How to Keep Perspective at Work

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“If you don’t like something, change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”- Mary Engelbreit 

It’s important to keep a healthy perspective, both in business and life. Why? Because perspective keeps our priorities in the right order, and it lessens frustrations when looking at the big picture.

Our perspective is often reflected in our communication. And because communication is the driving force behind much of our day-to-day lives, perspective is really important. 

Since we spend most of our days at work, let’s talk about keeping a healthy perspective in business. 

At Design Extensions, we’re a digital agency. While we do great things, we’re not in the business of saving lives. Our services can tremendously improve and add value to a business, but they’re not a matter of life or death.

With that said, some days we come across wrinkles in our plans and bumps in the road. During these times, we must keep perspective and remember that things could always be worse.

If our perspective on a matter is not proportionate to reality, then we’ll react with harmful communication instead of helpful communication. And that’s really not what we want to do.

Let’s use an office example.

If our team receives an urgent support ticket, such as a request to restore a down site, it’s important and should be handled as soon as possible. However, it should also be kept within the frame of reference.

What does that mean? Well, regardless of how the client approaches us, we should take action and respond in a calm and collected way — a helpful way, not a harmful way — knowing that the urgent support ticket is not the end of the world, just a part of the world.

It will get taken care of; it will be okay; and we will all move on. 

That’s the result of keeping perspective. 

Everyone is living their own story, both inside and outside the office, from coworkers to clients and everyone else we meet on any given day. We need to be sensitive to that.

We should always extend grace and have patience when things don’t go according to our plans. 

Whether we realize it or not, the reality is that most of what we are dealing with on a daily basis is not a life or death situation. 

When you stop and think about it — when you put things in perspective — you’ll probably see that things aren’t quite as bad as you make them out to be; in fact, things might not be that big a deal at all. 

Someone else out there may be having a really hard time, though, facing an actual life or death situation. And sometimes, that person is closer to you than you think, like on the receiving end of that email, phone call, or even sitting right beside you in the office.

So before you do anything — before you respond, before you react with harmful communication instead of helpful communication — do this:

Breathe.

Gather perspective.

Then, respond through effective, appropriate, and helpful communication. 

And don’t forget to show grace. You never know what someone else is going through, and at the end of the day, we’re all in this thing together.

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