“You really need to get over to my company, we have some serious issues that need sorting out. It’s not going to be easy the way things get done in my office, or should I say ‘not done’. It’s not normal”. This was an opening statement someone said to me at a New Year’s reception.

“And a very happy Ney Year to you too” was my rather impolite reply. But after stepping back and asking some polite questions, what my fellow guest described to me seemed pretty normal in many of the companies I have had the privilege of working. And yes, a lack of apparent interest from senior management in internal improvement projects can be very annoying but when I asked why he thought this was the case, his face displayed an incredulous “To be honest, I have no idea”. My answer was half joking but in a way deeply serious. (Maybe I was inspired by the film ‘The long walk to freedom’ which I had just seen for the first time)?

“If you want senior management to take an interest in you and what you are doing, you really need to take an interest in them and what they are doing too. Not just the kind of interest that is intended for you to get something from them but the kind that they will appreciate, whatever that is.”

If you are suffering from an uncomfortable working environment, no matter what it is, that you genuinely want to change, then my suggestion is to start by telling yourself that what is ‘not normal’ for you, is almost certainly going to be normal for someone else. And yes, where there is a will there is always a way, no matter how bleak it may appear.  Please do reach out for help – I promise I will not be as unfriendly as I was to my fellow guest at the New Year’s party!

Best wishes & have a good week,