(why it’s called humpday and what we can do about it)
Did you know Wednesday is also known as hump day? I thought this was a recent concept but it’s actually been around since the 1950s. It’s referring to the experience that sometimes, if we are having a bit of a slog of a week, this is the mid-point hill that we need to get through and climb over before we head towards the end of the week. Now I love my job, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have weeks that I am struggling to get through. Weeks that are too full, too boring, the news is especially depressing, or I haven’t had the human connection that I need to thrive. In those weeks I might get to Wednesday and feel pretty shocked that there are still three days to go before a rest. Last week was definitely one of those weeks for me – it was a difficult news week for a start – and perhaps for you too, along with your own set of reasons, the week felt a little heavy.
That’s why I decided to send my email out on a Wednesday morning. Many communication strategists will tell you that it’s not the ideal day to do it. Do it on a Sunday, so it’s separate from the clutter of the weekly comms. Do it on a Monday morning, so it’s the first thing people read. Do it on a Friday as people sign off and are ready to be diverted. But I know that many of my readers appreciate that mid-week boost (you’ve told me so), you need a halfway reminder that you’re not in it alone and that actually many (if not most) of us are juggling the same set of feelings, attitudes and responsibilities with varying degrees of success from one day to the next.
It’s my opportunity to offer you some encouragement. A shot in the arm of hope, I guess.
To encourage is a core part of my business offer. It sounds nice doesn’t it, it sounds like a kind thing to do, but to me, it is so much more than that.
The word in our English language originates in the French word, encoragier, which means to make strong, to hearten. When we encourage others, we are en-COURAGE-ing them. Not just saying “you’re good at this,” or “well done on that,” but building their internal resolve. Helping them to kick the Imposter Syndrome into touch, and make the next bold move in their lives, their businesses and their leadership. Each time we choose to call out the gold that we see in others, we are strengthening their core. And at the same time, we are bolstering our own. It’s the Boomerang Principle, as John C Maxwell liked to call it. As you give it away, as you develop others, it comes right back to you. Both in terms of outcomes (at work people are happier, more productive, more engaged) and in terms of well-being (it’s good for you, it’s good for them).
So, as this is your weekly dose of encouragement from me, I’m going to take this opportunity to remind you that you are doing a great job. It’s not easy right now. There’s a lot that you and those around you are dealing with, both on a work and personal level. Uncertainty seems to be the order of the day, with a side of isolation, followed by disappointment for dessert. But it’s certainly not all blue – hope is most definitely on the horizon and the resilience of the people around me over this last year has filled me with pride and admiration.
And so, from that place of personal encouragement, here are a few simple ways for you to en-COURAGE those around you today, remembering that it’s a win-win scenario for us all.
Let’s work to be those that build courage in others – who wants to be the mood hoover anyway?