Let Me Ask My Manager.

Tuesday March 11, 2014

How many of you have read Gretchen Rubin's excellent book "The Happiness Project"? Ms Rubin, originally a historical biographer, has made a new career from writing about happiness and how to facilitate it (rather than pursuing it). I'd certainly recommend that book.

This week I read another of her ideas, which sounds pretty good advice.

We've all been in a situation where we have asked someone on the other end of a phone line to do something and they've said "Well, I don't know: let me ask my manager." There's a pause while the phone plays Beethoven's Ode to Joy, or Bach's Air on a G String (but never the Hallelujah Chorus, I've noticed) and then, if you're lucky, the person comes back with an answer.

Ms Rubin suggests that we should all have our own manager. Our manager is the one who always knows what the company policy is (she reminds us of our values), she knows our work commitments and priorities ("No – you don't have time to take on that project because I need you to deliver on this one) and because she is a good manager she wants to develop us to our best and fullest potential ("Yes, this is something new for you, but it will be good experience and I think you'll get a lot out of it.")

Very few of us have the financial wherewithal to employ a real human manager, but we can all be our own manager. Rather than immediately saying "yes" to something (c'mon, we all like to say "yes" don't we? We like to make people happy) or "no" because it sounds scary, we should take a moment to consult with ourselves. Is this project or request I'm thinking about in keeping with what I really want, long term? Do I have the time or other resources to commit to it? Will it contribute to my growth as a human being?

Does this sound selfish to you?

Maybe we need to consider that, with a predisposition to depression, that working on something that is misaligned with what we believe in, which exhausts our time, energy or finances, which stifles our growth and self-expression is just plain stupid.

If we are more, we can give more.

So let's start interviewing ourselves for that manager's position right now.
You can find Ms Rubin's original article here. http://linkd.in/1i0O4GP

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