The December holidays are over. But just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water ... here comes February. The emotionally intelligent manager plans ahead and is prepared. Semper paratus!
1. It's the peak of SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.
2. Valentine's Day and spiking emotions.
BE PREPARED: As has been said, Valentine's Day (which lasts about a month) is hard for those who are alone...or wish they were. It's a time of churning emotions including love, lust, hate, anger, disappointment, envy and jealousy. How will you handle the bouquets and balloons arriving at your office? And the distraction and disequilibrium it brings?
3. Black History Month.
BE PREPARED: Designed to celebrate diversity, it also emphasizes diversity. Do you have a plan?
With Valentine's day approaching, expect more shopping online, more "visiting," more phone calls, more daydreaming, less focus.
5. In the southern climes, expect the stirrings of spring.
BE PREPARED: In some parts of the US, the first balmy weather comes in February and "In the spring a young man's fancy turns to..." There's a general restlessness, desire to get out and about, less focus. Also playing hooky.
6. Allergy times.
BE PREPARED: Winter rains clear the air,but also cause trees and grasses to bloom. In some areas of the country, the pollens start increasing in February. Dampness also brings more molds. It brings sneezes sniffles and itchy noses, but also what's called "seasonal allergic conjuncivitis," which can be very disabling. Check out the symptoms and the cures here. - http://www.aaaai.org/patients/topicofthemonth/0201/default.stm . All allergies have a component of irritation, stress and fatigue. Our bodies are working overtime.
7. How allergies affect behavior
BE PREPARED: Remember that behavioral reactions to allergies vary from lethargy, dizzines and fatigue, to hyperactivity, aggression and acting out. Neither is optimal for office productivity or well-being. Is your office environment as allergy-friendly as possible? Do your homework here (http://www.aaaai.org/patients/topicofthemonth/0201/default.stm ) and take action.
8. Check out the condition in your town at Pollen.com – http://www.pollen.com .
BE PREPARED: Today, January 2, the worst pollen counts are in Wichita Falls, Abilene, Austin and Waco, Texas, and Oklahoma City, OK. The best counts are in Aberdeen, SD, Akron-Canton, OH, Alamosa, CO, Albany, NY, and Allentown, PA.
Central Paris is particularly bad in spring with tree pollen. In Italy tree pollen is bad in February. Tropical Islands are relatively pollen free except after a monsoon.
9. The best laid plans ...
BE PREPARED: By February 1st, many will have broken their New Year's Resolutions which is disheartening. This is nothing new for the manager, who is always creating a culture of emotional intelligence, and working on attitude, motivation, and resilience. What happens when you fail? You try again!
10. Time Off, Holidays
BE PREPARED: Absenteeism and disruption. Presidents Day. Chinese New Year. Ground Hog Day. February 1 is Eid al-Adha, the Feast of Sacrifice, the most important feast of the Muslim calendar. Valentine's Day. Then Ash Wednesday falls this year on the 25th. Are you staffed? Have you set your policies? Are they in your manual, in writing?
Susan Dunn is a professional coach who specializes in emotional intelligence for individuals and businesses, with applications to all areas of your life.
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