...never say never

articles by ilyse Jul 22, 2019

I was so excited to see the word "Never" lined out.

Is it just me, or does that word make you a little angry?

Let's just chuck that in the fuck-it-bucket and "NEVER" look back!

How's about that?

Sorry (not sorry) to offend, but seriously, who coined that phrase and why?

(For the history buffs, it was a wildly successful slogan by Phil Slott, in 1984. The Gillette Company used it in their campaign, launching their antiperspirant Dry Idea. It went on to be one of the most famous ad slogans of all time.)

Ok, yes, there is a time and a place to buck up and make it happen. I completely get that.

Deadlines. Crunch time.

I am the first to rally for all hands on deck when we are under the gun.

I get it! My sense of urgency is can check my references.

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But I’m going to ask you to hang in here and read the rest.

It may offer a fresh perspective or you may vehemently disagree.

Either way, this community is incredibly engaged and the conversation is rich.

Just stay with me here and please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

If you’ve been reading my posts, you're getting the gist of my vibe.

Life is long (versus short) and I don’t believe we were meant to spend it freaked out, stressed out and white-knuckling our way through the day.

Considering we spend about 1/3 of our life at work, it should be tolerable at least, good at a minimum, but what about shooting for terrific. Is that really out of the realm of possibility? It's a third of our lives!

I write about love, joy, laughter and lifting each other up in the workplace. If that content annoys you, take a peek inward and ask why. (just sayin')

So, I ask you.

Look around your office.

How does the “never let them see you sweat” mentality manifest?

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How many overweight folks are at work?

That’s how a lot of people deal with being under pressure. I’ve gone that route more than a few times in my life as a coping mechanism.

No judgment, only observation.

I've put my hand in the cookie jar to ease the tension only to add stress in another painful way. There is nothing wrong with indulging, don't get me wrong here. But as a way of coping multiple times a day, all throughout the day or using food as a way to stifle the pressure, that's what I'm talking about.

If you are someone who can't take the heat and abuses food, I feel you, and you know exactly what I'm talking about.

What about the ones that go outside to smoke?

Whether it’s the old school tobacco or to vape, using something to inhale the bad to exhale the bad is another pressure relief valve.

For many, it is a lifelong habit, but the habit may be triggered by needing to release tension and stress.

Drink, pop a pill, whatever the "coping mechanism" became to offset that old school mentality ...there are so many people hurting in one form or another, one cubicle over.

Then there are the workaholics who are sweating it out with the hours they keep. Papers become their companions and late nights at the office. They often don’t know anything else. Even when they’re at home, it feels like nobody’s there.

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What if...

...we began to see these behaviors for what is beneath them and treat the entire person?

This can be as simple as noticing someone is spinning out of control and picking them up for a walk, talk, a cup of coffee or a breath of fresh air. So often we leave people to their own devices, which is to suffer in their tiny cubicle of hell and we do nothing even though we know they are having a hard time. What if we leaned in, instead? What if it wasn't a performance issue, it was simply someone who looked like they were under too much pressure?

...when taking a "whole-istic" approach to Corporate wellness, what might be available for companies?

This could look like having meetings someplace other than a conference room every once in a while to shake things up. This could start with asking your small team and then asking the bigger team what is important to you about your wellness and what do you value. What do you need? Imagine how seen and valued your teams would feel and what you would receive in return.

...throughout the day there were mini opportunities to “always allow them to exhale” in an effort to offset the days of “never let them see you sweat”?

This could look like providing meditations apps, walking meetings instead of sitting meetings, stretch breaks to name a few ideas of how to integrate wellness. There are standing desks and ergonomic chairs to help with back and neck discomfort. It begins with care and concern. became "hip" and savvy to be mindful of your well-being as a way to become a top performer?

This could look like retreats, off-site meetings, and think tanks. This could be a whole new way of up-leveling your executive team, that would be modeled to every other team. Imagined what could become of your company.

...things like visualization, guided meditation, and brain dumping were not just encouraged but time was carved out for them?


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...“getting on your mat” for 10 minutes in the middle of the day was the difference between a sluggish afternoon and a renewed sense of focus? watched, looked and listened to what was ailing Management and your Teams and responded with wellness that ignited their spirit, enthusiasm, creativity, productivity that kept them from getting sick?

Are you with me in seeing the possibility of tuning in and tapping into your greatest resource? The team.... your people are everything. Having them sweating it out, white-knuckling through their day and counting down the clock till quitting time is a rough way to work and live. Managers and Leaders have the opportunity to change that.

Never let them see you sweat” is antiquated and so much more is available the moment we choose curiosity and honesty about what’s really going on.

Welcome to future and beyond!




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