1. Define what freedom in your work is for you.
2. Identify where or how you feel constrained or restricted in your work.
3. Identify the obstacles to finding more freedom in your work.
4. Identify any ways that you yourself are limiting your ability to find more freedom in your work (attitudes, perceptions, fears, blocks).
5. Identify the things you cannot change in your work.
6. Commit that you will do what it takes to find more freedom in your work .
7. Take one break a day, where you leave your environment and create some distance from your work. See what comes up for you during this time.
8. Write down 5 benefits of finding more freedom in your work.
9. Believe that freedom is possible.
10. Create more (even a small amount) freedom in your work by the end of this month.
photo: Bhakti2, pixabay.com
We all try to keep things cool and to address problems before they get out of control. However, sometimes things catch fire, such as the escalation of a conflict, a project getting out of control, personnel shortages or major disruptions within an organization. When things catch fire, how do you handle them?
It always pays to step back, if you can, and assess the situation. If you cannot, immediate, temporary action may be needed to put the flames out, such as separating parties or amping up with more personnel to meet a deadline. Be aware of your emotions and stress level when something catches fire. Do you panic or freeze? Do you become fearful? These responses can hinder your effectiveness and should be managed.
When things catch fire, a clear, calm head is your best ally. With that, you can lead and manage well and put the fire out.
photo: SkitterPhoto, stocksnap.io
It is a common phrase to say one is going back to the grind of their work. For me, the phrase infers that one is going back to low level, repetitive work that is not terribly exciting. Going back to the grind is okay every once in awhile, but not as an every day thing. Your work as a manager should be challenging, diverse, collaborative, motivating, sometimes frustrating and inspiring. If it is not, it is worth some reflection on what is happening.
Is your work fulfilling or is it a grind? If it is a grind, what are the elements of your work that make it so? Have you lost your enthusiasm for what you do? Sure, on projects there are always periods of hard work that can be a grind, but they should be short ones, leading somewhere, with a good end in sight.
If your work has become a grind, do something to wake it up. Examine your own contribution to making it a grind, as well as your organization’s. Life is too short to do lackluster work. It will wear you down and deprive the world of your unique gifts.
photo: Danielle McInnes, stocksnap.io
What’s currently winning out in your managing – time or quality? Do you meet your deadlines in an effective manner? Do you have the time you need to do a quality job or does the quality of your work suffer because your time is limited? Even though many circumstances are beyond your control, the choice is still yours. If quality is paramount to you, make room for it. If time is paramount, decide what level of quality you will maintain, when your time is limited.
Sometimes you can lose on both fronts. You can rush through things and quality suffers. You can take all the time you need to produce quality and deadlines are missed and efficiency is ignored.
In a perfect world, you would have the time you need to do a high quality job. It becomes a matter of balance – how do you balance your desire to do a quality job with the time you have available?
photo: Jan Vašek, stocksnap.io
Coaching meetings succeed when there is meaningful follow-through. Within a coaching meeting, you create a place of safety, focus and transparency. When your team member re-enters their everyday work life, structure and support are needed for results to manifest. An action plan is one way of providing that structure and support.
Action plans should suit the individual situation and be a formal agreement on how your team member will move forward on the items discussed in the coaching meeting. Goals and outcomes should be created collaboratively and fully agreed to by your team member. If there is a disciplinary or low performance issue involved, agreement is needed with the team member that they understand stretching their performance is necessary and the action plan gives them the opportunity to do so. Check-in meetings should be scheduled. As coach, you hold the goals and outcomes at all times. It’s best to not let time slip away, causing missed goals and outcomes.
When individual goals and outcomes are reached, acknowledgement and positive feedback should be given. Formal “closure” should be made when the action plan is completed. In the event of non-performance on the action plan, you can decide next steps.
Action plans are a great tool for clearly setting expectations, encouraging team members to grow and creating movement. Let action plans help fuel the development of your team.
photo: jamoluk, pixabay.com
Flight has its beauty. It also has its downside. Sometimes, you are face to face with your fears or something you are experiencing seems to be way too much to handle. The fight-or-flight response is a physiological reaction that occurs in response to a perceived harmful event, attack, or threat to survival. It was first described by Walter Bradford Cannon.
In your work life, when you face fear or uncomfortable situations, they can threaten some aspect of your emotional or mental make-up, your sense of security or your sense of self. Stress can trigger the fight-or-flight response. Flight in the face of fear can cause you harm. Facing the situation is the best way to resolve it. It takes strength and courage and you can grow in the process.
The next time your immediate response to fear or an uncomfortable situation is flight, take the time to look at and assess what is happening. After doing so, it may not be as threatening as you first thought it was and you can handle it or you may realize you can benefit by staying put. If that is not the case, you can choose to steadily walk away, knowing exactly why you are choosing to do so.
photo: skeeze, pixabay.com
Grace is a powerful word with many meanings. Is grace something you can have in your workplace? If you define grace as simple elegance or refinement of movement, I think you can.
How can you bring grace into your work? Here are some ways: cultivate calmness, be aware of yourself and of what is happening around you, treat people with attention and fairness, stay fully present in the moment, acknowledge when you make mistakes that negatively affect others, practice a level of detachment in order to manage your emotions and keep things simple when you can.
Cultivating a bearing of grace can increase your skills as a manager, your ability to work with others and assist you in getting things done.
photo: Alexas_Fotos, pixabay.com
Has your new year started out with a lot to do? Does it already feel unmanageable? How do you handle having too much to do?
As a manager, you juggle your own work, managing teams or projects and dealing with colleagues, customers and upper management. It’s a lot. Do you have an approach or system for managing when you become overloaded?
Here are some suggestions. Recognize the signs that you are becoming, or are already, overloaded. Once these signs appear, stop and reassess the situation. Identify the choices you have and decide how you will proceed. Cultivate your ability to discern what really are priorities and to say no when it is called for. Make a commitment not to run yourself into the ground while trying to do the impossible. That only lowers the quality of your work product and leaves you ineffective.
Your ability to manage well depends on your ability to effectively say “too much”.
photo: stevepb, pixabay.com
Indigenous cultures use a circle as an image for life. Circles are continuous, with no beginning or end. What does your career or organization look like, when you view it as a circle?
Think of the differences between a circle and a line. Circles allow flow. One action leads to another. You cannot separate one event from another. Everything is connected. The center of a circle is surrounded by the elements of the circle. The center of a line is one point.
Why write about this in The Managers Hub? A change in the perspective with which you view your career or organization can lead to insights, innovation and positive change. If you use a circle as your reference point, what looks different in your career or organization?
photo: alexis doyen, lifeofpix.com
At the start of the new year, are you proactive or reactive? You have a choice – to actively begin the year the way you want it to be or to let the new year take you on a ride that is determined by what happens to you.
What are you beginning this year? What dreams are you moving closer to? What skills are you enhancing? What changes are you preparing for?
Better to set your direction, than to drift without aim. Make 2016 a year of your choosing!