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Resisting the Urge to Complain

We’ve all been there. Sometimes when work gets busy or a client or coworker is difficult to work with, it just feels good to complain a little. But, unfortunately for us, complaining can be a lot less effective than we might think it is. In fact, what seems like a harmless, no-risk way to vent about the day might actually be harmful to your productivity and the people around you. While complaining might feel really good and helpful in the moment, its negativity can linger, adding tension and toxicity into the workplace. This toxicity often results in negative long-term effects. So, the next time you feel like complaining try some of these coping mechanisms instead:

Address the problem

Keep track of what it is that makes you want to complain. Is it a specific coworker? Is it your boss, or the way specific situations have a pattern of being handled? Once you’ve been able to pinpoint the problem, the next step requires planning. Brainstorm ways you can address the identified problem. If it’s a person, such as a coworker or client, start thinking of ways you can address them that will be effective and respectful. Addressing the problem and coming up with solutions will help you decrease the urge to complain.

Think about how much time is being wasted

As an experiment, try recording a rough estimate of how much time you spend complaining each day or each week. You’ll probably be surprised with how much of your time is being used to complain about the situation around you. It might even be enough to make you stop complaining, or at least make you think twice.

Open the channels for feedback

Oftentimes, when people complain, they just want to be heard. This is why giving employees the chance to give feedback can be beneficial, especially when it comes to maintaining a positive workplace environment. If you notice employees or coworkers are complaining during the work day, try giving them an opportunity to speak up. Consider placing a suggestion box in the lunchroom, or host one-on-one or group meetings designed specifically for feedback.

Practice constructive complaining

Not all complaining is bad. The key to successful complaining is finding the right time and place to do so. When you have the urge to complain, write it down and come back to it. Consider rewriting your complaint in a way that makes you feel heard without sounding negative. This is a great practice for retraining your brain to sound less negative and more thoughtful.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know how difficult it can be to bite your tongue. When it comes to complaining, what helps you resist the urge?

How to Make a Day Off Matter

Summer is usually the time when people look forward to relaxing on the beach or their favorite vacation spot with family and friends. As business owners, when the time comes for vacation, it’s usually long overdue. Vacations are opportunities for rejuvenating both the body and mind, while reconnecting with friends along the way. But, they also take a lot of preparation, traveling, and planning. Have you ever come back from vacation needing another one? Us, too.

It seems pretty commonplace to take a lot of vacation time at once for maximum enjoyment. But, more often people are choosing to take one or two days off at the end of the week, and it makes sense. Taking a long weekend to travel to a nearby city, or even use it for a “staycation” is a great way to reap the benefits of a traditional vacation without all of the planning and stress. However, it can be easy to let a day off go to waste by not having a plan on how you want to use it. The next time you decide to make it a long weekend or even take a sporadic day off during the week, here are some tips on how to make the most of it.

Personal Productivity

For a lot of us, a busy week is a normal week where a lot of tasks get forgotten and go undone. It’s important to feel productive, even on a day off. So, the next time you have a spare day, try focusing on the things you’ve put to the side. Maybe you need a whole day dedicated to cleaning your house, catching up on laundry, or prepping meals to make the week to come a little easier. Free days are also great for other tasks like getting an oil change or calling a home repair man to fix the dishwasher that’s been broken for the past month. Catch up on the things that are easy to forget about and you’ll spend your day feeling productive and ready to get back to the office.

Social Time

Vacations help people relax because they are traditionally spent with other people like friends or family members. Try taking a small road trip with some friends for a long weekend. Check out a new city or retreat to your favorite nearby destination. If you don’t have a weekend to spare, even making a lunch date will keep your spirits high and decrease your chances of feeling burnt out.

Rest and Relaxation

A lot of us look forward to vacationing because at times, it’s really nice to have nothing on your schedule. If you need a moment to decompress, consider taking a day to do nothing. Watch movies, take naps, spend time reading a book, or take a workout class. Spend this day doing things you like or that you don’t have time for anymore.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know it’s not easy to get away. Between raising a family, keeping up with friends, and running a business, time is short. But, don’t forget to take care of yourself by taking time off to do the things that make you happy.

How to Avoid Feeling Guilty Over Unfinished Work

For many of us, our to-do list never really has an end. When we cross off an item, there’s inevitably another one to take its place. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but leaving the office without having completed our lists of tasks and projects doesn’t feel good. In fact, it can leave you feeling guilty about heading home and calling it a day. But, guilt isn’t always a bad thing. For some, guilt can act as motivation for completing tasks that absolutely need to be finished. However, there are other times that guilt is nothing but a nuisance. The next time your unfinished project pops into your head while you’re having dinner with your family, or catching up with a friend, consider these tips and suggestions for a guilt-free night or weekend.

Practice Saying No

A lot of times our to-do lists grow because of our own inability to say no. Every time we say “yes” to someone or something, we inevitably add more work to our lists. In times when you’re overwhelmed by your current workload, it’s okay to say no. In addition, don’t forget the power of delegation. You’ve hired a team for a reason. Choose tasks that can be completed by someone on your team, and ask them to pitch in. This is a great way to show your team members that you trust them, while also freeing up some of your time so finish the tough stuff.

Practice Empathy and Compassion

Guilt comes when we forget that we’re human. Humans need to take breaks, or spend time with their families. Humans also make mistakes! When you feel guilty about leaving a task undone, take a minute to step back and practice self-compassion. Take yourself out of your situation and think about what kind of advice you might give to someone experiencing the same scenario. Often times, we’re much more likely to show others compassion than ourselves.

Plan Plan Plan

Even if you can’t get the work done today, having a plan in place for when you’re ready to work again will usually scare the guilt away. Instead of rushing to get things finished, stop and write down a plan from start to finish. This will help keep you accountable and give you a realistic time frame for completing any unfinished projects or tasks.

Keep Learning

Being overwhelmed by work happens, but don’t let it keep you from learning about yourself. When you’re experiencing stress or guilt, try to take note about what works best for you. Maybe you need rest in order to complete the work that gets left behind. Or, maybe you work best after having a plan in place. Knowing what you need to do good work is important and will help you in the long-run.

At Quadrivium Advisors, we know what guilt feels like. Trust us—we’ve been there! But, don’t forget to practice self-care and compassion along the way.

Tips for Creating a Team of Lifelong Learners

Now more than ever, businesses are quickly becoming affected by fast-paced changes in industry trends, advances in technology, and the amount of people entering the workforce. With these changes, it’s crucial that businesses practice adaptability and make changes within their own team culture to protect their long-term success and sustainability within their industries. Traditionally, business teams have been made up of like-minded people with high-performing skill sets and clearly defined roles. However, the idea of a successful team is changing. Now, there is a large emphasis on building teams that embrace change, rely on creativity, and are always looking for ways to learn more about their strengths, while addressing their weaknesses. Creating a learning culture isn’t always easy, but it helps businesses achieve long-term goals while staying competitive within their specific industry.

When you’re ready to make steps towards a culture of learning with your team, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Incentivize Opportunities for Learning. Selling a team on a new idea or change requires buy-in from the majority of team members. People need to know that their time, effort, and subsequent output will be recognized and rewarded. Rewriting your team culture can be difficult, that’s why it’s important to offer opportunities of learning—workshops, collaboration, etc. to the entire team and rewarding them for their efforts.
  • Give Clear and Concise Feedback. Learning doesn’t always end in a successful product or award-winning idea. In fact, some companies even see a drop in sales numbers or revenue when their teams focus on learning. But, that’s okay. In fact, that’s pretty normal. Part of learning is accepting small failures or ideas that just won’t work. As a team leader, it’s crucial that you give feedback to your team, while encouraging them to give helpful feedback to each other. While you may see a negative results at first, teams who value learning are more likely to keep up with trends and create innovative solutions quickly.
  • Walk the Walk. If you’re going to ask your team to practice curiosity, as leader, you have to practice this yourself. Whether it feels like it or not, employees are quick to pick up on the behaviors of top management. And, a lot of times, team members will begin to mimic the behaviors that they see. If you want to establish a culture of continuous learning, your team needs to see you unleash your own curiosity.

At Quadrivium-Advisors, we know how difficult it can be to change your business and team culture. But, if done the right way, these small changes can make all the difference. If you’re ready to make some changes, let us know, we can help you get where you want to be.

Tips for Navigating Your Next Transition

Small business leaders are constantly navigating transitions. Whether it’s developing a new team, re-branding, or launching a new product, businesses in many different capacities, are always changing. Change can be difficult, especially when it comes to learning how to gracefully transition out of the old and into the new. Unfortunately, there isn’t a secret code or magic word to unlock the mystery of transitions. In fact, finding what works for you and your team might take a lot of guessing and checking. However, there are a few simple techniques that will definitely help you navigate your next transition with ease and efficiency.

First and foremost, never forget to assess the situation. As a leader, it’s crucial to take the time to reflect on the situation and make a plan. This might seem obvious, but transitions can often occur in a time of chaos and uncertainty. Don’t forget to slow down, take note of the situation, and decide how you want to move forward. Eventually, you’ll be ready to bring in your team.

Finding the right way to help your team through a transition will take time. So, be prepared to put in the work right away. You can start by focusing on clear and concise communication. People get nervous when change occurs, especially when it’s unexpected or if they feel like they have no control over what’s happening. It’s crucial that you keep your team informed and practice transparency at every stage of the transition. Explain the situation appropriately, ask for feedback, welcome their ideas, and encourage your team to ask questions and get involved. When people feel a sense of ownership in the decision-making process, it’s more likely that they’ll stay committed to the process and play their part during and after the transition. Here are a few ways to ensure communication:

  • Send email updates frequently, with new or important information and details
  • Host group meetings in order to observe team morale
  • Don’t wait too long communicate changes or new decisions to your team members
  • Transitions can be a really uncomfortable experience for some people. Make sure to be mindful of how each of your team members is experiencing the change, and ask for ways to better support them.

A lot of people fear change. But, eventually it will become a new “normal.” We can begin the process of normalizing change by talking about and describing what the future will look like after the transition is complete. Hosting a meeting that focuses on future plans, changes, and expectations can help your employees understand what their roles will be within the transition and how they might change.

Transitions don’t have to be stressful! If you’re experiencing a change and need help navigating it with your team, connect with us here.

 

 

Quadrivium: noun[kwo-driv-ee-uh m]

from Latin quadrivium, which means 'a place where four points meet"

Bringing you to that perfect point.

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info@quadrivium-advisors.com

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Cincinnati OH 45236