Want sanity? Try 95%, Rule No. 6 and QTIP
I have two primary principles that keep me sane (although I know that is questionable from time to time):
- Ninety-five percent of my pain and trouble is caused by myself (my own actions).
- If it was easy, everybody would do it. (Actually, this is a joint principle that came from another CPA and friend, Bob Weidle, during our days of night school at Loyola College University.)
In thinking about that, I would have to add two more:
- Rule No. 6 from Ben Zander: "Don't take yourself too seriously." (See this post from Stormwind about Rule No. 6.)
- QTIP (or, quit taking it personally). Our friend, management speaker and author Vicki Trotter-Hess, talks about QTIP in her blog post titled, Nurses Quit Taking Things Personally. (You can substitute CPAs, or any occupation for nurses.)
She offers some great advice for "unloading your gun" when you begin to get negative and defensive. She says you need to SHIFT-IT (and SHIFT-IT good):
S: Stop and take a deep breath: This important first step buys you some time.
H: Harness harmful knee-jerk reactions: In this case, your first instinct is to lash out and defend yourself. You have "loaded your gun" and you're ready to fire.
I: Identify and manage negative emotions: You are feeling defensive and taking this personally. You might resent the comment being made sarcastically.
F: Find new options: Slow down and take a few minutes to find out what really happened. Choose not to take it personally. Instead, view the comments about what needs to be done and avoid seeing them as a personal attack. After all, the work is really more about the patients than it is about you and your co-worker.
T: Take one positive action: Talk to your co-worker and find out what you missed (if you did miss something) and respond accordingly.
Vicki even has some helpful tools for this on her Web site.
What do you think? What are your rules to live by?