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Volume 5, Issue 2

The Key to a Positive Work Attitude? Resiliency

For community college advancement professionals to succeed, they must learn to stay positive and productive in the face of change, challenges and uncertainty, says a communications expert.

"In a college setting, there are some people who play nice and others who don't," says Sarita Maybin, author of If You Can't Say Something Nice, What Do you Say? "And there are also people who adjust to change and others who don't."

Maybin, who worked in student affairs at a number of universities before becoming a communications consultant and speaker, says people can learn to be the more resilient type. She notes that there are three key elements to staying positive at work amid adversity:

  • Don't take things personally. "We all know the person who says, ‘Why did the college change its policy on this or that? I'm sure leadership did this just to make my life miserable,'" Maybin says. "Whatever the issue is—I don't like this decision or my coworker treats me poorly—don't wallow in self-pity. If you don't like something, change it. And if you can't change it, change your attitude about it."
  • Realize that challenges and uncertainty aren't permanent. "When professional adversity comes your way, you need to learn to take it in stride," she says. "Surviving these situations will put you in a better frame of mind for the next challenge."
  • Understand the big picture. "No matter the change or challenge, you need to think about how it affects the big picture at work," Maybin says. "Don't hold on to the negativity. Some people are miserable because they get caught up in the past instead of living in the present."

Maybin will further discuss adapting, succeeding and thriving professionally at the upcoming CASE Conference for Community College Advancement, Oct. 1-3, 2015, in Anaheim, California.

This article is from the Aug 2015 issue of the Community College Advancement News.

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