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Healthy Computing Tip # 415: Assume Goodwill

As workload increases and job pressures build, we sometimes feel frustrated, irritated, angry or resigned. At times we may even think that our coworkers don't care or want to help.  These negative thoughts are natural when we are frustrated and tired but may increase neck and shoulder tension.  Reduce worksite tension and spread caring and hope when you assume goodwill.

How to Assume Goodwill: 

Before automatically reacting to a stressor, take a deep diaphragmatic breath and exhale slowly. Then, think of a past memory when you felt safe and secure. Once you have that memory, take another deep breath and, again, exhale slowly. 

Observe your negative thoughts, such as: "They don't care" or "They don't want to help." 

Stop and ask yourself, "How is it from my coworkers perspective?"  "Does he/she feel overloaded and has too much work to do?" If this is the situation, assume that your coworker is trying to do his/her best. Take another deep, diaphragmatic breath and exhale gently as you envision everyone doing the best job.  Assume that you are all working as a team toward the same goal.

Increase goodwill with your co-workers by offering support, help and understanding. Sometimes all it takes is getting them some tea or bringing in some snacks. 

Finally, if there is a problem, take a moment to define it.  Ask yourself what needs to be done to resolve it. Focus on problem solving rather than blame. Invite your coworkers to go on a problem solving walk in the fresh air.   Just let go and ask what needs to be done now to solve the problem and come to a resolution.


The Institute for Holistic Healing Studies and Human Resources sponsor the distribution of Healthy Computing Email Tips. Copyright 2009 Erik Peper, Ph.D. and Katherine Hughes Gibney. Permission to copy and distribute Healthy Computing Email Tips for personal use is granted. Distribution or copying of Healthy Computing Email Tips for commercial purposes is prohibited without prior written consent of the copyright holders.
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