The Core Files: The Great Rearranging, Clarity & Thinking Small

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In my mind, our expectations for the holiday season feel a bit misaligned. Many of us are juggling typically high expectations — in the midst of a pandemic world that simply feels a bit unhinged. Personally, it feels much like a bad dream playing out in slow motion.

Within our work lives though, it feels as if things are speeding up. That mountains need to be moved. That work has been put off. That we need to get going. Alongside all of this, we may have evolved as people (and so have feelings about work), in ways that may be difficult to pin down.

I would venture to say this is somewhat of a universal experience.

A “great rearranging” — so to speak.

On a core level, you should be free to feel the way you do about things — whether this has energized or drained you. Ultimately, it seems that we have been gifted an abundance of clarity. A reminder to step back. A realization that we should be focusing on what is important. And clarity is a gift, if we have a plan to wade through it.

So, what is to be done? How can we take what we now know about work life & use it carefully. Wisely. Precisely. How do we help our teams process this great “rearranging”. How do we get through it as individuals?

For what it’s worth, I’ve been thinking differently. Thinking small. Small moments. Small, meaningful gestures. Maybe we can apply a similar strategy to work life. Perhaps we can face where we are now at work — in measured, precise fashion.

A few suggestions:

  • Have a conversation about a single element of the psychological contract that may have shifted for you (or a team member).
  • Identify one career goal for 2022 — that holds true meaning.
  • Lose one goal that no longer serves you.
  • Re-examine one obstacle or blocker to success.
  • Be grateful for one glorious co-worker, client, supervisor or mentor.
  • Focus on one success that unfolded in 2021 & truly revel in it.

Let’s take a deep breath, slow down & think small.

But with a wild overabundance of heart.

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist & speaker regarding the dynamic nature of work life. A charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program, her practice helps people, teams & organizations build stronger work life foundations through the practice of core stability. Her thoughts on work life have also appeared at the Harvard Business Review, Forbes, BBC Work Life, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

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