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Success: The Human Element
By The Fun Nun, Sister Mary Christelle Macaluso R.S.M., O.F.N., Ph.D.

Responsibility for growth rests not only at the corporate level, but also at the individual level. While development of technical skills is important, emphasis must be placed on the enhancement of the total person. The result is a productive person working in a caring company. Here are some growth promoting areas.

Self-Esteem: One of the greatest sources of employee dissatisfaction is the lack of being appreciated. Some breaches in business etiquette are: criticizing a subordinate in front of others, lack of opportunities for freedom of expression, and inappropriate humor. Employees have a need for respect and recognition.

Courage to be Imperfect: The backside of some sugar packages in restaurants provides great wisdom. "If you have tried to do something and failed you are vastly better off than if you have tried to do nothing and succeeded." Converting failures into learning experiences maintains self-esteem and promotes growth. By encouraging risk-taking, untapped potential is often released.

A Positive Attitude: Events do not cause one’s emotions, but attitude about the event does. Victor Frankl in his book Man’s Search for Meaning emphasizes that freedom to choose one’s attitude is the last of the human freedoms. Building for success means choosing an attitude that promotes growth.

Motivation: Two shoe salesmen were sent to Africa. One wired back, "Am coming home, they don’t use shoes here." The motivated salesman wired "Start shipping shoes—no competition." Success is knowledge plus action. Action needs enthusiasm. Successful people are more motivated internally than externally.

Stress Reduction: Reality is the ultimate cause of stress. The only persons without stress reside in cemeteries! Boredom is as much a stressor as excessive pressure. Simple exercises can induce relaxation. Activities such as deep breathing, stretching, muscle relaxation, moderate exercise, positive self-talk, visualization, meditation, smiling and laughing are all beneficial. Many companies provide programs and facilities along these lines as employee benefits.

A Sense of Humor: Management gurus promote humor in the workplace. Constructive humor helps create a positive working environment by building community. Positive humor reduces tension, helps keep one’s perspective, and makes communication easier. Some companies have humor rooms for their employees! Laughter is a beneficial form of exercise!

Success is not only financial. The human element must never be forgotten. Without it, success is only superficial.

Copyright, The Fun Nun, Sister Mary Christelle Macaluso R.S.M., O.F.N., Ph.D.

The Fun Nun is a full-time professional speaker and member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) who challenges people to live more joyfully, handle stress effectively, and improve their interpersonal skills.  For more information  contact her at E-mail:, Web Site:, Phone:  402-399-2474, Address:  College of Saint Mary, Omaha, NE 68124-2377 USA.

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