We all feel slumpy sometimes. It’s that realization that you haven’t been to the gym in months, and probably won’t for the foreseeable future. It’s that feeling when your arms are heavy — legs weak — mom’s spaghetti. It’s the feeling that the worst parts of yourself are winning, and may actually start defining who you are.

But how do we go from slumpy to lumpy?

Consider a fictional slumpy company entitled Slump Corp. Their sales have been declining for years. Team morale is at an all-time low. You’re just a lowly worker in the mail room, but you’d like to start taking steps to make you and your friends thrive again. How do you make Slump Corp less slumpy?

Many say that Slump Corp isn’t doing well because its management is doing a poor job. But mail-room workers can’t change who’s in charge! But maybe they’re open to negotiation? One of the keys of good negotiation with management is paying attention to the company through their eyes — look at yourself and your coworkers as expenses and profits. Listen to management and empathize with them, and you’ll have a lot easier time convincing them! Or even better, when you try to find the same things they’re looking at, you may not need to convince them of anything, because you’ll start noticing the same intractable problems that they’re burdened with. Plus, you probably don’t have any bargaining power as a mail-worker, so communication is all that you can offer at this point. In the same way, we aren’t in charge of our own minds. We get frustrated when our frequent attempts to usurp control are thwarted. To some extent, all we can do is negotiate, but most of the time, we haven’t been very observant. So it’s difficult to even know what management wants unless we’re listening to them and maintaining an open dialogue. Your management may not be the best, but nobody leaves Slump Corp, so you may as well try to get them on your side.