Steps to Improving Morale

Now we know that shallow praise doesn’t work, While it boosts self esteem, it devastates self respect.  Let’s look at the opposite.

I can’t do anything right.  He’s always late.  Don’t ask her how she feels, she’ll tell you.  Night shift is a bunch of lazy kids that we have to clean up after when we get in.  Don’t tell him he messed up, he’s the boss and he throws things.  These are all the negative thoughts I came across in one day! On the basic level, the personal level, what you say to yourself is something you HEAR so it goes into your BRAIN.  So even if it comes from your brain, if you say it out loud, your brain says, “Ohh, this is important!  Better store that!”  Take a music student for instance.  One that says, “I always mess this part up!  I’ve practiced it for hours and just when I think I’ve got it, I play it and mess it up again.”  Well, of Course he messes that part up.  Look at the 1st thing he says:  I always mess this part up.  Brain takes that as a rule to be followed.  So when he gets to the part of the song, the rule is to mess it up, so he does.  What does this have to do with morale?

When you try to improve the morale of the group, you have to start with yourself.  Here’s something to try.  When you make a mistake, use the word “Oops” then go on.  Finish what you’re doing, make a note of the mistake and then figure out how to avoid it the next time.  Making a mistake is not a character flaw, it’s human nature.  Do not make a judgment about yourself regarding the mistake.  If you have caused damage, apologize, but again do not judge yourself.  You will get plenty of judging from the people around you.  If you try and fail at something say, “Isn’t that interesting?  I wasn’t expecting that.  Hmmm.  Learned something.”  Once again, do not judge.  If you judge yourself as incapable of achieving a goal, you won’t be disappointed if you don’t make it.  Judging and giving up is much easier to do than to step back, take a different perspective and try again.  You won’t see many of the top people in any field that take that judge and give up approach.  You know the old saw about Thomas Edison.  When asked why he continued to work after he’d failed 1000’s of times, he said he didn’t fail 1000’s of times, he just found 1000’s of ways it wouldn’t work.  There’s more to it than that.  He cataloged all his experiments and discovered the properties of 1000’s of different materials when exposed to electricity, and he wrote them down!  This was information that would be invaluable to his further experiments.  Then there are the things beyond your control.  You get stuck in traffic on your way to the airport, and instead of asking, “Why does this always have to happen to me,” you say, “now I’m fascinated.”  The world doesn’t have it in for you.  It rains on the powerful and the peon alike. Those that say, “Life isn’t FAIR,” are deluded.  Life is fair, it’s just impartial.  Picture Life as a being, sitting in a corner office making decisions about the day.  “There will be traffic problems today.  It will rain this afternoon even though it’s not in forecast.”  He doesn’t look at his calendar and say, “Oh Look!  Tom is heading toward the airport, and he’s agitated.  Control?  put a student driver and a UPS truck ahead of them.”

Well of COURSE this makes sense.  With training, you start to recognize the judgmental statements you make to yourself that just don’t help you progress.  Picture what you want to be.  Punctual?  Accurate? Understanding?  Wise?  So if you are running late, think to yourself that you are usually punctual and this is an anomaly.  If you make a mistake in the paperwork, find the mistake, circle it and study so you don’t make the same mistake the next time.  Correct the mistake and go on.  If someone comes to you crying about something, especially female, don’t give objective comments and try to give them answers.  Most likely those are the 1st things they did and just told you about the problem for a new perspective.  If you commiserate with them, and hold their hands through the difficulty, they will consider you a very important person in their lives.  They will say you’re very understanding.  If you quote this blog, folks will think you wise.  (grins)  This is the self respect which leads to self worth which is superior to self esteem, as it doesn’t change with your mood.

  1. Don’t judge yourself for mistakes you make.  Those are basic human nature and it doesn’t reflect on your character.
  2. Don’t judge yourself for failing.  It is a chance to improve, perfect, practice technic, become more flexible and helps you learn something new.
  3. Don’t judge yourself for things beyond your control.  This hurricane is NOT your fault, and its trajectory across your Aunt Minnie’s back yard is not a slight to you or your family.

This is the 1st step in maintaining YOUR morale.  It is something you must practice.


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