At times, you may find yourself neither here nor there. You are not where you were a year ago and not quite settled into something new. Perhaps you have undergone a tangible change or nothing has changed, except that you are different in your own perceptions of your life and work.
Nothing wrong with that! You are on a journey. You change over time and not instantaneously. When you feel you are in-between, maybe even a bit lost, get present to it. Try to understand where you are and make the most of it. It can be a time of new insights, growth and creating new dreams, before you reach the next step on your journey.
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Would that all workplaces operate smoothly and efficiently! When that’s not the case, here are five ways to handle a dysfunctional work environment.
1. Place responsibility where it should be and do not take too much on your own shoulders.
2. Find your space within your workplace and do your job in as high quality a manner as possible.
3. Speak up when what you have to say has a chance of lessening the dysfunction.
4. Develop your emotional intelligence.
5. If the work environment is hampering you in significant ways, start looking at your options to get out of it.
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Do you ever daydream? Daydreams are much more than “fluff”. They can be functional and lead to positive changes in your career. You can put daydreams to work for you by focusing them on what you want in your work life. They provide a creative, open space for your imagination to flow.
Allow yourself a few daydreams about your work and career. In a quiet space, let your imagination go on what a great work situation would be for you. Imagine how it happens and how you feel. See what shows up. Even if what shows up seems impractical, don’t push it away. Give it some more thought. Your daydreams may be guiding you to somewhere great!
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In coaching there is a tool named “Yes/No”. Its purpose is to help you set boundaries when you need to. Say you are in a situation where you are being asked to work very long hours on a project and upper management is putting a lot of burden on staff, without providing the resources needed to get the job done. The situation is draining your energy and frustrating you.
To employ the yes/no tool you would make a list of what you say yes to and what you say no to in the situation. Here are some examples:
• I say yes to maintaining a standard of quality on the project, so that it does not fail.
• I say yes to asking management for what I need to get the job done.
• I say no to draining my energy and getting out of balance because of the long hours and frustration of the project.
• I say no to taking responsibility beyond what I can reasonably do or for what is upper management’s responsibility.
Yes/No is a powerful tool that helps you to maintain the boundaries that you need to thrive and excel in your work!
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Your emotions and what is happening in the environment you work in are not constant. They are frequently changing. It makes sense that they affect your experience of work and managing.
When you or your environment become strained what do you attribute it to? Are you even aware of the strain or do you react to it without identifying the factors that are causing it? Here is another place where it behooves you to pause and assess. By being aware of your emotions and environment and their effects on what you are feeling, you can deal with the strain head-on, instead of being victim to it.
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Inspiration can occur randomly; however, most of the time it must be sought and cultivated. Think of people in history whom you see as inspired and brilliant in their work. When inspiration came, they were ready to employ it.
Want to cultivate inspiration? Seek it. Develop you inner intuition as inspiration comes both loudly and quietly, from within and without. Look for situations and people that may inspire you. Recognize the power of inspiration to move your life and work forward to mastery. Be ready to receive it by developing focus and by reducing over-thinking, distraction and “noise” in your life. Inspiration is just around the corner waiting for you.
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Rushing is not always the fastest way to reach where you want to go. Rushing is full of potential pitfalls – losing your focus, tripping, bumping into others, forgetting something important or exhausting yourself. Instead of rushing, try focusing and steady intention. You’ll most likely get to your destination faster and in much better shape.
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Yeah right, add dealing with stress to your “to do” list! That’s a great way to create more stress than you already are experiencing. Wait – rethink that for a minute. If you pause every once in a while, you will start reducing your stress. If you shift your perspective and improve your relationship with time, you will reduce your stress. And these things do not take much time at all.
Reducing your stress is mainly an inside job. “Doing” things – say taking a meditation class or using the Calm App do take time. Start first with inner shifts and time will become available for you to do a lot more to reduce the stress you are experiencing today.
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I recently came across this statement: We want to be seen so that we know we exist. It caught me. Some like the spotlight. Others avoid it. The statement may go deeper. What does being seen mean to you? Is it recognition of your talents, attention from others, receiving the respect you are due or something else? Whatever your desire, validate your feelings and declare them a value that you can honor.
How do you want to be seen in the world? It is up to you to make it so.
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Life is seldom a straight line. It goes up and down and up and down again. Sometimes the down times can unsettle you. They are not permanent, just part of the movement and rhythm of life. Try looking at them as temporary “dips” with various purposes and outcomes. Trust that you will find your way out eventually and move to higher ground.
Dips can be a setback, a lull, a course correction or a disappointment. Dips can occur so that you can slow down, look carefully, take a new perspective, gather momentum or find a new direction. Dips aren’t a failure or a problem. They are something to be aware of and to deal with in a productive and meaningful way.
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