Surfing Tidal Waves at Work: How to Glide through Turmoil in the Office

turmoil in the office

“You may not be able to control every situation and it’s outcome, but you can control your attitude and how you deal with it.” –

It may be a little early for beach season, but it isn’t too early for tidal waves. In nature, recurring, shallow waves crash down on the shoreline again and again. In the workplace, when projects repeatedly face hiccups or clients continually find issues that need to be addressed, it might feel like you’re drowning in an endless fury of tidal waves. Sometimes it’s hard to stay positive when work gets you down and the current consistently pulls at you. So, how do you move forward? How do you stay positive when there’s turmoil in the office? Though these challenges are unique to every person and workplace, there are a few ways to shift your outlook and stand tall against the tidal waves crashing around you.

In my 15 years as a working professional, I've withstood my fair share of tidal waves at work. What I've learned is simple: You can either let them knock you down, or you can choose to shift your outlook and stand tall against the tidal waves once and for all. Below are a few tips I've learned to help you swim against the rising tide.


1. Be kind and respectful to one another.

You  might find yourself quick to react negatively to a difficult situation. But it’s always important to take a step back, take a deep breath, and try and be respectful and kind to others. None of us know what it’s like to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. We have no idea of their struggles and hurdles, so it’s important to hold off on any judgements rather than assume the negative. Be receptive, kind, and respectful. Remember to treat others as you wish to be treated.


2. Take responsibility. 

We’re all human beings, which means that mistakes happen. That’s life. If it was your mistake, be accountable for your actions and take responsibility to diagnose and solve the problem. Learn from the mistake and move forward with intention and growth.


3. Be forgiving.

If someone else made the mistake, be understanding and forgiving rather than impatient or angry. Avoid taking things personally, and redirect the turmoil in the office to something more productive. Try thinking through the situation after the initial shock of the wave has passed, and reflect on what you can do to help others avoid this tidal wave in the future. What discussions should take place to forge a better path forward? How can you avoid simply rehashing why the other party was wrong?


4. Be open.

A truly unique gift and trait of human beings is that we’re all individuals with our own ideas and thoughts. So many opposing viewpoints and passions can be overwhelming at times, but it’s important to embrace it nonetheless. New ideas, new ways to do things, new vendors, new approaches to old processes. Everything in life is continually evolving and changing, whether we like it or not. When work gets you down, open yourself up to the opportunities that are constantly unfolding that you might be overlooking. You can learn from anything and anyone at any time — as long as you’re open to it.


5. Be thankful.

We are all fortunate. While the waves crash around you and try to knock you down, you can be resentful or depressed, or you can be thankful to live where you do with all the benefits you have. Be thankful for health, happiness, and freedoms that surround you. Be thankful that the world gives you opportunities to love, grow, and be a better person.


There’s a giant universe out there that, I for one, am honored to be a part of. When stress at work is getting you down, choose to pull positive energy from it. Redirect, learn, and grow stronger.

I want to leave you with a few lyrics of a song that have been playing on repeat in my house lately. If you’re also a parent of a young child, or just a Disney lover, you’re likely familiar with the Trolls song from Anna Kendrick: Get Back Up Again.


I’m not giving up today

There's nothing getting in my way

And if you knock knock me over

I will get back up again

If something goes a little wrong

Well you can go ahead and bring it on

'Cause if you knock knock me over, i will get back up again


Or for a 3 minute way to brighten your day, watch the video linked above.


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About The Author

Amy Dagliano

Amy Dagliano is a creative, a visionary, a writer, a leader, a businessman, a culture changer, and an idea generator. As Creative Marketing Director at E Group, Amy uses her passion and creativity to design innovative promotional content internally for E Group and externally for client programs. She's well known for thinking outside of the box and translating a simple idea into an inspiring reality.

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