Here is my annual holiday reflection that has little to do with technical stuff. Call it Miller’s Musings, if you like.

Our recent midterm elections seemed to me to be more contentious than normal, and “normal” is certainly not anything to brag about! Perhaps that was just Pennsylvania, but I doubt it. Not sure if this is even possible, but it raises a question asked previously in this space: “Why can’t we all get along?” Is it possible?

Perhaps the answer is in the music we are hearing with some regularity if our radios are tuned in. Songs like “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night” and even favorites such as “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “All I Want for Christmas is You” communicate love. How would our world and, at a minimum, our workplaces be different/better if we tried to be more loving?


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Being happier might help us to feel more loving, and being more loving will certainly make us happier. Things such as politics, inflation, health concerns and more conspire against happiness. Here are a few thoughts on how we can be happier from Elizabeth Dunn of the University of British Columbia.

  • Spend money on other people: Better to spend on others than yourself.
  • Delay consumption: Put a gap between paying and utilizing, such as paying for a trip long before actually going.
  • Talk to strangers: When around new people, you strive to be your best and happiest self.
  • Have a child: Family life provides comfort.
  • Stop worrying about being happy: As the “philosopher” Bobby McFerrin would say … Don’t worry, be happy!

For those of us with some control over employee happiness, what can we do to foster a happier workplace? The author of a book on the subject believes the key to improving your team’s performance and “happiness” is another basic human emotion: motivation.

Managers can address some of the happiness killers in their teams by countering them with even more powerful emotions such as faith, belief and optimism. Here are a few thoughts for leaders.

  • Don’t be too busy to communicate, and be a good listener.
  • Lead with optimism. Convey optimism in all you say and do. Be positive!
  • Share your vision (as well as a laugh). Solicit input.
  • Make relationships with employees your number-one priority. Be personal.
  • Create purpose-driven goals.
  • Nourish your team.

Managers/supervisors/bosses are often the cause of worker unhappiness and can at least influence greater happiness. A workplace survey indicated that as many as 64% of American workers are unhappy at work. Of those surveyed, 65% said that a better supervisor would make them happier at work, while only 35% said a pay raise would do it.

To confirm the survey’s recommendations, 60% of those surveyed said they would do a better job if they got along better with their supervisor, and 70% said they would be hap-pier if they got along better with him/her. Bottom line: Make an effort to get along better with your supervisor. And managers, make an effort to get along better with your employees. The result will improve happiness.

As we reflect on the upcoming Christmas holiday and the new year ahead, let’s focus on relationships – with our employees, co-workers, friends and family. Let’s work at getting along, and use some of the expressed thoughts to improve our happiness or that of those we influence.

All of us at Industrial Heating extend our best wishes for peace and happiness this holiday season and throughout 2023.