Where There’s Good Will, There’s a Way
The last thing we want is for people to have to choose between family and work, especially in an emergency situation. But not all of us are in the position to offer paid family leave to our employees; we can barely pay ourselves, if at all. But when flex time has been proven to increase loyalty, lower turnover, and enable more productive employees (and there- fore profitability), how can we find ways to take ad- vantage of flexibility?
Flex Time Defined
The word flexibility is quite subjective, with no one-size- fits all definition. One person’s flexible schedule might be an- other’s daily grind. Slightly easing off the work-week pedal for one person can feel like retirement to someone else, which is precisely the point. Flexibility is personal.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a flexible work schedule is an alternative to the traditional 9-to-5, 40- hour work week.9 Employees are given the opportunity to vary their arrival and/or departure times.
James pointed out that how we act is how we attract customers and loyal staff. As business owners, we know that we are nothing without retaining our major talent. As much as we rely on our own savvy, we need staff members (or outside consultants) whose ideas make us buzz, whose ethics match our own, who have the versatility to wear many hats (without complaining), and whose passion fuels them to go further and learn faster.
Making the Pivot
The old way of doing business, including the adherence to mandatory rules and policies, is dead. People expect you to work with them, understand their position, and help them make the best out of the work- life balance they crave. Before I spend the rest of this chapter addressing the extremely different work culture and employee expectations that have become more prevalent throughout the last two decades, I want to offer some sage advice that my personal coach for the past five years,
If you are in business, you have probably been burned too many times to count. We have all learned from one bad experience to another that it is critical to protect ourselves. However, there is always a time and a place for flexibility. Bending to the conditions that catch you off guard is not the same as being pushed around. Of course you will discern which conditions you should adapt to in order to sustain your business,
Patience Requires Self-Care
We lose patience a lot more quickly when we are feeling tired, frazzled, stressed, and anxious. In fact, it is impossible to be patient when we aren’t at our peak. I know I have to take care of myself first in order to have the patience to do good business day in and day out. So although the previous tips are practices I have in place, self-care is a much broader and per- sonal approach to maintaining patience.
How to Talk Yourself Off the Ledge
Just when you are making great strides with practicing patience, in walks that guy. The one who is never satisfied, the one who never thanks you for going above and beyond, the one who you wish would fire you already and quit making you feel like garbage. You think you might blow this time. After all, you are human, and you have your limits. You’ve tried the patient route before, but it’s to the point where it feels flat-out toxic to keep doing business with this one.
How to Pack Your Patience
Patience is like good health: You can never have too much of it. We can all stand to work on developing more patience. Personally, I have to make conscious efforts every single day to practice patience, which means I have to also be hyper aware of the opportunities to flex my patience muscle. A waiter forgetting to bring my food out after several reminders becomes an opportunity to improve my patience skills. A client who missed our second rescheduled call is an opportunity to turn patience into a professional practice.
John M. Sweeney is the founder of a social movement called Suspended Coffees. In his article, “Kindness Makes Good Business,” Sweeney describes himself as being, among other things, a kindness coach, saying that making others happy had always been his mission in life. This is why, when it came to his career, he found himself flailing. For two-and-a-half years he was unemployed and felt he had no purpose. Then he read about an old tradition called cafe sospeso or “suspended coffee,” which began in the cafes of Naples,
The Myth of Perfection
One of the many reasons perfection is unattainable is because our desire for it relies on the delusion that we can control things. Although we can control how disciplined we are, whether we dedicate our time to our work, or even how we treat others, let’s face it, controlling the daily goings-on is not just a myth, it’s a pipe dream. Could I control the fact that the signal on my cell dropped while in the middle of a long-awaited consultation?