October 09, 2006

Today’s challenge was written by my associate, Kate Dwyer.

Good day, team.,

In talking with a client recently. I asked how things are going and he said something that continues to stick with me. He said, ” So far so good. As long as I can keep adding value, I’m happy.” Not “As long as I get paid what I’m worth…” or “As long as we meet our numbers…” or “As long as my job description doesn’t change…” or “As long as I don’t have to work with so and so….”

There are as many frustrations available in the workplace as there are workers. Injustice happens; good work gets overlooked and under-praised. Our attention gets stretched in too many directions at once and we lose our ability to be effective. Deadlines seem designed to stretch us too thin and new variables, that we didn’t even suspect, pop up and undermine our success. Worst of all, finger-pointing can spread like the common cold.

My client’s reply made me realize that every time I see my attention focusing too closely on the performance of others, it’s the perfect time to turn my focus back on myself and ask, “What can I do to add value?” Forget about what everyone else should be doing or who is doing what to whom; never mind all that. What can I do to add value?
That one question can take us back to the most powerful and effective stance we can take, regardless of the circumstances. It’s also one of the shortest routes to job satisfaction.

The challenge this week is to turn inward and ask that question. Whether it’s a relatively normal week, or you’ve got something very challenging going on, ask that question. Look and listen carefully, and then take action.

Have a good week, everyone.

Kate Dwyer
Pathfinder’s Coaching
(503) 296-9249

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