Monday, December 8, 2014

What I wish I had known :: Lesson 4 :: Feel Good, Look Good, Do Good

Feel Good

I am the kind of person who wakes up in the  morning and wants to work.  I want to do things.  I want to close projects and start new ones.  I want to meet people and discover new things. So when I hear people say that they have "Monday morning blues", I wonder what's wrong.  Do they dislike their jobs?  Are they unhappy working? And if they are unhappy with their jobs then should they not have "Terrible Tuesdays" and "Weeping Wednesdays" too? 
If working really made me that unhappy, I would either quit or change something at work that would make me want to go to work.  I do understand that each work day may not have something to look forward to!  But, most days there are good, fun, new, interesting things that happen at work.  I just need to look for them and focus on that.  The anticipation of any of these makes me feel good.  Even before I start my work day.

Look Good

Then comes the "what do I wear to work" phase.  I enjoy deciding what I want to wear to work.  What jewelry will match? What sandals will look nice?  These days I wear a saree or salwar kameez to work.  There was a time when I wore skirts or trousers to work.  Most important was looking professional, appropriate for the occasion, followed by being comfortable.  Today, I wonder why women, especially in the beginning of their career, choose to were pant suits, in dark colors, when most of the times, these clothes do not flatter the Indian female body shape, not to forget the oppressive heat in most Indian cities.  Do they like the way they look? Are they comfortable? 
I remember many years ago, I was advised by a HR professional, to "tone down the colors" I wear.  It seems that it made me stand out in video conferences with customers in the Western world. "Is that not what I want anyway", I thought.  I have always worn what made me feel good looking at myself. I have worn sarees to board meetings and award functions overseas (much against the advice of more seasoned Indian professionals). If I look good, I am happy and that impacts my work.

Do Good

Just like the best way to start a day is to have a healthy breakfast, a good work day starts with feeling, that what I will do, contributes positively to me, my team, my customers and partners.  And of course looking good - professional, clean, comfortable. 
But that's not enough.  I work with others, and they also need to feel good. They want and need some positive strokes, to hear something positive about themselves.  It takes effort to find something positive about co-workers.  I look for these consciously, tell them what I admire, what I would like to learn from them.  Thank them for something they have done for me. Tell them they are looking good. In this, I am brutally honest for I know that if I lie about what I admire, I am creating a monster that I need to work with.

We have all had colleagues we have not liked - from the liar to the credit stealer to the shirker.  People we have not wanted to meet much less work with.  I have found that even with these colleagues, if I make the effort to find positive attributes, talk about these attributes, focus and use these attributes, my working relationship with them improves dramatically.  Not everyone is all bad.  I just need to take the time to make the extra effort.

 It all comes from within

Either Judge or be Happy

No comments:

Post a Comment