Starting With You

“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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Can You Be Authentic At Work?

There’s a lot involved in being authentic. It is about being true to yourself, being transparent and speaking your truth. Is authenticity valued at your workplace? Do others want to hear from you? A lot can interfere with authenticity in the workplace. You may want to maintain an “image” that you believe can lead you to success. You may value emotional intelligence as an essential factor in teamwork and collaboration and allow it to influence your authenticity in certain situations. You may discern that speaking your truth does not serve you. Where do you draw the line between your authenticity and the nature of your workplace?

Whether you can be authentic at work is a question that you have to answer. It is worth paying attention to so that you do not lose yourself as you work.

 

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The First Time

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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What Turns You Upside Down?

It is beneficial for you to stay upright as you go forward in your career. Sometimes, however, things can knock you off balance and even turn you upside down. When that happens, it can put you at a disadvantage. Best to know where your vulnerabilities are, so that you can deal with them.

What turns you upside down? It can be many things – people who approach you with emotions that are alien to or opposite your own, situations that you perceive rob you of the level of control you need, fears or perceptions that certain circumstances can cause great harm to your career, your own insecurities getting triggered, doubt or being outside your comfort zone.

Know what turns you upside down so that you can right yourself quickly and get back on track.

 

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Are You??

You may have heard the statement “you are enough”. There is a lot in it. Being enough means self-acceptance, letting go of guilt and setting your own path. Do you believe you are enough? If the answer is yes, good for you. If the answer is no, what is the reason? Perhaps you want to stretch and always go for more. Perhaps you feel inadequate in some way.

Whatever your answer, let yourself be enough for today and every present moment. When you are enough, you are in a place of power. From that place, you can take yourself anywhere you want to go with inner strength and confidence.

 

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Weak Link

So many organizations base their work on teams now. This creates interdependence that can be both a blessing and a curse. If there is someone on a team that is a weak link, it can affect everyone on the team and their productivity in negative ways.

Weak links have various natures. They can be emotionally unintelligent, lacking in necessary skills, uncooperative, strongly independent and unwilling to collaborate or imbalanced in their emotions (for example, anger).

Do you have a weak link on your team? Best to address this sooner, rather than later. It takes skill, but rooting out weak links and working to strengthen or eliminate them gets your team working at its best.

 

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Do You Have A Bias?

A bias is a partiality that prevents objective consideration of an issue or situation. Often, biases are unconscious. They can come from direct experience, or vicarious experiences (e.g. experiences of other people, stories, culture).

In the workplace, your biases and those of others can be harmful. It behooves you to be aware of yours and to be able to identify those of others. An example of a workplace bias may be: men (or women) are better leaders. If you or someone you work with has this bias, it’s easy to see the havoc it can cause.

What are your biases? Do you know? If not, give some thought to the perceptions and beliefs you have about the people you work with. Then, come up with actual interactions you have had with them and determine if they confirm your perceptions and beliefs. If they do not, you may have a bias there that is best to be aware of.

 

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Creating A Fresh Perspective

In my last blog post, Shifting Perspective I wrote of how your perspective influences the way you see situations and the power that lies in shifting your perspective. There’s another facet in this that involves proactively creating a new perspective. Doing so allows you to handle a situation in a positive way. Say that you find yourself caught in a difficult interaction or are feeling down about your current situation. You don’t want to stay there. One way to get moving is to create a perspective that motivates and encourages you.

How do you create a fresh perspective? Start to see the positives in the situation – for example, a lesson the situation is teaching you, the negatives the situation reveals that you can now begin to change or the truth that the situation exposes. Once you identify the positives, change your perspective accordingly and act from there. With a fresh perspective, you can tackle the toughest situations successfully.

 

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Shifting Perspective

Sometimes, even the slightest shift in your perspective changes the way you see your life, your work or a particular situation. Do you ever consciously focus on how your current perspective is affecting the way you experience things?

If you are looking at something through a lens of anger, excitement, sadness, being tired, worry, fear, comparison with your past or comparison with others, you may not be seeing what is truly there. When you are looking at a situation, it behooves you to do a “perspective check” to make sure you are centered and looking through a clear lens. We al know that rose-color glasses or foggy ones can alter your vision.

Try to maintain a clear perspective and shift away from lenses that skew the truth. Doing so, can serve you well.

 

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