsibility for your OWN happiness is not necessarily easy, pleasant, or fun.

University of Happiness Attendance Guidelines

You’re in training every day, including weekends. You don’t take vacations. You’re always on duty without lunch or breaks. And you’re constantly looking in the mirror because that’s where all your answers are. The only time-off you get is when you’re sleeping. When you’re ready to make that type of moment-by-moment commitment, I promise you, you will live happily ever after. Heavenison Earth, patiently waiting for you to discover it.

P.S. I want you to know how much I love your courage to share the truth of your experience with the world. Every single one of us is not without multiple challenges. You are exceptional because you’re asking the tough questions. You’re asking tough questions because you want answers. Why do you want answers? Because you want to be happy.

A short time later, Rebecca writes:

Dear Drained,

I want you to know that this is your time. It’s time to make changes and begin living happily ever after. I have an important question for you. If I asked your husband about the marriage, what would he say? There are always two sides to every story. I’m curious: Are you able to create a list as to what your husband would say about you? Be honest. Honesty brings freedom and clarity. Think about that and write back.

Love,

Rebecca

 

Drained writes, he would say that:

  • We have a lot of issues that need to be worked out, and it will take time
  • I repeat myself
  • I don’t listen
  • It’s not tit for tat (I want “compensation” for what I do)
  • I compare our marriage to other marriages
  • We have a long history
  • I am “all over the place” with discussions, I am hard to talk to, and impossible to have a meaningful discussion with
  • I am too pointed in my comments
  • I start too many projects
  • I don’t put things away
  • I am disorganized and I should do things the way he suggested.

I’ve written down all the things I do (taxes, monthly bills, managing property, remodeling rental property, homeschooling, grocery shopping, cooking, tending to kid’s health issues, financial planning, gardening, etc.). And I asked him to mark those that he feels are most important. All other things will either be hired out or given less priority. This was about two or three years ago, and he claims he responded and returned the sheet of paper. Then he said maybe he still has it because I certainly did not get it. (I wrote it down because he was generally too “busy” when I asked to have a talk in person).

 

The only responsibilities he has (meaning things he can be relied upon to do on a regularly basis) is he brings in the mail. He does other things, but if he has the time, and does not want it to be responsible. He doesn’t acknowledge that I do just about everything in the house. If he doesn’t acknowledge it, then he doesn’t have to give credit. Somewhere along the line, that’s where I started to get resentful and lost the joy.

Here’s my second enlightened moment. I’ve been taking on more and more each year. The more I did, he’d be happy, but only for a while. Then I’d have to do more and more until we are here and I do just about everything in the house. Maybe I thought it would help him by taking care of business. Maybe if he was happy, then our marriage would be better. Or, that he would love me more. And, sometimes it was easier to just do it than wait for him to get around to it and/or avoid a big discussion. In all fairness, I definitely have my flaws and my own neuroses and am not easy to live with. I am trying to recall all his other complaints. He has a lot, for sure. That’s about all I can recall for now.

Rebecca responds:

Please remember that when I answer you, it’s always my intention to (1) find the truth and (2) assist you with finding peace.

This might be difficult to hear but the truth is that if your husband did everything you asked him to and he behaved exactly the way you wanted him to, you would still be unhappy. Why? Because happiness is an inside job—period. One of the reasons for your frustration is you think that if your husband changed, you’d be happy. I’m here to tell you, unequivocally, that is not the case. Your husband is not the source of your unhappiness.

Remember:

  • Your happiness does not depend on what anyone else says.
  • Your happiness does not depend on what anyone else doesn’t say.
  • Your happiness does not depend on what anyone does.
  • Your happiness does not depend on what anyone else doesn’t do.
  • Your happiness does not depend on your circumstances either, regardless of what they are.

Unless you engage in a daily moment-by-moment commitment to growing beyond who you are now, you will never find the happiness you seek. Happiness comes from within. There are no exceptions. The road to happiness begins and ends with the person in the mirror.

What Else Is Wrong?

A second issue, according to you, is that you carry the majority of the household responsibility. Let’s say that’s true. Let me share with you what I’ve learned about “giving of myself” and happiness. Whenever I decide to give someone something, whether it’s my time, or an actual gift, or take on added responsibilities like the example you stated earlier, I make the decision and choice to give without expecting anything back in return—including expecting a thank-you. In other words, I give without strings or conditions attached.

I didn’t always have that perspective—give without expectations of anything in return. In fact, the majority of my life I unconsciously and sometimes consciously gave to get something back in return. What were some of the things I wanted in return? What I wanted varied from love, time, attention, kindness, praise, acknowledgement, credit, compassion, concern, sympathy, friendship, responsiveness, and money, to name a few examples of what I expected when I extended myself just as you stated earlier.

Happiness Is Always My Priority

While on my journey of prioritizing happiness, I learned that when I give I cannot expect anything in return. I have to give without strings or conditions attached to whatever I’m giving. As I mentioned before, I can’t even expect a thank-you. Why? Because expectations subtract from happiness. Expectations always subtract from happiness. My dear Drained, you have so many expectations, it’s no wonder you are so unhappy.

A Few Characteristics of Happy People

  • Happy people don’t expect anything from anyone.
  • Happy people don’t complain.
  • Happy people don’t compare themselves to others.
  • Happy people don’t get angry too often, and if they do, they realize their anger has nothing to do with another person or an existing circumstance.
  • Happy people don’t try to control anyone else.
  • Happy people don’t talk negatively about others or themselves.
  • Happy people are conscious and aware of the energy they emit.
  • Happy people take responsibility for their own happiness.
  • Happy people know they cannot change anyone but themselves.
  • Happy people are kind.
  • Happy people are patient.
  • Happy people accept others unconditionally.
  • Happy people are not critical.
  • Happy people don’t make judgments.
  • Happy people are self-aware.
  • Happy people don’t blame others for their unhappiness.
  • Happy people do not create drama.
  • Happy people live in the moment.
  • Happy people don’t try to change anyone else.
  • Happy people are constantly evolving into happier people.
  • Happy people spread happiness.
  • Happy people know that their happiness depends on the person in the mirror.

Now, the only reason I can vouch for all of the above is because I used to be extremely unhappy and the opposite of everything I listed above. I was one of the most miserable persons you’d ever want to meet. I was trapped in a cycle of blaming and finger-pointing. I was easily offended, easily irritated, quick to anger, bossy, opinionated, controlling, confrontational, moody, critical, and I needed to be right—about everything. Need I go on? Did I want to be happy? Had you asked me that question then, I would have said, “Of course I do.” However, I had no clue that my behavior was literally sucking and subtracting the happiness out of my life. When I discovered that my former behavior and my need to be happy weren’t compatible, I was forced to change my behavior. And, I don’t mind admitting any of the above, because, quite frankly, I’m very proud of the behaviors I chose to eliminate from my life.

Finally

So, you see, it’s up to you, and only you, to make all the necessary changes if you want to be happy. It’s up to you to change your perspectives. It’s up to you to change your behavior. It’s up to you to choose your focus. It’s up to you to become a happy person.

I guarantee that when you change, your life changes. You have the power and ability to be happy, regardless of your circumstances and regardless of what anyone else does, says, or doesn’t say or do. Now that you know the truth about happiness, the ball is in your court. You can change your life, but you have to change you first.

Warning: Finding peace and happiness is found on the road less traveled. And that road is less traveled for a reason. Your journey is going to be never-ending, extremely difficult, and brutally challenging. However the reward is heaven on Earth.

Love,

Rebecca

 

 

 

, , , , , ,

Time for Maintenance?

 

Car maintenance

With maintenance

I woke up thinking about my daughter’s boyfriend and his car.  There seem to be a bunch of things wrong with it, all at the same time, which we expect will cost a lot of money to fix.  Last night he was sitting at our kitchen table, dismayed. 

Of course there is never a budget to use for this type of purpose – when something unexpectedly breaks.  In this case, we all understand how hard our lives are without transportation, and, I’m sure we all have been in this same type of situation.  I, personally, don’t know anything about cars and maintenance.  The only thing I know about a car is that you put the key in to turn it on to make it go.  One day, maybe, I’ll tell you how I added oil through the little dip stick thing when I knew it needed some.  When I was around 19 years old, because of lack of my preventative maintenance, I had to replace a transmission at a most inopportune time in my life.  Of course it was also at a time when I had no money to pay for it.

That started me thinking about how we ignore things like that “engine knock” until we can’t ignore it anymore.  I’m not just speaking about ignoring maintenance that our car or home may require, but “maintenance” for our own bodies, our minds, and more.

There’s a saying by an unknown author, “Pay now or pay later. But pay you will”.  This can be associated with every part of our lives if you think about it.  If we ignore our health, we will pay for it sometime in the future.  If we ignore our relationships, our jobs, our clients, our kids, our faith, our …. well, pretty much everything…. we might just wind up paying for it in a way that will be displeasing to us down the line. 

If I’m not being clear enough, I’ll define what I’m trying to explain a little further.  If we ignore the things in our lives like our health, jobs, or loved ones, we might wind up with a negative outcome that we certainly may not want: we may become sick, we might lose our job, or we might have a displeasing relationship.  If we choose to ignore our negative thinking or something internally bothering us, that might, too, affect every area of our day including our health and performance. 

Think about it.  The concept of not devoting time for maintenance to things that we should attend to, both internally and externally that affects our lives, can lead to unfavorable outcomes. 

This proactive-type of thinking ties into the Time to Play Philosophy: you need to be happy, healthy, have money and a work life balance to have quality of life.  If you really think about it, this concept is very valid.  But, many times we ignore things because we don’t have time to address them, or we ignore things because we just don’t want to deal with something.  In my observations and my own experience, if you ignore something long enough, it will eventually come back to “bite you”.

What to do?  Take an evaluation of your health, happiness, financial situation and work life balance.  Those things you have pushed aside for way too long.  Make a list of priorities of where you can BEGIN to address these things.  Need to lose weight?  Need to look for a new job?  Need to start that retirement or college savings account?  Need to find a way to better organize or delegate at work so you can enjoy more freedom and flexibility? 

Yes, looking proactively at your life situations instead of the easy way out (for now) of ignoring things may seem overwhelming.  The “for now” in that sentence re-emphasizes that ignoring is easy – for now – but may not provide you with an easy end.  My philosophy is to learn what you need to know to enjoy life.  That’s why I started Time to Play.  So I could regain control over things that would enable me to better enjoy MY life. 

Look at your list.  What can you do to make one small change… just one baby step… to start to do that “maintenance”?  I believe that one small change is better than no change at all.  And, you may be surprised to find that once you start to make little changes, your life may become more pleasant and settled.

Time for maintenance?  Take a look.  It’s definitely easier to “pay” now with a little prevention than to “pay” later with negative health, marriage, job loss, or worse.

If you need a jump start, we have all sorts of coaches to help you in your journey to make changes or improvements.  Just give us a call at 631-331-2675 or email: info@timetoplay.com

It’s time to enjoy YOUR life!  It’s Time to Play!  www.TimetoPlay.com = Resources for a better life.  

, , , , , ,

Customer service is something we do every day of our lives – at work and AT HOME.

Reputation photo from smallbiztechnology.com

 

Reputation

Every one of us works in customer service, no matter what our job.  And, customer service is not only something we do as part of a work situation, but customer service is also something we do as part of our friendships and family relationships.

As part of providing good customer service, our actions and interactions are so important. 

OK… stay with me here.  What we do and what we say can easily be misunderstood, cause hard feelings, or ruin reputations.

Let’s go back to associating this in the way we act or do ANYTHING — at work and at home.  Those of us who have children, those of us who are married, those of us who have any family members or friends at all (that’s pretty much everyone alive) can say something that is not interpreted the way we intend and start a snowball of negative feelings.  We really have to be so careful what we say and do.  Not to say we should be on guard for everything, but we really do need to consider what the affect of our actions or statements could be.

As far as at work, each of us provides customer service not only to ourselves but to the others who work with us.  Things happen so fast, and, sometimes, we can destroy a client relationship or a co-worker relationship with just one action or statement.

Many of us run on impulses.  I did this the other day myself!  I called to check in on a client and they started going on about a dissatisfaction that had nothing to do with myself or my own actions… but the response I made caused a defensive / angry reaction in them.  With the fact that they were displeased and I was trying to “help” sort out their issue, they misconstrued what I was trying to convey.  Luckily I was able to explain, and they “got it” and all is good; but we don’t always have that opportunity.  Sometimes a relationship could be severed with no opportunity to repair it.

Reputations are on the line every moment of every day and with every interaction — at work and at home.

A positive reputation is priceless. 

In my 48 years alive I’ve seen it again and again.  You can do years and years of good work and good efforts, and it’s over in a second.  There’s always a story in the paper about a fall from grace.

My intention with this article is to put out there that, instead of “jumping the gun” when making a statement or performing an action, it may sometimes be worth taking a breath before answering or acting.  Think first, act or talk second.

I believe it’s better to PREVENT a negative situation from occurring in the first place instead of having to try to patch it up or repair a damaged reputation or relationship.

Any thoughts, tips or words of wisdom are welcome!  Contact me with a comment or email doreen@timetoplay.com.