There are many circumstances and times in your career when it behooves you to ask, “How far can I go?” By asking this question, you assess your chances of success in what you are doing. Say a co-worker or manager has crossed a boundary with you. When you ask this question it helps you consider what reactions and responses you could receive as you protect your boundaries.
This question also has relevance in relationship to your independence and creativity. What are the lines you cannot cross in your organization’s culture? If you find yourself restricted and are not able to go as far as you like, perhaps some reflection is called for on whether the culture you are in is right for you.
It would be great if you lived in a world with no limits. However, limits do exist – some are imposed arbitrarily and some with good reason. Ultimately though, you are the one who answers the question, “How far can I go?”
1. Be your own chief counsel. You know best what is right for you.
2. Create a “point of view” regarding the chaos in the world, so that it does not sweep you away.
3. Focus on kindness in your everyday dealings to promote collaboration and harmony.
4. Accept that both positive and negative aspects of our world exist side-by-side.
5. Maintain balance in your life.
6. Identify your unique talents and how you can use them in the world for good.
7. Develop your personal power and influence.
8. Say no to dishonoring your values.
9. Maintain hope that this chaos will lead to positive outcomes.
10. Create a still point within.
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You may hear a lot about planning for your life and career. Yes, there are a lot of generalities, advice and platitudes out there. If you have let them slip by, take another look. Planning is well worth your effort and time. What does a plan do for you? It focuses your attention, sets your priorities and requires that you think about what you want your career and life to be.
Compare the differences between having a plan and not having one. Which looks better to you? Granted, without a plan you may feel you have more freedom, but planning is about creating freedom by defining the life you want to live and how you can get there.
Do you have a plan for your life and career? If not, try creating one. It can be short or long-term. Tie it to your dreams and aspirations and you’ll be on your way!
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Do you find yourself unchallenged by your work? Routine, lack of mental stimulation, or a sleepy organizational culture can lead to boredom. Sometimes, it is okay to be bored by your work. Perhaps your career is not a primary element of life balance for you. Perhaps there are other significant demands on your time and work offers some relief. Perhaps you have other interests that offer you the challenge you want and need. All this is fine. However, if you would rather not be bored at work, it is time to take action.
If your work bores you, then you are accepting boredom as part of your life. You do not have to. Here are some questions to ask yourself if you find yourself bored with your work and would rather this not be the case. Hopefully, they can point you in the direction of change.
• Are you bored because you do not have enough to do or because the activities you undertake at work are unchallenging?
• Do you sense that others around you are bored as well? Does your organization’s culture or the nature of its work tilt towards boring activities?
• Do you see any promise in stepping up and asking for a change in your responsibilities that can lead to being challenged by them?
• What would you love to do? What do you need to be challenged and fulfilled in your work?
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1. Insist that others treat you with respect.
2. Take care of yourself physically, mentally and emotionally so that you can perform at your best.
3. Acknowledge that while work is an element of your life, it is not the only element.
4. Believe that you can be happy at work.
5. Fully accept where you are now and make that your starting point for any changes you want to make.
If you come up with any good reasons not to do these things, let me know. ☺
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As a manager, do you have favorites in your team? As a team member, do you see evidence of your team leader’s favorites? Is it outlawed to have favorites? Not at all – we are all human and resonate with certain types of people more than others. It is okay to have favorites. Where the challenge comes in for a manager or team leader, is to assure that all are evaluated by the same standards and are treated without personal bias.
How can you assess whether favoritism is an element of your management style? You can start by first, looking at your feelings and attitudes towards each team member. Do you have favorites? Second, look at how you treat each team member – do you show your favoritism in your interactions with them? This will get you started in creating a culture within your team that performance and productivity are what matters.
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In our society, compassion and connection are sometimes seen as signs of weakness. In the work world, this view is even more prevalent. It is felt that you cannot be powerful without subduing your emotions and empathy for others. As a result, workplaces can sometimes be brutal and people can be crushed by them.
Increasingly, with the introduction of concepts such as emotional intelligence, this is changing. Astute leaders are realizing that offering respect and dignity to everyone they lead makes for a more productive workplace and does not hurt results at all. Perhaps it is time to welcome people’s hearts into the workplace. In doing so, mind and heart can be in balance and a new type of power can be born.
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Time is a key factor in your career success. Take a minute today to look at how time has factored into your life and work since the start of 2018. How are you doing with time? If you are doing well, good for you! Keep up what you are doing. If time is getting the better of you, here are a few questions to ask yourself:
• How realistic are my expectations of the things I can get done in terms of the time I have to do them?
• Are stress or distractions getting in the way of using my time well? Am I maintaining the focus that I need to in my work?
• Is being tired or lack of exercise affecting my ability to get things done?
How you are handling time should always be on your radar. For more about your relationship with time, see my blog posts: Your Relationship With Time and Ten Ways To Change Your Relationship With Time
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Have you been caught short lately – unprepared, missing something, lacking information, short-staffed? It is not a pleasant situation to be in. Sometimes it is avoidable and sometimes not. Preparation is so important to your success. When, even with preparation, you get caught short, what do you do? Usually, you have to regroup fast to respond. Best to be honest, propose a solution and stay off the defensive. Getting caught short happens to everyone. When despite your best efforts you get caught short, be ready to get back in the game and make it right.
There is a Maya Angelou quote that, for me, contains a lot of wisdom. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Emotional intelligence is key to your career success. Sure, you can stumble forward without it. However, understanding the people and environment you work in propels your way to success. What does her quote mean? It means no rose-colored glasses, no rationalizations, no benefit of the doubt and no fooling yourself when you size up the actions of people who surround you.
If someone has shown you that they are not to be trusted, what can you do? It is enough to see them as they are and stay mindful when dealing with them. You do not have to act on what you know. Key here is your awareness and letting what you know about a person be part of your actions and decisions regarding them.
Knowing the players in your workplace helps you function better and watch out for your own interests. Do not be fooled.
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