Think about the last three times you became upset about something in your personal life. It's almost a certainty that at least one of those situations was caused by the fact that your limits were crossed. You probably didn't articulate those limits in advance. For example, your neighbor comes over unannounced to chat. You have only a few minutes to spare, but you fail to tell your visitor. Out of kindness, you listen while your blood pressure rises as the neighbor talks for an hour.
-Michael C. Donaldson, Negotiating for Dummies
In the beginning, I thought inviting people to lunch was a good idea. Then at one of the lunches, I found out that an individual had worked the overnight shift, changed out of uniform, and caught a couple of hours of sleep prior to joining me for lunch. This person didn't have enough time to go home and come back for our lunch, and didn't want to miss the opportunity to accept a lunch invitation from the CEO. From that day forward, I knew that I had to have meals with staff members at rotating hours to fit into their schedules, not into mine. Even to listen, you have to make yourself available to the logistic needs of others.
-Dr. David Feinberg, former CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, quoted in Prescription for Excellence
Validate customers' decisions. Even if you do not agree with customers' choices, always validate their decisions. If the vacuum salesperson was not able to make the sale, he could validate the customer's decision by saying, "I understand how you feel. This brand is costly."
- Renee Evenson, Customer Service Training 101
Happiness in the workplace has a lot more to do with you than you may think, and less to do with the workplace itself. What makes you genuinely happy in your job surprisingly isn't about promotions or higher pay. It's not the things that happen to us; instead, we all create our own personal experiences. Srikumar Rao, the author of Happiness at Work states, "The knowledge that we are responsible for living the life we have is our most powerful tool."