Weekly Workplace Communication Tip — Taking the First Step

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  • Have you ever found yourself in a repeat pattern of dissatisfaction in your work relationships?
  • Do you long for improved productivity or synergy with your team, or in the level of support or respect you receive from your boss or co-workers?

Considering that most of us spend a third of our day working, commuting, or thinking about work or commuting, why wouldn’t we want these things?

Ike Lasater suggests the first step is to take a look at yourself – recognizing your own habitual thinking and behavior that may be keeping you from the workplace experience you want. Even if we change jobs altogether, these habitual patterns are likely to surface again and again.

Learning to connect with your behavior at the level of needs is a way to step out of our habitual ways of reacting. As we identify, time and time again, the needs that were and were not met by our actions, particularly in situations where we reacted habitually, space opens within us to act differently in the future.

For example, let’s say you react habitually to a co-worker’s remark. Next time this happens, instead of looking outward (with blame, judgment of your co-worker, or a search through the want ads), take a look at yourself.

You might discover your reaction was not in harmony with your values. You might inquire into the need you were seeking to meet by your reaction – such as respect, acknowledgment, or support — and alternately what need was not met when you responded this way. The natural result of this inquiry is the question, “How might I do it differently the next time to better meet my needs?”

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Mindful Practice for the Week

This week, pause to recognize one habitual reaction you have with a co-worker, boss or customer. Ask yourself if this reaction is in harmony with your values. What needs were met or not met by this reaction?

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