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Of resolutions and L.U.C.K.
By Joe Bouchard
Published: 01/07/2008

Joe Bouchard is a librarian at Baraga Maximum Correctional Facility within the Michigan Department of Corrections. He is also a member of the Board of Experts for “The Corrections Professional” and an instructor of Corrections and Psychology for Gogebic Community College.

“Next year will be better. I promise to do the following…”

As sure as the sun will rise in the East, most of us will make resolutions to improve ourselves in the coming year. We will vow to eat better, spend less money, develop an enjoyable hobby and treat others better. When we follow through with these vows, the quality of our home lives becomes much better.

However, we tend to focus on repairing circumstances outside of the job. So, what about our work life? Will the coming year on the job remain as it always has been? Are we programmed to unenthusiastically shuffle along the same rut while at work?

Some people believe that destiny has much to do with changing ineffective and stale habits. They believe that their personal agent of fortune rolls the circumstantial dice while the individual must helplessly accept fate.

I personally believe that it is entirely up to something called “L.U.C.K.” But, by L.U.C.K., I do not mean an array of random events arranged by some invisible and unpredictable hand. Instead, it is meant as a method of change. Really, luck is in your hands.

The L.U.C.K. I refer to is actually a checklist for all corrections professionals to use when making work resolutions. It consists of Look, Use resources well, Communicate, Knowledge. Sincere efforts of self-improvement in these areas will certainly make your work life more pleasant and productive.

Look – Improve your vigilance at work. Become an optimal observer. Conduct frequent safety checks. Search for hidden contraband. Look for new patterns and transmit that information to colleagues.

Use resources well – Reduce waste on the job. Monitor your own frivolous use of supplies. Find ways to conserve.

Communicate – Strive to speak in a clearer manner to peers, supervisors, and prisoners. Use posturing and body language that is appropriate for the circumstances. Practice listening skills to complete the communications experience.

Knowledge – Reacquaint yourself with key policy directives and operating procedures. Memorize your post orders, posted rules in your area, and other local operational guides.

These positive changes will make your vocational life more fulfilling. And when you find your job is more satisfying, the positive effect is undeniable; an improved work life awakens a healthier the home life.

Of course, you can’t control it all. Not everything goes according to plan. But, consider the course of the coming year as something that is very much in your hands.

It truly is up to you to make whatever changes you deem necessary. Relying on the L.U.C.K. method instead of lady luck, though, will put you in control of what should be a healthy, happy and productive new year.

This article is reprinted with permission from the editor of FYI, the newsletter of the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Joe Bouchard can be reached at (906) 353-7070 ext 1321. These are the opinions of Joe Bouchard, and not of the MIDOC or Corrections.com.

Other articles by Joe Bouchard

Communications compass, 11/19/07

Assessing the great glass organization, 10/22/07


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