Do you find negative things repeating in your career? Perhaps a certain type of boss, client or co-worker, a particular type of challenge or others’ view of you and your work that you believe is unfair or inaccurate? It may be less due to a cruel world than to something that is trying to get your attention.
When something keeps repeating in your life and work, take a look at it. How are you contributing to the situation? Are you in an environment that perpetuates that type of situation? What would your life and work be like without that situation?
When things you are not happy with start repeating in your life and work, give them your attention. They will go away, once you understand what is bringing them to you and take appropriate action..
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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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Sometimes, you can find yourself in situations you may describe as “tricky”. These situations can involve delicate egos, poor performance, hidden agendas, miscommunication, polarity or other things that make dealing with them difficult. Many times, the consequences of a misstep are significant.
What do you do when you find yourself in a tricky situation? Best to center yourself, use emotional intelligence, think things out carefully, figure out a strategy and do your best to tone down the situation. Most of all, be aware that you are in a tricky circumstance and need to keep your interests front and center.
photo: Leio McLaren, unsplash.com
Stubborn: having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.
What’s the impact of stubbornness in the workplace? Stubbornness slows things down. It causes arguments and clashes. But stubbornness does not always exist in the face of good arguments or reasons. Sometimes, stubbornness is due to the courage of a person’s convictions or fault lines that exist in others’ arguments or reasoning.
Are you stubborn? How do you respond to the stubbornness of others? An accusation of stubbornness can be subjective, as who is to say whether one’s attitude or position goes against reason or facts? Perhaps the best way to deal with stubbornness in yourself or others is to ignore its presence and continue on to the center of an issue by keeping dialogue going and working to understand others’ positions. Stubbornness is an obstacle you are better off without.
photo: Zozifoto | Dreamstime.com
At one point in my career, I received a promotion to a new position that was a big leap and wonderful opportunity for me. I would be managing 45 people in a division that brought three previously separate offices together as one. It was a high profile division, where my decisions would be scrutinized and my actions as a manager would have wider, and more public, impact than in any position I held before.
In my previous managerial positions, one thing that was a bit of an Achilles heel for me was that I brought a need for the approval of others into my work. The roots of this need went back to my childhood, but had no place in my work. This manifested in my not always providing the leadership those who worked for me deserved and in my avoiding conflict, sometimes to the detriment of getting things done.
As I accepted this new position, I knew my need for approval had to go. I was on a bigger stage, would be making difficult decisions and had to perform. What would replace my need for approval? I did not want to be what we now call a bully boss. I wanted to treat people with the respect and dignity they deserve. I settled on fairness – I would be very clear in my expectations, would explain decisions that affected the team, would handle controversy or unpopular decisions with as much fairness as possible and would do my very best to respect everyone who worked with me.
It worked. My need for others’ approval was replaced with a focus on leadership, collaboration and managing with fairness. The biggest difference for me was that my neediness was gone. It was very freeing. I accepted my role as a manager as a positive one and thrived.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net