Avast ye maties and look sharp!
As we sail into port for another amazing author encounter, we call for all hands hoay as we enjoy the summer breezes on our faces and look forward to meeting our distinguished guest, author Amy Thornton. With humor, keen insight, and more than a little panache Amy has written a guide to help workers navigate the concrete jungles of the workplace with gusto and confidence, all while generating joy and good will to boot! Amy has an extensive professional background as a columnist and award-winning good will enthusiast, bringing with her over a decade of experience as a Human Relations Instructor for the Dale Carnegie Institute.
Sound impossible? No worries! Amy Thornton will be joysplaining how. Whatever your work situation, she’s got you covered.
WORK IS NEARLY HALF YOUR LIFE-MAKING IT JOYFUL IS WORTH THE CHALLENGE!
“No matter what your level is on the job, you can be a powerful force for change. Being a positive example at work is like the start of a ripple in a body of water-your bit of joy may be just a drop in the pond, but it can make circles to all of its edges and reach so many.”
Are you one of the 48% of employees worldwide who don’t like their jobs? Do you feel constantly stressed at the office? Or maybe you’re just feeling “blah” about your job and want to bring some life back into your workplace.
If you talk to anyone about their careers or jobs these days, most of the time you won't hear positive stories or excitement. You'll probably hear words like "busy,” “stressed,” “exhausting,” and “mind-numbing." And with the good old 40 hour workweek becoming a distant memory for many of us, this reality is just plain sad.
Joy to You and Me (At Work!) helps turn these situations around by giving the reader easy tips they can implement quickly to start making a positive difference in the workplace. Being joyful isn't just a “fluffy-cutesy-nice” thing to do each day - it actually increases productivity and is good for any company or organization. The book helps anyone learn how to:
This fun, easy-to-read guide shows people of all ages and personalities how to make a difference immediately to make not only themselves happier, but to spread that happiness throughout the workplace – and beyond!
By sharing stories from the author’s 25+ years of making a joyful difference in the workplace and examples from truly kick-ass companies, Joy to You and Me (At Work!) is a life changing, fun read for anyone who wants to improve their work life.
1. You have an extensive professional background that you bring to your writing, including instructing a Dale Carnegie Human Relations Course for over a decade. Which of your professional endeavors influenced your writing the most?
In addition to teaching the course, I also worked at a fantastic biotechnology company on the northwest side of Indianapolis in my early 20s that encouraged us to improve their work atmosphere through a program called "I Power." Individuals with the best I Power suggestions were awarded Employee of the Month at company-wide meetings. This motivated me to always look for ways to bring joy to my co-workers and their customers and set me on my path of bringing enthusiasm to the workplace.
2. In ‘JOY TO YOU AND ME (AT WORK!) you emphasize “showing’ appreciation rather than “telling”-can you recall a special moment in which a coworker or boss wowed you?
As I mention in my book, when I left the Town of Field's Corner, my co-workers hosted a goodbye breakfast for me. My jaw dropped when I saw numerous pictures posted on one wall of me at various events and programs throughout the years. It was so touching to see how everyone had worked together to create this collage of wonderful memories.
3. In an age when so many workers are on ‘remote’, so you feel the suggestions and principles in your book are just as applicable as they would be to those in more traditional work settings?
Absolutely. Even workplaces that seem to be doing well on the surface can always find ways to improve their level of joy!
4. What are some of the common questions you get from younger workers you have instructed? Have you noticed a change in the questions and attitudes of younger workforce members in your years of experience in the field of human relations?
The funniest question I’ve ever gotten from a younger worker is “Kathy asked me to Xerox this – what does that mean?” Haha! Seriously, one person did ask me “How are you always so positive?” I let her know that no one can be positive 100% of the time, but having enthusiasm can really make a difference in what you do.
Some of my younger co-workers have trouble letting go of work when they need to and I feel for them. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day and to put the phone aside on evenings and weekends. I admire their dedication, but having a balance is crucial.
5. How important is camaraderie in the work place?
Camaraderie makes a huge difference in the workplace! When you feel a connection to your co-workers, it makes each day much easier and helps you accomplish so much more.
My 17-year-old son is fairly new to the workforce and is approaching his one-year anniversary with his company. In his first few months, he wasn’t connecting with anyone and his work suffered. Now he’s made many friends and is being trained to advance into other tasks. I can tell he enjoys his work more now!
6. As an innately enthusiastic person by your own admission have you ever been accused of being a ‘Pollyanna’ ?
Yes, I get teased (affectionately!) by friends and family about this. But they’ve told me they wouldn’t want me any other way.
As readers will discover in my book, some people just don’t like a joyful personality. I don’t want ANYONE to squelch their enthusiasm when they encounter these individuals. The world desperately needs more joy and kindness. When I’m around these folks now, I just give them kindness and move on.
7. Is there a joyful way to deliver bad news in the workplace? Have you ever had to discipline someone or let them go?
I’m not sure there’s a joyful way to deliver bad news in the workplace, but there are gentle and kind ways to do so. So often I hear people at work say, “Well, it’s not personal.” People are breathing, feeling creatures of emotion. No matter what, bad news will affect them personally. Talking to someone face-to-face, in private, with compassion, is the best way to deliver bad news.
I’ve never had to let someone go in the workplace, but I have had to discipline people. My first step whenever I’ve had to do this is to put myself in their shoes. My second step is to always begin with some praise. Most people are doing the best they can. I’m kind, yet firm, in these situations.
8. What practices help to de-stress workers? How do you yourself unwind from a taxing work day?
Healthy ways to de-stress include deep-breathing, gentle neck rolls, a quick break to walk around the building, “safely” venting to someone outside the company, and treating ourselves to something soothing such as a cup of tea or soft music.
My favorite ways to unwind from a taxing workday include walking, hoop dancing (dancing with a hula hoop) and lying on some soft carpet putting my lower legs up onto a card table chair! That last one makes people laugh, but it’s a great tip I learned from a friend. By lying down and resting your legs on the seat, you relax your back.
9. Dealing with difficult bosses or coworkers is endemic in the work place and you devote a chapter to it. Can you share the takeaways from your experience working with the very difficult coworker you named ‘Vanessa’ in your book?
I’ve discovered that dealing with difficult bosses or coworkers in a calm, productive manner is the best way to go and something I’ve never regretted. I’m so grateful I handled things the way I did with her because I literally see Vanessa every month or so out in our community. Instead of awkwardness or avoidance, we share smiles, understanding, and brief conversation.
10. Are you working on your next book in the series yet? Can you share a snippet or teaser from it?
I’m actually more of a fiction writer! This was my first “real” non-fiction book. I’m not planning on making this a series, however, I have many fiction books ideas brewing. Nothing is written down as of yet.
11. What’s on your schedule for the rest of 2018? Where can fans of your work catch up with you?
I’m reaching out to start speaking to different Central Indiana professional organizations, businesses, and non-profits on how they can bring more joy to their workplaces. I will have book signings and sales at various libraries and bookstores in Central Indiana and beyond.
Virtually, I’d love to hear from people through my web site www.authoramythornton.wordpress.com; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter or Facebook.
ttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B07CZRJ6CL Here's a one-minute preview of what you'll learn: Joy to You and Me (at Work!) Trailer
As we wave to our wonderful guest author Amy Thornton and prepare to shove off, we do so with a renewed sense of vigor and optimism! Amy Thornton’s enthusiasm is truly contagious! Even the grumpiest members of the crew seem to have more cheer, and we look forward to having her as our honored guest again soon!
Until then, I remain your faithful servant,
Patricia Mattern, Mistress of Madness, The Whimsical Herald
comment and you could win a giftcard!
Mistress of Madness
Well, do you have any idea why a raven is like a writing desk?
Lewis Carroll, in 1897, proposed this answer, "Because it can produce a few notes, though they are very flat; and it is 'never' put with the wrong end in front!" (raven, spelled backward, is nevar aka never...or as we like to say here at TT...never more!)