WBN Book Club Review: Option B by Sheryl Sandberg
On June 21, the WBN Book Club met for dinner at Kettle Drums, and of course for a book discussion. Our pick was Sheryl Sandberg’s Option B. Though it was written in the aftermath of the death of Sandberg’s husband, there are stories about overcoming all sorts of losses and failures.
Some big take-aways: Don’t be afraid to ask your friends about their loss – you won’t remind them of it because they are already thinking about it every day. Ask “how are you TODAY?” When moving through any kind of loss there are good days and bad days. Remember everyone is on their own schedule with their own way to grieve. Some people want to get back to work within days, and some need months. Let them know you are there to help – any time. One person asked his friend who was tending to a relative in hospital “what do you NOT want on your burger?” rather than asking if he wanted food.
Make your offers specific and don’t ask what you can do – that’s putting the decision on them and they are already dealing with too much. Withholding comfort can add to the pain. Go by the Platinum Rule – treat others as THEY want to be treated, instead of how you think they want to be treated.
We learned that journaling can decrease anxiety and anger:
- write down three things done well each day
- empathy is nice – encouragement is better
- show gratitude
- send notes of thanks (they made the note-sender less depressed)
- happiness is the frequency of positive experiences, not the intensity
- write down 3 moments of joy every day
About failing and learning at work:
- we learn more from our failures than our successes
- biggest regrets are usually about things not done rather than actions that failed
- create a culture where failure is seen as a learning opportunity – poster at Facebook “move fast and break things”
- have the difficult conversations at work.