Posted in Adversity, Attitude, Boss, Encouragement, Faith and Work, Prayer, Relationships, Work, tagged adversity at work, Attitude, Encouragement, Faith, faith at work, Forgiveness, forgiveness at work, relationships at work, scripture for work, trust, workplace scripture on October 30, 2012 |
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Have you been hurt at work? Was it a co-worker a boss or a client? Have you had a hard time getting past it? How can you set that experience aside and move on with a positive attitude?
Have you been wronged at work?
If you’ve had an experience where someone has wronged you, you understand how it can affect you. It could’ve been a conversation that you overheard, an email that was inadvertently sent to you, a co-worker who took credit for work that you performed, or being blamed for something that you weren’t even responsible for. When that happens, trust goes out the door, and you are left with a feeling of betrayal. If left unresolved, the problem just gets bigger in our minds and bitterness sets in. You can kiss productivity and a positive attitude goodbye.
Hanging on to that experience only hurts you. The other person may not even realize that you are hurt. Decide right now to put this behind you. Here are some suggestions…
- Pray for the person who hurt you – It’s easy to love those who love you, but as Christians we are called to love and pray for our enemies as well. Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Matt 5:44.
- Have a reconciling spirit – As hard as it is, if you really want to get past this, you must have a heart for reconciliation versus retribution.
- Don’t get even – “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:19
- Talk it out – “If your brother sins against you, go to him. Tell him what he did wrong. Keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him back.” Matt 18:15
- For your own sake, forgive – Remember, you don’t forgive someone for his or her sake – you forgive them for your sake. “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Col 3:13
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Posted in Attitude, Encouragement, Excellence, Faith and Work, Leadership, Work, tagged Attitude, boredom at work, Contentment, drudgery at work, Excellence, Faith, faith at work, leadership, ordinary, Work on October 16, 2012 |
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Are there tasks in your job that you just don’t enjoy doing? Are you biding your time waiting for something better? Do you have days at work that are so routine or even boring to you? Days where you’d rather be anywhere but at work?
Do have days at work that are boring to you?
No matter what job you have, there are parts of it that you probably consider ordinary or drudgery. We all crave for exciting jobs which align perfectly with our passions. Truth is, even if you had the perfect job there will be days where you just don’t feel it. So, the challenge is, how do you handle those days and those responsibilities in your job with a positive, upbeat attitude? What does your character reveal about you during those times? How do you survive the ordinary of your job?
My son is on the 8th grade junior high football team. As a receiver, he rotates with other receivers for playing time. For someone who typically played every down during youth football, this has been an adjustment. He practices four hours a day and when he plays a game he may or may not have the ball thrown to him or even get that much playing time offensively. It’s easy to see how frustration or drudgery could set in. We talked to him about his responsibilities as a receiver, how the coaches pay attention to his attitude, about being a leader even if he’s not playing and always being upbeat and motivated no matter what. Sometimes it’s hard to maintain that attitude through all those hours of practice, to play his best every down in practice and in the game – all while waiting for that pass to come his way.
Do you sometimes feel that way at work? Do you struggle with keeping an upbeat and motivated attitude in the midst of the ordinary tasks at work? Are you waiting for that big promotion, or big sale or recognition from your boss? If so, think about the principles below:
- Your actions reveal your character. How you handle the ordinary times of your job reveals a lot about your character. I recently read in My Utmost for His Highest, “The true test of a person’s character is not what he does in the extraordinary moments of life, but what he does during the ordinary times when there is nothing tremendous or exciting happening.
- If Jesus did menial work, so can you. “So he got up from the table, took off his robe, wrapped a towel around his waist, and poured water into a basin. Then he began to wash the disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel he had around him.” John 13: 4-5
- God’s hand is in the ordinary. Oswald Chamber in My Utmost for His Highest wrote “I must realize that my obedience even in the smallest detail of life has all of the omnipotent power of the grace of God behind it. If I will do my duty, not for duty’s sake but because I believe God is engineering my circumstances, then at the very point of my obedience all of the magnificent grace of God is mine through the glorious atonement by the Cross of Christ.
- Just do it. “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” 1 Cor 10:31
By the way, that pass my son’s been waiting for was thrown to him in last week’s game – a 40 yard pass for a touchdown! All that practice and hard work and motivation paid off for just such a time as this. Now back to practice…
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Posted in Appreciation, Attitude, Encouragement, Faith and Work, Gratitude, Work, tagged appreciation, Attitude, attitude of gratitude, Encouragement, encouragement at work, faith at work, gratitude, Work on October 4, 2012 |
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Are you so busy at work that you sometimes forget to thank those around you for their help? Or have you been on the other side where you worked your tail off and never received a word of encouragement or thanks? We’ve all been in both of these situations.
Have less attitude and more gratitude in your workday!
There is so much to do during the workday. And in today’s economic times, we have to do MORE work in LESS time. As a result, we often focus only on the tasks at hand never taking the time to thank those around us who have helped. Stop and think how much you appreciate being told “thank you” for something you’ve done, especially when you weren’t really expecting it. It feels good doesn’t it? Conversely, imagine how you’ve felt when you bend over backwards and never receive any word of encouragement. It totally deflates your enthusiasm.
I recently read a quote that said “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” It’s selfish. I don’t think any of us wants to be characterized that way. Having a grateful attitude and expressing it is a small thing with a huge impact. So, give it a try and see what a difference it can make!
Suggestions for having an attitude of gratitude:
- Start with a grateful heart. “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” 1 Thes 5:18
- Don’t take others for granted. Think about what your job would be like if you had to do everything, from the smallest, seemingly unimportant tasks, to the largest. Impossible, right?
- Just do it! Sometimes I have such grandiose ideas for showing my gratitude that I never get around to expressing it. A simple, genuine “thank you” can go a long way in making those around you feel encouraged about themselves and their work. “But encourage each other every day while it is “today.” ( Hebrews 3:13)
- Be intentional. Commit to have an attitude of gratitude for 30 days. See what a difference it makes in you and in those around you!
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Posted in Attitude, Boss, Encouragement, Faith and Work, Jesus, Work, tagged Attitude, compassion, Encouragement, faith at work, relationships at work, Work on September 24, 2012 |
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Have you ever had one of those days at work where you have more work than you can actually do? And then something comes up that is totally unexpected and unplanned and throws a wrench into your plans? It could be another job assignment, someone who walks in your office who needs to talk, an unexpected phone call, or maybe a sick child.
How do you handle interruptions?
I’m a type A person, and very task-oriented. And if I have something that needs to be done, it’s on a list. Between my personality and my list, I’m a working machine. So you can imagine what my reaction often is when something unexpected comes up. I’m sure I send out all the wrong signals – looking at my watch, my phone, acting perturbed, etc. Not pretty.
Today, it hit me. Could these so called interruptions really be opportunities that God has placed in my day and He wants to see how I handle them? Ouch.
Do you have these same challenges? Are you SO focused on your work that you’re put off by God’s interruptions? Here are some suggestions to help you (and me) better handle interruptions at work.
- W.W.J.D – How many times do you read in the bible that Jesus would stop whatever he was doing to heal, to encourage, to show love. His day was full of interruptions, but it’s also where He had some of His greatest impact.
- Don’t ignore the small stuff. In Matthew 25:23 it says, “You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things.” If God presents a situation and I ignore it, how can He trust me with something bigger?
- Show compassion. “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’’ Matthew 25:40
- God will redeem your time. “God will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.” Hebrews 6:10
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Posted in Bible, Encouragement, Faith, Faith and Work, Leadership, Relationships, Small Groups, tagged Encouragement, Faith, faith at work, Influence, leadership, Relationship, Seven Pillars, Small Groups, Work on September 13, 2012 |
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There are so many things that you can do to grow as a leader. To grow in your faith. Most of them are good. But what are the things that will have the most impact? A real, lasting impact?
I was reminded of an answer to that question this week as 62 leaders committed 60 minutes to sit in a circle. Well, actually they were sitting in a rectangle around large conference room tables. 62 men and women, in five different marketplace groups, from companies across northwest Arkansas invested 60 minutes to begin a journey. For 13 weeks, they will learn biblical leadership lessons from one of the great leaders of the Bible…Nehemiah!
I received an email from one of our WorkMatters Group leaders that met at 6:00a.m. yesterday! The anticipation these women expressed was powerful.
How encouraging to see all ten chairs around the table in the Harvest board room filled with women yearning to:
- plug into a Bible study for the first time since college
- meet other women in business
- learn practical ways to have my faith be part of my life at work and not be separated from the rest of my activities
- put God first even though I’m not a morning person and it won’t be easy as a single mom
Have you considered sitting in a circle with a small group of leaders that can create a lasting impact in your life and you in theirs?
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1Thessalonians 5:11
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Rob Hey continues his outstanding and practical teaching on what Serving looks like at work. Print this and and put it where you will see it everyday when you get to the office!
This week at work, I took a close look at what I actually accomplished in serving others. My personal goal has always been to be able to serve others without making it a task. It should be something that comes natural and part of my daily routine. It is so easy to get absorbed in “self” and what we want to accomplish. This week I’d like to focus on 5 ways to serve others which are a little out of the ordinary that we may not have thought about when it comes to serving.
- “Be A Friend to Someone Who Doesn’t Deserve It”. We know who these people are at work. What we don’t know is what is going on in their lives. Maybe they’ve made some wrong choices and need someone to help them get on the right track. Reach out to them because you know that nobody else probably will.
- “Put Away Your Cell Phone in Conversation”. We are all guilty of having the cell phone right on our desk when we visit with people. Even if we don’t answer it, if it rings, beeps, or vibrates, we take our attention off the conversation even if it is brief. Make it a point to tell them you need to turn off your phone because their conversation is important to you.
- “Allow Others to Speak Before You”. In a meeting you have scheduled, start by asking everyone to share their thoughts and ideas before you speak. Let them know you want to hear what they are thinking, listen intently and take notes. I truly believe taking notes when others are speaking shows a great deal of respect and in turn, they understand how important they are to the conversation.
- “Buy Someone Lunch”. Take a day in the next week to look for someone at work that you can take to lunch. Not the same people you go with on a regular basis, but someone out of your comfort zone. Who at work looks like they are struggling? Who always eats in the cafeteria or break room and you know probably can’t afford to eat out? Find that person and just invite them to have lunch with you.
- “Hand Write a Thank You Card”. One of my favorite things to do at work on a regular basis is to recognize someone through a card or note. It can be recognition for anything as long as it is genuine. “Congratulations on winning that award, Good Job on the presentation yesterday, I was really impressed with the way you handled that situation, I’m really proud of you for earning that promotion”.
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Rob Hey continues to share his powerful insights regarding how we can more effectively serve those we work with. This is a powerful story!
A few weeks ago, one of my fellow co-workers experienced some unexpected major health issues and ended up needing open heart surgery. It was a shock to everyone at the office as it happened so quick. In the break room getting coffee the next morning, I heard several people talking about what they should do for him. Does the family need any help? Do you think he wants any visitors? I listened throughout the day to many people asking me questions regarding how he was doing, and was he recovering ok. The next morning, not as much talk as everyone went about their daily routine and every now and then someone would mention him, but he sure wasn’t the point of conversation today. Everyone had moved on with their busy lives.
I struggled as well with what to do for those two days. Heart surgery is a big deal and I didn’t know how I could help him or his family. The third morning I drove to the hospital and went straight to his room. He looked up and gave me a smile. I went over to his bedside and said, “I didn’t know if you needed anything, but I thought I’d drop by and just check on you”. He was so appreciative and said nobody but his family had been to visit. He didn’t have the strength to say much and so I just sat in a chair in his room while he dozed in and out for about 45 minutes.
His wife came in, informed me that she had been running a few errands for the kids, and had to leave him alone for a little while. She didn’t know who she could call to come sit with him since everyone was so busy. I informed her that I was always available, just to call. Her words that followed really made me appreciate the time I took out of my day to come see him, “Thanks so much, I didn’t want to interrupt anyone’s day and just didn’t know who to reach out to”. She called me two more times over the next few days and asked if I could do small errands for her which I was more than happy to do.
The point is….Don’t ever underestimate the power of just showing up when someone is in need. During those times, people don’t always think clearly so sometimes you just need to show them you are there for them. Often they won’t ask for help, but they really need it. This is especially true at work!
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During our discussions on Influence we covered intentionally aligning the sources of what influences us with how we want to influence others. But, we also need to talk about the time for influence.
Jesus said “It’s urgent that you listen carefully to this: Anyone here who believes what I am saying right now and aligns himself with the Father, who has in fact put me in charge, has at this very moment the real, lasting life…” John 5:24 (MSG)
In Luke 9:60 (MSG) Jesus said “First things first. Your Business is Life… And Life is Urgent: Announce God’s Kingdom!“
While our work demands a certain sense of urgency to accomplish our objectives, having a sense of urgency regarding our influence can have a life changing impact. As I go through my daily work, the challenges of work stay relatively constant. But due to multiple reasons, challenges and circumstances, all too often the people we work with change. We change. Life at work changes daily.
I believe that’s why Jesus stressed having a sense of urgency around influence …right now, at this very moment be influential for God’s Kingdom.
The time for influence is… now.
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What would happen if your work today was captured on video? I’m talking every minute…all day long. Every conversation. Every decision. Every action. Every reaction. Every thought (are you kidding me?)… all captured on video. Then tomorrow, we sit down together and watch the game film!
Monday night, I attended an incredible event…Raise the Bar Rally in northwest Arkansas. The organizing team, led by ESPN’s Jimmy Dykes, were praying for 700 men to come to a night of hope, challenge and change.
1,400 showed up! Four men shared personal real life stories that were as real and painful and direct as you can imagine. In addition, several current and former University of Arkansas coaches and athletes shared challenges via video.
Of all of the impactful words spoken, Jimmy Dykes shared one that really stuck with me. Watching the game film. He talked about how painful it is to see the mistakes you made and to see how you can get better. But that wasn’t the challenge. The challenge was “what are you going to do about it?” You have to act to get better!
Can you take some time this week to get quiet…and watch your game film? Where do you need to raise the bar? Write it down. Pray about it. Ask God for the wisdom to know what to do…and the courage to do it!
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22
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Is there a better “feel good” word than encouragement? Have you ever received bad encouragement? Do you receive too much encouragement? Do you give too much encouragement?
This past Monday I participated in a very simple, but incredibly powerful exercise on encouragement. Prior to sharing a devo and our WorkMatters vision with the employees of NorthStar Partnering Group in Fayetteville, AR, they passed out a sheet of paper and a pen to every team member. Each person was asked to write their name at the top of the page and hand it to someone else in the room. They wrote one encouraging statement about that coworker, then passed it on to someone else. After each paper had four comments written, it was folded in half and placed in a bowl to be distributed back to the owner.
As I reviewed the encouraging comments that came back to me, I was struck by the power those words carried. The entire room was uplifted!
In the marketplace, it’s so easy to become critical and judgmental. The pace, the pressure to deliver, demanding bosses, different approaches to solving the same problems, and the list goes on…
Here are three simple suggestions for us all:
- Play the “Encouragement game” in your place of work.
- Before you criticize or judge, think it through. See if there is a better way to communicate your message.
- Be intentional with your encouragement of coworkers, peers, bosses (spouses, children…you get the point).
“Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:18
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