I spent most of yesterday trying unsuccessfully to fix an Apple Time Capsule that all of a sudden doesn’t want to talk to my Mac. Mid-afternoon, I came up for air and, realising I was losing a beautiful day of sunshine, persuaded Steve to come out for a walk with me. We ended up popping into our local Costa for afternoon tea and cake. To treat ourselves after having been snowed in for ten days.
On the few Sundays we’ve been in before it has normally been quite quiet, but yesterday I couldn’t believe how busy it was! Not only that but I was astonished by how much food we were all packing away. Large hot chocolates with whipped cream and all the toppings were going down well as were muffins, carrot cake and caramel shortcake. People who couldn’t get tables were getting take-aways. I know this is pretty much the norm in the city, but it’s unheard of here.
“What on earth is going on?” I wondered.
And then it struck me: isn’t today what the scientists call the most depressing day of year?
It’s three weeks already since Christmas, the bills are coming in for all the debt we ran up in giving ourselves a great time, and it’s two weeks till we get paid again. Not only that but the novelty of the snow has passed, our New Year resolutions are already wearing thin, and there’s a whole lot more winter to get through before the Easter holidays are upon us. Add to that any dissatisfaction with work and you can quite understand why people were loading up on carbs.
With that in mind, I was really heartened an hour or so later to read a comment on my Friday post from Ayo Olaniyan, who writes over at Discovering Purpose. He’d caught a BBC news article that I’d missed that talked of the benefits of workers giving direct feedback to their bosses.
In a nutshell, researcher Emma Donaldson-Feidler has found that, such feedback can positively affect managers in a number of ways, for example by improving their ability to empathise, resolve conflict and cope with emotions.
Some people, including myself in the past, have been slow to speak up and offer feedback to difficult bosses, believing it’ll do more harm than good. But here was research that was saying the opposite. How cool!
So, guys, if you really are feeling blah today, and your boss is only adding to the problem, a word of advice. Don’t button your lip. Tell her or him, constructively of course, how their behaviour affects you and what they could do differently to be more helpful and supportive.
It seems that, not only can this allow you to feel better, it can have a positive affect beyond you too.
What do you think? Is this something you’ve done and with what results? I’m really keen to hear!