Do you want to be a leader of the future? If so, you're going to have to navigate things like our current political climate. Your employees are going to take their cues from you, which means you need to step up and model behavior that works for your company culture.
At the end of the workday, you want to work with happy people. Since you can't control what's going on in the world, take responsibility for what you add to it. By learning from happy people, you'll respond to tense situations and troubled times calmly and with a clear mind.
Here are five ways you can do that right now.
1. Stay curious.
With the political climate as tumultuous as it is now, it's easy to want to turn off the TV, mute the notifications from your news apps, and check out from the discourse. As much as that sounds like an amazing way to go about life, it's not necessarily healthy or realistic.
Happy people know that there's value in staying curious - even when it's easier to look away. Curiosity demands that we open up our minds and allow ourselves to look at things in a new light. It requires stepping back from things like anger and pain and stepping toward things like hope. You'll be happier as a result, which will carry over into every aspect of your life.
2. See differences as opportunities.
The beautiful thing about living in this country is that we're all entitled to our own opinions. In times like these, it's easy to think that there's more that divides us than brings us closer together. Happy people understand that differences in opinion and ideologies are just opportunities to look at situations or ways of thinking in a new way. Stop looking at them as obstacles and rewire your brain to stop judging those who disagree with you. It'll actually help set you up for success in the future.
3. Don't bully people.
Tensions are high right now. You're likely surrounded by people at work, on your commute, or at home who disagree with you and your beliefs. Instead of exploding every time you have a disagreement, step back and assess if this interaction is worth your energy. Just because someone comes at you in an aggressive manner doesn't mean you have to match that aggression.
The same holds true for name calling and bullying. Don't engage in that behavior. You'll have to suffer the consequences if people see you resort to that so take a note from happy people and choose to take the high road.
4. Be optimistic.
It's easy to feel defeated when looking at the news. This is especially true when the updates concern our political process or the atrocities happening around the world. While it's natural you'd feel upset, don't let the coverage keep you from holding onto hope.
Happy people know that we're only seeing a fraction of what's going on in the world on the news and in our papers. They know there are still good people doing amazing things in world, even if they don't get the same coverage. They lean into optimism when it's easier to fall into pessimism, which keeps them sane while the world seems to dissolve into chaos. If you want to feel calmer and more grounded, look for the good in the world. It has surprisingly positive benefits.
5. Be vigilant, not obsessive.
With our 24-hour news cycle, it's easy to get sucked into every political conversation. Unless you're required to watch by your employer, it's better to cut back on your consumption of political news. Find ways to stay vigilant and aware without obsessing over every tweet and piece of breaking news. Happier people know when to check out and when to sit up and pay attention. Learn from them and be selective about what you're going to commit your attention and energy to. Worrying about the future only leads to upheaval in your present state.
Take action now. You'll be better off in the future for doing so.