By Dr. Daneen Skube
Tribune Media Services
Q. All the news about the unrest in Egypt and the ripple effect in the Middle East makes me nervous about the fallout global change will have for business. I'm tempted to just stop paying attention to the news but I know not having information is not a solution. How do you advise your clients on controlling their careers with so many big events happening that are not within their control?
A. There are three rules to being able to control your career when so many world events are occurring that you can't control. The three rules are: 1) Preparation 2) Preparation 3) Preparation.
As human beings we all tend to worry a lot in and out of the workplace. Our paychecks are our security blanket in a world where money allows us to survive. Anything that threatens our paycheck can give us permanent insomnia.
What I tell my clients is to shift their attention from vague worries to specific preparation. Your imagination is your best friend if you use it to get you ready to deal with problems.
The research that has been done on who lives and who dies in adverse circumstances shows repeatedly that the people who live were the ones who had thought about the problems they end up encountering. The people who die tend to be those who never imagined they would have to deal with adversity.
To get prepared, close your eyes and vividly imagine any scenario you fret about. Take piece of paper and write down your fearful scenario. Now brainstorm on paper how this event would affect your industry, your organization and your job. Finish by writing down the actions you can take now that would position you to survive and even thrive if the world throws you a scary curveball.
My clients who use their imaginations to define the specifics of worrisome circumstances tell me there are two benefits:
1) They sleep well because they know they have the tools and a plan to cope with adversity.
2) If frightening events unfold, they do not freeze up, because they have never anticipated these scenarios.
Fear is an emotion that has usually had a bad reputation in the business world. The myths about fear include that people who acknowledge anxiety are weak, impotent or inferior to the people who feel no fear.
I've always enjoyed the T-shirt I see some people wear that says "No Fear!" on the front and "Really Stupid" on the back
The truth is that your fear is your early warning security system, and it's trying to get you to gear up for various problems. If you learn to listen to your inner warning siren, you will be in the right place, doing the right thing, with your knees bent to adapt rather than crumble when adversity strikes.
Daneen Skube, Ph.D., executive coach, trainer, therapist and speaker, also appears as the FOX Channel's "Workplace Guru" . She's the author of "Interpersonal Edge: Breakthrough Tools for Talking to Anyone, Anywhere, About Anything" (Hay House, 2006). Contact Dr. Skube at www.interpersonaledge.com or 1420 NW Gilman Blvd., #2845, Issaquah, WA 98027. Sorry, no personal replies.
June 5, 11 - June 18, 11 Edition