10-Step Survival Guide for Tough Times


Times are tough.

2 million jobs lost in 2008, 533,000 in November alone, the most in 34 years.  Manufacturing is down.  Now the automotive industry is requiring a bailout.

The economy is moving into a very difficult and tumultuous time.  We are all feeling nervous about what is coming.  Even companies in strong positions are running scared.

But, in the meantime, we must accomplish more in less time! Why? Because of the 2 million lost jobs.

We MUST be more productive and it is quite possible our job depends upon it.

What can you do?

Surprisingly, more than you might think.  Below are some ideas that may help you and/or the people you work with.  Follow our made-up 10-step recovery system and you will at least feel better:

  1. Stop reading the news. Or at least read less.  The dire headlines will continue with every nuance discussed about how the economy will never recover.  It makes for good, continuous coverage for journalists but is bad for our psyche. When the economy is recovering, the news will trumpet that too. Absolutely stop watching the news, for the same reasons as above.
  2. Do something selfless. Go do something positive and self-less for someone else.  You will feel good, they will feel good and perhaps someone is watching your random act of kindness.
  3. Create a ‘Thankful’ List. Sit down as a group and create your ‘Most Thankful’ list.  Each person shares one item on the list. We really do have a great deal to be thankful for. Go volunteer at a homeless shelter if you don’t feel thankful. Trust me, you will after that.
  4. Think positive thoughts – you will, in fact, get through this.  Say it to yourself.  Say it to each other. This may seem silly, but thinking positively is a habit. Create a good habit.
  5. Find Motivational Quotes. Assign a task for everyone to go out and find their favorite motivational quote, then share it with each other about why you picked that particular quote.  What personal meaning does it have.
  6. Fund an Entrepreneur. Have everyone pitch in $5.00 and create a pool. Goto www.Kiva.org and invest in an entrepreneur in a third world country. There are dozens to choose from and through the process, you get to decided, as a group, the kind of person and industry you want to support. This can lead to a great discussion of values.
  7. Spend Time As A Group. Set focused time aside to problem solve as a group.  We have tremendous experience that we could share.  When times are good and the money is rolling in, no one needs to worry about best practices or share ideas.  Right now is the time.  Now.
  8. Communicate Clearly. Communicate VERY clearly about the above tasks and any other tasks, situtation or challenge facing your group.  Don’t make it sound more that it is – be honest and clear, yet positive. Tell people times are tough and you will all need to get through it together.  Difficult times and challenges faced are what bring out character, both individually and as a group.
  9. Buy One of Our Group Activities. Carve out 60 minutes and run it.  It will bring the group together and potentially discussion about how you can all be more productive as a group or possibly communicate better or any number of potential outcomes depending upon which activity you choose.  And worst-case scenario, you purchasing our product will help us and make us feel better!
  10. What is your idea for #10? Send us your best idea for what we should add to this list and you will receive your choice of a digital product — $24.95 value – simply for sharing your knowledge.

Email James Carter at jcarter@buildingteams.com and tell him your idea and which digital product you would like to have and she will respond to you. Pick them here.

We will accumulate the responses and ideas and put them in a future blog post.

Let’s talk seriously for a moment — during these difficult times many organizations struggle with decisions to reduce expenses and even lay off employees.

But now more than ever, it is imperative that companies optimize their employee’s potential and strive to develop a high performance teams.  When companies work with minimal resources, it is more crucial to improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace.  Teams with the right combination of knowledge, skills and motivation to excel can give the organization a competitive advantage.

Whether conducted by company trainers or outside consultants, team initiatives can promote greater cooperation, better communication and minimize dysfunctional conflict.  Experiential learning techniques such as interpersonal trust exercise, collaborative initiatives or interactive games can be very beneficial.

Remember, it is the Holiday season. Give Thanks. Reach out. Help a Stranger. Smile.

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