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The Cowardly Lion and his Courage Found in the Workplace


Courage. It’s one of the first things that comes to my mind when I think about our veterans and those currently serving our country. I love that we celebrate hard on the Fourth of July, but I never want to forget why we celebrate.

First and foremost, I would like to thank all of the men and women who have so bravely, courageously, and selflessly served our country. A special thanks to their wives, husbands, children, parents, and other friends and family. I cannot imagine being in any of your shoes, but I am so grateful every day that I get to live in a free country because of your sacrifice. Thank you!

With that being said, not all of us are in a position where we are sacrificing our lives for our country, but we all do things that take courage every day. Here are some of the ways you can use courage at work and in normal life and why I think it’s important to do so.

It takes courage to…

Talk with your boss

There are things we go through as employees that are important to talk about. Sometimes we’re discouraged, unhappy, struggling with our performance, want more money, want to pursue a different role or different duties, or need time off etc. We need to be vulnerable to talk about those things, and it takes courage to do that. I am fortunate enough to have a manager who I can be really open and honest with. I recognize some people don’t have that but my challenge to you would be to try. Those relationships start when someone starts opening up. It might take you being courageous first. P.S. Don’t forget to share the good things with them, too! They aren’t your vomit bucket for complaining.

Be happy for others when you’re not happy yourself

This one can be tough. Sometimes colleagues might be trusted with more responsibility, maybe their project idea was chosen over yours, or perhaps they made more sales this month than you did. Whatever the case is how do you handle those situations? Are you happy for your coworkers or do you pout? It takes courage to set aside our own personal feelings, hurts, and pains to feel happy and good for those around us. At work our feelings might not be anyone’s business, but in my experience usually how you feel comes out in your work and attitude. That’s my challenge to you…be kind. Be supportive. One day it’ll be your turn and you’ll feel crappy if they aren’t happy for you.

Talk with coworkers / confront conflict

This discussion will never go away as long as we work with people. Perhaps the robot take over will be beneficial here…just kidding! Conflict is hard even if you are a good communicator. It takes a lot of guts to approach someone about an issue and a lot of courage to stand there and listen instead of run, fight or hide. Handling your conflict appropriately and right away will help you and your team. That leaves less room for animosity and resentment to grow.

Work to live not live to work

This one I am learning. It is really easy to get caught up in the job – to put everything we have into something because we want so badly to succeed. Giving 100 percent at work is good, but giving 100 percent to your job every single minute of every day is not good. What about your family, your home, your friends? Don’t neglect them to get ahead at work. Your job is important, but it won’t be forever. Your family and friends will be…unless you leave them hanging. You need a mental break from work to survive and work well. Be courageous and set boundaries for yourself.

Ask for help

It’s ok to need help at work. It’s better to ask now than wasting time doing it wrong. Plus, asking questions helps us learn. Do you need help emotionally, physically, or mentally? Get it. You’ll be better for you, your family, and job if you get the help you need. It’s ok to not be ok, but make sure you handle it appropriately.

Admit you’re wrong, apologize, and forgive

These things all go hand in hand for me. I hate being wrong. I hate even worse when I feel like I’ve wronged someone else. The most successful people and companies I know lead and make choices with humility. If you did something wrong, confront it. Take care of it and fix it. If you said or did something to hurt someone’s feelings, apologize. Work through it together so that you can be better as a team. If you’re being apologized to, recognize the vulnerability and humility taking place and forgive. I don’t think you have to forget or to trust immediately, but give them the freedom of forgiveness.

There are so many other things that take courage in life. In some form or fashion, basically everything we do can take courage for someone. Every person is on a different page and going through something. Recognize that. We need to be there for our people and support them in their battles.

Disclaimer: Your coworkers, boss, and family don’t know what you have to do on a day-to-day basis that takes courage, so open up. Tell us. We’ll support you.

Chelsea Liska

Chelsea Liska has been with Aureus Group since September 2011, and currently is a Senior Recruiter for the Iowa and Kansas City markets. Chelsea helps train, mentor, and coach new recruiters. She gets to do what she loves every day by helping to develop and build colleagues. Chelsea also gets to be a part of top notch finance and accounting candidates’ career decisions and moves. She loves when she is able to use her skills to help someone and give them an amazing experience in their career search. Every day Chelsea gets to be a part of a company that is building into her so that she can build into others. When she isn’t working, she is active in her church. Chelsea loves being active and playing volleyball, golf, working out, and hanging out with her friends and family. Binge watching her favorite shows is definitely a notable skill! She is personally and professionally committed to being an “Energy Ambassador!”

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