If self-confidence is not the key to success, it is certainly a major ingredient. People tend to see you as you see yourself. Act uncertain of yourself, assume that you cannot do something, dwell only on your shortcomings—and other people will share your low opinion of yourself.
Conversely, when you’re sure of yourself and your abilities—they’ll buy that, too. How, though, can you find the energy and determination that comes from total self-assurance, even when you feel temporarily low?
Here are four techniques for boosting personal morale that have worked for others. They may work for you.
12 Ways To Manage Your Time More Effectively
Handled correctly, a grievance can be a healthy safety valve that permits the griper to get things off his chest and, consequently, satisfaction.
Mishandled, even a minor complaint can mushroom into anger, stubbornness, spitefulness, lack of cooperation and, finally, disloyalty. In dealing with other people’s dissatisfactions, supervisors are frequently guilty of thoughtlessness and haste. Here are the most common blunders to avoid:
Making it difficult for workers to come to you. Of course you’re busy. You have meetings to attend, paperwork to get out, superiors to report to, work to oversee. Under such circumstances, an employee’s grievance can seem very insignificant. But if the worker can’t turn to you, to whom can he go? Deny him the one logical outlet for what is troubling him, and you are setting the stage for massive discontent. So make yourself available.
Not giving him your complete attention. Allowing the employee to tell his story is not enough. You must give him your undivided attention. It is insulting to invite a man to talk to you, then riffle through papers, take telephone calls or walk around while he is unburdening himself.
Not taking the complaint seriously. Shaking your head, clucking your tongue, smiling in an all-knowing manner while a worker is relating his problem to you—these are only a few of the ways you can tell him that you think his complaint lacks merit. If one of your people feels strongly enough to articulate a grievance, you owe him the courtesy of serious, attentive hearing.
Expressing an opinion too soon. To reach a conclusion before you have all the evidence is not only manifestly unfair, but by doing so, you risk appearing ignorant of subordinates. And once workers lose respect for their supervisor, his ability to supervise is irreparably damaged
Hiding behind red tape. “I’ll have to check that out with the boss.” “As soon as I get the proper forms, I’ll pass your complaint along.” The supervisor who puts an employee’s gripe off by appealing to bureaucracy may succeed in temporarily stifling the complaint, but at the same time he is laying the foundation for another, larger beef.
Not letting a worker know what’s being done about his complaint. Because an employee’s complaint is just one of many items on a supervisor's calendar, a supervisor may neglect to keep an individual informed of its disposition. But just as we can only think of the one tooth that aches, so an employee dwells on the subject of his discontent.
Not checking on the settlement of a complaint. Grievances are seldom pleasant. Perhaps that’s why some supervisors are eager to drop them as soon as possible. A crucial final step, however, is to see that a complaint is resolved—by removing the cause of it, compensating for it in some way or proving, to the employee’s satisfaction, that his complaint was unwarranted. Like any other job, in short, a grievance should be seen through to the end.
Not forgetting a grievance once it is resolved. When we bear a grudge, we bear the heaviest, most profitless burden of all, for it consumes valuable energy better spent in other activities, it poisons relationships, and it undermines the very essence of team work. Unfortunately, it is all too human to remember complaints, particularly if we figure in them. But dwelling on the past accomplishes little. And, as a supervisor, one of your main concerns is necessarily with accomplishment. So, in the matter of employee grievances, resolve that once a case is closed, it is closed forever. Your people will respect you for it.