“It is folly for him to rule over others who cannot govern himself.” – Publius Syrus
Are some of you shaking your heads in agreement with this quote? How many of you have had managers who have little self-awareness and prove it, over and over again, as they manage others? So much of success involves knowledge of people and how they interact. How can you gain this knowledge without knowing yourself – what motivates you, what disconnects you, what you need to collaborate effectively?
How well do you know yourself? How well do you understand what motivates and engages others with whom you work? Your effectiveness as a team member or manager starts with you!
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Sometimes the amount of work you have to do starts getting to be over the top. There isn’t time and stress is building. As stress builds, you can lose perspective and focus while the work keeps on coming.
What can you do when work is overflowing and you don’t know how you can handle it all? Here are some ideas:
• Get yourself out of the way – step aside and look at the situation, rather than letting it control you
• Find some ways to lower your stress, right now
• Once your stress is lowered, realistically assess the situation – what is possible to get done and what is not?
• Take a break to regain focus and perspective
• And, the old standby ☺, remain fully in the present moment as you proceed.
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Dissonance: lack of agreement, consistency or harmony; conflict.
Experiencing any dissonance in your work lately (or forever)? Though work may not reach perfection, too much dissonance is unhealthy, unnecessary and inhibits your productivity. Best to minimize dissonance in your work and life.
Sometimes, you can become accustomed to dissonance or even encourage it, towards your own aims. Do so at your peril. To maximize your performance and work happy you need a work life that feeds you. Do an inventory of your work life (relationships and interactions, nature of your work, noise, expectations and time) and estimate the percentage of your time in which you experience dissonance. Is the percentage acceptable or unacceptable to you? If unacceptable, see what’s possible in terms of creating more harmony in your work experience.
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1. Be CEO of your career
2. Let no one else have control over your choices and decisions
3. See your work as a meaningful pursuit that shapes your life
4. Explore your options
5. Exercise your creativity and imagination often
6. See mastering your interpersonal interactions as a way to challenge yourself and grow
7. Know your truth about the place work has in your life
8. Get away often
9. Always honor your values and act accordingly
10. Make fun a part of every work day
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I am observing more and more often, people going so fast that they lose control. Do you attempt to travel at warp speed? Really – you can go faster than the speed of light? Let’s reflect a moment. Yes, the world is speeding up and there are many tools to help us travel with it. However, it is very easy to burn out.
If you are acting as if you can travel at warp speed, perhaps some adjustments are called for. Let go of super-size expectations that you cannot meet. Find ways to travel quickly but prevent yourself from burning out, which defeats the purpose. Key to this is centering. Stay fully present, balanced and aware of time. In doing this, you will be able to handle whatever comes along.
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Many organizations establish missions, core values and principles by which they operate. Good ones reinforce them frequently to make sure they become an integral part of their operations. Sometimes however, there are unstated values in an organization that may not be as obvious as stated ones. It is helpful to be aware if there are any unstated values in your organization, as expectations may exist that you follow them.
What can bring about unstated values in an organization? Here are a few reasons: leaders do not want to acknowledge the value exists, only top leaders know of and follow the value (exclusivity), leaders are not proud of the value or simply neglect. Here’s an example: an organization’s stated highest value is customer service; however, in reality, their highest value is profit which wins out over customer service when they come into conflict.
Know the values of your organization and others that you deal with. It can help you better understand the environment you are in, realistically assess your own performance and judge whether your own values are truly in alignment with your organization .
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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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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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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.