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Chapter 6

by Rick Baker
On Jun 19, 2012

Now, you have completed Chapter 5 and you know:

• your existing Norm (on average, how you feel while at work) and

• your desired Norm...your Goal for how you want to feel at work in the future.

Do not be concerned if there is a large gap between your existing Norm and your goal Norm. The distance is not something you need to worry or even think about. What's important is - are you committed to make one small step - a baby step - toward your goal Norm?

If you can state emphatically "Yes, I am!" then proceed. If you cannot state that then stop reading and return later, when you are prepared to make a commitment to a small change.

One Small Change

One small positive change will move you toward your goal...a higher, more-positive Norm. And, there are many ways to make one small positive change.

The simplest ways to increase the amount you enjoy your work are:

• You can remove one small work-activity you do not enjoy and

• You can add one small work-activity you do enjoy.

Start by looking at the small work-activities you enjoy the most….that’s the most-positive way to explore changes.  Consider only work-activities that contribute to your work goals.

Pick 5 from your list of small work-activities:

  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  4. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  5. ____________________________________________________________________________________

Double check to make sure they are small things, preferably activities that do not impact on coworkers. Double check to make sure the activities contribute to your work goals [even though, only in a small way].

Now, for each of those 5 activities, write out at least 3 ways you can either do more of the activity or do a new variation of the activity.

3 ways to do more or do a new variation of Activity #1

  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________________________

3 ways to do more or do a new variation of Activity #2

  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________________________

3 ways to do more or do a new variation of Activity #3

  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________________________

3 ways to do more or do a new variation of Activity #4

  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________________________

3 ways to do more or do a new variation of Activity #5

  1. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  2. ____________________________________________________________________________________
  3. ____________________________________________________________________________________
From your list of 15 ways to do more or do a new variation of small work-activities you enjoy, pick 1...just one small change:
 
My 1 small change is _______________________________________________________________________________________
 
Commit to doing that 1 small change at least once a week...from now on.

Tags:

A Book | Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Habits: Good Habits, Bad Habits, & New Things

Chapter 5

by Rick Baker
On Jun 12, 2012

At Chapters 1 & 2, you considered your feelings then placed them on a Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale.

You defined the "Low" and "High" ends of the range of your feelings and the "Norm":

In Chapter 3 you considered whether or not you were fully satisfied with these 3 measures of your work-feelings. If you are still reading then you are doing that because you are not fully satisfied. Also, in Chapter 4 you considered the first fundamental choice - Determine how to become satisfied with the Low, Norm, and High feelings you experience while you work.  

Having completed that thought process, you decided to explore the second fundamental choice, which is:

Determine how to raise at least one of your Low, Norm, or High feelings you experience at work.

There are many ways to go about raising - improving - the feelings you experience at work. And, that is the topic of the following chapters. To help you place more detail around your feelings, refer to the Spectrum of Feelings presented in Chapter 1. 

You must set a Goal for your feelings Norm. To do this you must first select one of the 3 Plus Zones:

Acceptance Zone: Plus1 to Plus4

Enjoyment Zone: Plus4 to Plus7

Enthusiasm Zone: Plus7 to Plus9

Acceptance Zone: Plus1 to Plus4

If you select this zone for your Norm then you are deciding that work is not going to add enjoyment to your life. In general, your workdays will not be uncomfortable...they will be comfortable to the extent they will, on average, at least be tolerable [Plus1] and at best be right at the border of enjoyable [Plus4]. Also, this zone must offer an opportunity for you to raise your current Norm. So, your current Norm must be no higher than Plus3 and likely Plus2 or lower.

Enjoyment Zone: Plus4 to Plus7

If you select this zone for your Norm then you are deciding that work is going to be an important and enjoyable aspect of your life. Your work experiences will not be thrilling, but they will be at least enjoyable. In general, you will not complain about work; you will regularly think about and mention the positive things you experience at work. Also, this zone must offer an opportunity for you to raise your current Norm. So, your current Norm must be no higher than Plus7 and likely Plus6 or lower.

Enthusiasm Zone: Plus7 to Plus9

If you select this zone for your Norm then you are deciding that work is a major aspect of your life. Work will be self-actualizing. Work will offer some of your most-positive life experiences. Work will be exciting. You will be inspired by work....and everyone who works with you will know it. Also, this zone must offer an opportunity for you to raise your current Norm. So, your current Norm must be no higher than Plus8 and likely Plus7 or lower.

So, when you think about the way you want to feel about your future work...which Plus Zone do you select for your Norm:

Enthusiasm Zone? or Enjoyment Zone? or Acceptance Zone?

Answer:  my Norm will be in the  ________________ Zone.

Tags:

A Book | Emotions & Feelings @ Work

Chapter 4

by Rick Baker
On Jun 5, 2012

Consider the first fundamental choice presented in Chapter 3:

Determine how to become satisfied with the Low, Norm, and High feelings you experience while at work.

Why would you want to do this?

Why would you want to accept or learn to live with less-than-optimal feelings during your work-life?

There are many reasons why you may want to accept or learn to live with your Low, Norm, and High. Some of the reasons are good reasons; some of the reasons are not good reasons. That's a judgment you can and should take the time to make. First, write out a list of possible reasons then take some time to think about each one. Is it a good reason?  If so, keep it on your list. If not, discard it. Make sure your list only contains good reasons [to accept or learn to live with less-than-optimal feelings during your work-life].

Here are some possible reasons to help you get started on your list:

  • Work is a means to an end. Work is a necessary evil that provides money, which I need for other things.
  • I am too busy to think about how I feel at work.
  • My brain can only handle so much and I am using it to improve in other areas of my life.
  • ___________________________________________________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________________________________________________
  • ___________________________________________________________________________________
Now, you have a list of reasons. Spend a minute or two thinking about each reason: is it a good reason? If so then keep it on your list; if not then strike a line through it and never think of it again. Take a look at the reasons that remain. which one rises to the top?
 
My #1 reason for accepting or learning to live with less-than-optimal feelings during my work-life is:
 
__________________________________________________________________________________________
 
You have a good reason and you know you have given it some thought...enough thought. Now, is not the right time to invest thought and effort into improving your work-feelings.
 
And, later, there will be a right time. 

When that right time arrives, return to read the next chapter.

 

 

Tags:

A Book | Emotions & Feelings @ Work

Chapter 3

by Rick Baker
On May 29, 2012

If you have not read Chapter 1 or Chapter 2 then check out the chapters of 'A Book' at this link 

***

Having completed Chapter 2, you should have a picture in your mind that looks like this:

The picture shows how your feelings are described within a range while you are at work and it shows how you normally feel at work. Check your range to make sure it does not include your absolute best or worst feelings. The intent is to capture how you feel 90-plus% of the time...but not 100%. Stated another way, we want the range to include feelings that have a 90-plus% likelihood of being experienced in the future.

Now, consider the "Low" and "High" ends of the range and the "Norm". Test them for reasonableness.

Focus, one at a time, on the following 3 things:

  1. Where is your range situated on the Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale?
  2. How broad is your range?
  3. Where does your Norm sit within your range?

If you are comfortable with doing it then ask a trusted friend, co-worker or boss to check your range and Norm...do they agree with these 3 aspects of your self-assessment?

When this is done think about how satisfied you are with your Low, your Norm, and your High. 

If you are truly satisfied then - terrific.

If your scores do not satisfy you then you have some options.

You could:

  • Determine how to become satisfied with your Low, Norm, and High
  • Determine how to raise at least one of your Low, Norm, or High

Those are the fundamental choices you should consider.

If you are like most people then you would like to enjoy work more. After all, you are spending a large amount of your waking hours at work...it makes sense to enjoy that time as much as you can. To accomplish that you can reduce the amount and extent of negative feelings or expand the amount and extent of positive feelings. 

With your range of feelings established with 'Low' and 'High' points and your feelings 'Norm' established you have benchmarks to help you accomplish those objectives.

 

 

Tags:

A Book | Emotions & Feelings @ Work | Measure & Monitor

Chapter 2

by Rick Baker
On May 22, 2012

link to Chapter 1

 

Chapter 2

 

Having completed Chapter 1, you 'got present' and you rated how you feel about your work-situation

That's an important first step. You took a time out. You allowed your mind to step away from its busy day and you focused on your feelings about work. Consciously, or unconsciously, you weighed your work against other important aspects of your life including your health and your family. Consciously, or unconsciously, you also weighed your work-situation relative to your work-goals, your financial needs, and other needs and desires important to you. 

These other important aspects will be dealt with later in this book. For the time being, it is important to concentrate solely on your feelings about your work-situation. In the last chapter, you rated your feelings. As you did that you determined the general nature of your feelings. You chose either Plus or Minus or, perhaps, you chose Ho-hum.

The next step is to consider the range of feelings you have experienced about your work-situation. Think about your workdays during the last year or two. During that period, if you are like most people, you have had terrific days, good days, ho-hum days, not-so-good days, and terrible days. Perhaps, you would rate a few of those days as Plus10 days or Minus10 days...think of those as extreme days.  

For this second step...

The goal is - to define the range of the feelings you normally and regularly have about your work-situation. If you have only had a few extreme days during the last year or two then, for the time being, ignore them. If you have experienced extreme days on a frequent basis then include them.

Using the Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale...

What is the normal range of your feelings about your work-situation?

As you answer this question, test your thoughts. Take some time to think about how your 'getting present' rating from Chapter 1 fits within the range you just defined. Does the fit between the low end of your range, your getting-present rating, and the high end of your range make sense to you? Make sure the range accurately describes the feelings you regularly experience about your work-situation.

 

 

 

Tags:

A Book | Emotions & Feelings @ Work

Chapter 1

by Rick Baker
On May 15, 2012

Drop what you're doing and take a time out

During your time out, think about how work fits into your life. Forget, for the moment, the past and how you got to where you are. And, set aside thoughts about the future. 'Get present' about your work-situation. Think about the role you do at work. Think about your work-tasks, your work-place, the people you provide service to, and other aspects of your work. 

When you are sure you are focused on your present work, answer this question: "How do I feel about my present work-situation?

Think about your feelings. Decide how to measure them. Be clear. And use a measuring tool so you can pinpoint exactly how you feel. The tool you use to measure your feelings must be simple, easy to understand, and easy to use.

The Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale meets those requirements.

 

 

Here's how it works.

When people use this scale to measure feelings, there are two extremes - one most-positive and the other most-negative. When answering the question "How do I feel about my present work-situation?":

  • If you answer Plus10 then you are telling yourself your work-situation could not possibly be better. Every aspect of your work-situation is sheer bliss
  • If you answer Zero then you are telling yourself your work-situation is ho-hum. Your work contains no highlights. Nothing about your work is particularly good or particularly bad. Your workdays are uneventful.
  • If you answer Minus10 then you are telling yourself your work-situation could not be worse. Every aspect of your work-situation is absolutely unbearable.

 

The Spectrum of Feelings

Sheer Bliss: Plus10

Enthusiasm Zone: Plus7 to Plus9

Enjoyment Zone: Plus4 to Plus7
 
Acceptance Zone: Plus1 to Plus4

Ho-hum: 0
 
Uncomfortable Zone: Minus1 to Minus4

Distress Zone: Minus4 to Minus7

Excruciation Zone: Minus7 to Minus9
 
Absolutely Unbearable: Minus10

 
These descriptions and the six zones provide context to allow you to pick the rating that best describes your feelings. 
 
So...on a Minus10-to-Plus10 Scale...
 
"How do you feel about your present work-situation?"
 
 
...to be continued
 

Tags:

A Book | Business Contains Only 3 Things | Emotions & Feelings @ Work

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