Do you place yourself in the center of your life? By doing so, you create a perspective that will serve yourself and others to maximum advantage. Too often, we hear that focus on self is selfishness. It is not. Putting yourself in the center allows you to look out at the world with your unique eyes and make the best decisions and choices for you. If, as you do this, you honor your values it is a win-win for all.
Let’s say that you have a situation at work where you are starting to burn out because you are working long hours. Does it serve everyone to put yourself second and ignore the toll it is taking on you? Or, does it serve everyone better if you acknowledge what is happening, let those who need to know and get yourself in balance so that you can get the job done well? I think the latter.
Putting yourself in the center steadies you and allows those around you to see you clearly.
Yes, this is a bit of an intense picture (notice though, she is breathing). However, being overwhelmed or “under water” in your work, is intense as well. As I looked at this picture, I thought about how stress and overwhelm curtail your productivity and performance. They wear you down, affect your physical, mental and emotional well being, diminish your judgment, get you off center and weaken you.
You don’t want to be there and it is worth the time and effort to maintain balance in your life. Keep yourself above water, swimming strong and enjoying the view.
There are many ways people communicate that go beyond basic verbal communication. To be in tune with others, it is crucial to “notice” these other means of communicating. What are they? People communicate in many ways – with facial gestures, body language, tone of voice, choice of words, eye contact or lack of it, posture, touch and allowing or not allowing personal space. How often do you pay attention to another person’s non-verbal communication?
Over the next week, take some time to sharpen your ability to notice both your and others’ non-verbal communication. Try to discern what is being said beyond surface verbal communications. Noticing helps you increase your understanding of yourself and the people you interact with, resulting in better decisions, more effective communication and better managing.
photo: smarned, freedigitalphotos.net
There is a lot of change going on in the world. Change can bring polarity, disruption, promise, innovation and chaos. Do you see any of this change reflected in your behavior, your team’s or your organization’s? Take a brief look.
It’s another level of listening. We are all witnessing this change. How is it affecting you? Is there something to do about it in your managing? Adjustments to make? Something to say?
photo: Kannaa, dreamstime.com
Whether managing yourself or a team, continuous improvement serves you well. Here are some ideas on managing effectively.
1. See yourself as having prime accountability for how well you manage.
2. Identify and stay close to your values in all that you do.
3. Be realistic about time – don’t over or underestimate the time you have to do something.
4. Keep open lines of communication – stay approachable.
5. Create a practice that is effective in bringing you back to center, when stress gets the better of you.
6. Never give your power to anyone. You are the CEO of your career and you always have options.
7. Identify one thing each month that you will try out to improve how you manage.
8. Employ good listening skills.
9. Seek happiness and fulfillment in your work. You don’t have to settle for less.
10. Be aware of what is going on around you and understand the environment you are working in.
photo: Stuart Miles, freedigitalphotos.net
In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy followed the yellow brick road to find the Wizard. Sometimes, when you think there is a yellow brick road before you, you encounter a yellow brick wall.
A yellow brick wall asks you to change direction. Yellow brick walls can be subtle or they can be unmistakable. The hard part is acknowledging the yellow brick wall is there, especially when you’ve set your path and you want to continue in the same direction. It behooves you to acclimate your senses to be able to see a yellow brick wall, when it appears. Doing so will allow you to change to a more productive course, to avoid hitting your head against it, to no avail and to see reality as it truly is.
You are the CEO of your career. If you embrace that, you want to have a strategy. There’s always something you can do to develop your career. A teacher once advised me to live like an arrow, not a target. That is what’s involved here-setting a path and knowing where you are aiming. If your strategy is in your mind, it will positively influence the choices you make and the direction you take.
So, what’s your current strategy? Where are you heading in the next year of your career?
photo: digitalart, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Rivals are about competition and going for the same prize. No doubt, there is credence to that; however, rethinking the idea of rivals may have value for you. Start by acknowledging that each person’s path or journey is unique. You may be going for the same job as others, for example, but you all have different motivations and goals. So, why look at others as rivals? A job you are going for is just one step on your journey. It may or may not be meant to be or right for you. If one door closes, another may open.
Having “rivals” takes your attention away from you and puts it on others. It also makes your success dependent on competition with others. You have a lot of options and can walk your journey any way you want to. Sure, there are times you are in competition for something, but truly you are only in competition with yourself – to be the best you can be and follow the dreams you have for your life.
photo: num_skyman, freedigitalphotos.net
Sometimes, your playing field shifts. It may be a change in upper management personnel, a new policy, a major change in culture or significant changes in funding and resources. When a playing field shifts, you must shift as well.
The first step is to notice that the playing field has shifted – sometimes there is not an announcement; the change just happens. Then, step back and look at how the shift affects you and your team. It is a non-negotiable that you make changes in response. If you ignore the change, you’ll be out of step and suffer consequences. Assess what is in your and your team’s best interests and adjust to the new playing field. Maximize your advantage.
In the long run, it is easier to respond to change, then to pretend it is not there. When the playing field shifts, create your own shifts, too. That way, you’ll remain a winner, no matter what field you playing on.
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photo: Stoonn, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Free Flow Management honors freedom and calls for a balance of freedom and structure. What happens if you have a team member who cannot “handle” freedom and whose performance suffers without a balance that overly favors structure?
Flow is the centerpiece of Free Flow Management. In this situation, honor your team member’s need for structure, initially. If their performance is suffering, ask them what they need to bring their performance up again. Co-create a structure with them to do this. At the same time, coach them to find ways they can become more comfortable with freedom. One of the premises of Free Flow Management is that freedom leads to creativity, innovation and fulfillment. Help your team member align with your balance of freedom and structure.
You do not want to regress and do not have to increase structure permanently just because one team member needs it. You want to keep things flowing. Obstructions need to be addressed and flow regained.
photo: sritangphoto, FreeDigitalPhotos.net