Turning Conflict Into Opportunity



By Mary Ann Faremouth,

 

There are many uncertainties in our life at the moment, much like a mystery novel full of suspense. All our lives are at such a pivotal place and dependent upon many factors which are yet to be seen and uncovered.  As humans, we like to know what’s just around the corner but right now we are at the turning point and needing patience.  We want to make the right decisions but we don’t know what that decision is just yet.  We may want to sneak a peek at what to expect. When reading a mystery novel, are you tempted to read the last chapter before going through all the steps leading up to the unraveling of the ending?  So many questions, so few answers.  With so many things influx, the only thing we can count on is uncertainty and change. There are things we can do to take charge of that changing world in front of us.

 

The book, “Revolutionary Recruiting,” that discusses the Faremouth Method and its many applications in the work world, is a genre called “Prescriptive Non-Fiction.”  When I think about the current challenges in our world today, including Covid-19, climate and economic challenges, and the effects it is bringing about in the New Work World, I am reminded of the genre referred to as Fiction. Unlike Prescriptive Non-fiction that is a step-by-step process, the challenges of today can be compared to a mystery novel where we don’t know how things are going to unfold and manifest.  As we turn the pages in this story on a daily basis, we anticipate the next event.  Are we going to continue to work remotely? Will our jobs be outsourced?  Will all resumes be selected by a computer program that is based on algorithms, keywords, and statistics? Will automation and the digital world replace the human element and eliminate previous jobs done by real people?  Will collaboration with people via Zoom or other similar platforms allow the work environment to really be advanced and expanded with new innovative ideas that previously had not been considered? Patience and perseverance play a major role in unraveling the current mystery in your life as to where your work world is going.  None of us know how to really deal with the change this mystery has brought about. So often we get so complacent and familiar with things the way they have always been that we are not paying attention to variations or changes, etc.  Sometimes that “autopilot mentality” can get us into trouble.

 

I had a small accident this week that personified not paying attention.  There was an expensive lesson that went along with that experience that I really was not happy about. One morning this week, while feeling the anxiety of a potential hurricane coming into the Houston area, I got into my car, not thinking that I had put it into the garage for safety during the storm.  Being on autopilot and not remembering that the car was now in the garage, I put the car in reverse and backed up when, all of a sudden, I heard this big bang.  I had backed into the garage door and was now unable to pull the garage door up or down.  It was a costly lesson, for sure, after calling a repair man to fix the damage caused by my not paying attention.  This made me ponder some important considerations we might all start thinking about to avoid costly accidents.  The cost I am referring to might be more related to causing us distress or harm in moving forward for ultimate success in the New Work World.

 

Let’s look at some of the lessons I learned from my costly accident and apply those lessons to the New Work World:

 

1. Be Conscious and Aware of the World Around You

 

My usual routine had changed.  If I had taken the time to be conscious of the change in my normal routine, I would not have backed into the garage door.

Things are not the same and may not ever go back to exactly how they were in the world of work.  We may have to change and adapt to the way we do things. Just today, a client called me to discuss how he was not pleased with the complacent attitude of a long-term employee.  He told me in this new world employees are going to have to become more of a “hunter” mentality rather than a “gatherer” mentality.  In other words, they are going to have to make more of an effort to cultivate new business. Resting on one’s laurels of the past is not an acceptable modus operandi in the New Work World.  More effort than ever is going to have to be executed to get the results we may have gotten before with very little effort.

 

2. Slow Yourself Down

 

Take deep breaths so that you are conscious of your environment.  If I had maybe done a short meditation or gotten more centered and grounded instead of being a mini cyclone, whirling around the house with a million things on my mind, I may have avoided that costly accident that delayed me achieving the work I had on my agenda for the day.

 

Mindfulness practices may be more welcome in the workplace, both by employers and employees.  Studies and statistics have shown how these types of practices allow one to be more centered, calm and successful by being more deliberate in executing goals.  It is also much better for our physical and mental health, and may allow us to avoid high blood pressure, possible strokes or simply get rid of nervous agitation and allow us to be more present and enjoy the moment.  Many books have been written about the “Power of Now” and how important it is for us to exercise these mindfulness practices.  Especially in the New Work World with so many changes coming at us, teaching us to just “breathe” might be a welcome exercise for all of us to practice.

 

3. Review and Reflection

 

If I had slowed down a bit to be aware of the change in my regular location of my car not being in the driveway and reflected on the garage door being up or down, I would have saved myself a lot of grief and expense.

 

As you do your work, ask yourself if there is something else you could be doing to make it more effective for yourself as well as for the company.  Clients are informing me that the sales reps may not have the luxury of having a sales coordinator to input all of the data into a spreadsheet of the record keeping on logistics, orders and deliveries, as they had before.  The employees of the future might very well have job descriptions that are more varied and encompass doing much more now.  The attitude of “it’s not in my job description” will not be tolerated.  If flexibility to pitch in and do more clerical type duties is something the employee has a problem with in the New Work World, they might not be hired, or if they are hired and don’t pitch in to have more far reaching duties, they might not be employed very long.  This is the beginning of employers having different needs in hiring new employees and evaluating current employees and positions.

 

4. Changes in Handling Tasks

 

If I would have taken the time to be cognizant of the change I had made in my normal routine and not just rushed about to hurry about my day, I could have avoided the accident.

 

What if, instead of complaining about technology, we look at how technology might be able to allow you to accomplish more by doing less.  Employers are now looking at how the utilization of technology could help speed up communication with clients and their own workforce.  This is also pushing technology to go farther.  There is a larger spectrum for technology combined with human interaction for the growth of new business.   While much has been done to facilitate technology in the work place, it is still a wide-open field for more advancement which is only sped up by the current world challenges.  Inventions are created out of need.

 

 

5. Set Goals for Yourself

 

If my goal had been to slow down, take a breath and carefully get started in my day, I may have avoided the frustration with the garage door.  Everything works better when we are grounded and are able to plan and organize our day.

 

What about starting our work day with a pen and paper and writing down 5-10 goals for the day. I’ve heard it said that if you write down your goals you have a much stronger chance of achieving them.  How can we all become more goal oriented in every aspect of our lives to become a better version of who we are?

 

6. Don’t Take Others for Granted

 

It is important to remember not to take our friends and family, including our work families, for granted.  It is sometimes easy to ignore those we are the closest to but we need to be grateful for those relationships. Stop and express love and appreciation for those who support you, regardless of how big or small, and be mindful of giving to others without the expectation of anything in return.

 

The current challenges we are all facing together may be looked upon as a mystery novel with a very positive ending.  An ending that can become one with much growth, success and expanded awareness.  In the process, the story we are writing can have an interesting twist, a twist where everybody wins.  The employee feels more productive, the employer is able to see more results that effect the bottom line, and we have more calm and meaningful interactions with our co-workers, family and friends.

 

My favorite stories always have happy endings.  We have an opportunity to take all of these conflicts in our lives at the moment and find a way to turn them into an opportunity.  As I apply this situation to life, perhaps by the garage door not being able to go up or down because of my not paying attention, I perhaps limited my ability to open new doors of opportunity.  We need to look at limitations imposed by our lack of attention and turn them into an endless possibility of opportunities we can explore.  When one door shuts, another one opens.  We have to be willing to walk through that new door for new success in ways we might never have imagined.

 

Let’s make our story one that makes this mystery novel a great read!

 

Mary Ann Faremouth is the founder and CEO of Faremouth & Company and a highly regarded recruiter, career consultant, speaker and writer. She has been a placement specialist and a leader in the national recruiting community and has placed thousands of employees since 1982. She was the 2016 president of the Houston Independent Personnel Consultant Group and is a board member of the NASPD (National Association of Steel Pipe Distributors) and Authors Marketing Guild. She specializes in recruitment of professional, clerical, and temporary placements, with a variety of industry specific positions in various fields. Her expertise is in matching quality applicants with the right job, serving companies ranging from thriving independents to global conglomerates, tailoring each engagement to the client’s needs.

Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, DC, and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze,  Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations in various other industries, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. She has a keen understanding of the marketplace and its specialized needs and requirements.

Mary Ann brings a wealth of expertise to clients looking for the right individual to maximize and empower their team. As a consultant she is available to assist both the applicant and the client to quickly adapt to the New Work World. She also offers virtual and in-person workshops to guide individuals through personalized self-discovery to find new career paths. She continues to build her affiliations with recognized leadership organizations to best serve her clients and applicants by creating a network of highly professional contacts throughout the world. She utilizes her platform as a writer and speaker through her articles and affiliations to reach those in need of help, offering hands-on guidance to navigate this uncharted territory. (More information on www.faremouth.com)

 

Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 of the Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction by Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books by Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019) by Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018) by Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, teaching them how to tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction as well as the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann also showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.

1 thought on “Turning Conflict Into Opportunity”

  1. Catherine Young says:

    Really great piece, sorry about your car! The points you have made in this article are really good and can be applied to anything is life. You are such a great writer! XOXO

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