Awareness: knowledge or perception of a situation or fact.
You may not think of awareness as a work skill. It is an important one. When you are aware of your self and your surroundings you can respond to people and situations in ways that align with your values and needs and promote common goals. When you are unaware, your values, needs and goals can go unheeded because you are in the dark.
One way I became more aware was when I met my husband Ermanno. I was a New York City girl and although I always valued the natural world, I often did not slow down within it. My husband was much more attuned to and aware of nature. We would be driving in the country and he would say “there’s a hawk” or “look at the light”. I gradually became much more aware of my surroundings in the natural world, instead of quickly passing through and taking only parts of it in.
In your career and your life, it is a big plus to cultivate your awareness of people, interpersonal and organizational dynamics, key elements of your particular professional field, levels of communication and things that lie below the surface of your work environment. Cultivating your awareness moves you closer to excellence and , ultimately, success.
photo: scott carroll, unsplash.com
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.
photo: clark-tibbs, unsplash.com
Sometimes it is hard to jump right in. You may have stepped back to the sidelines of your career for a good reason at one time – a bad experience, fear, need for a rest or confusion about your next step. Then, it got comfortable being there.
The problem is that you cannot move forward from the sidelines. You must act. At a certain point your career starts to go backwards without action. In order to change things, you can take a leap or a small step. Either will get you moving.
Being on the sidelines can get boring and really, it gets you nowhere. If you find yourself on the sidelines, do whatever you can to get moving again. Great things await you!
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Upping your game keeps you challenged and growing. Staying where you are is comfortable and does not ask a lot of you. What appeals more to you at this point in your career?
Sometimes, due to the stress and demands of work, you may want to stay where you are because you cannot see yourself adding on one more thing. That’s understandable, but if you stay still you will be missing out on the benefits of upping your game. Upping your game can increase your energy, keep you growing and advance your career.
You may have to make room for what it will take to up your game and grow. To make room, you can let go of things that no longer serve you and get yourself in shape for what you have to do.
If you were to up your game this year, what would you focus on?
photo: Ca_Di, pixabay.com
What does it mean for you to be at your best? Is your answer influenced by others’ views of what a good manager is or your own view? Being at your best asks that you manage in a way that allows you to excel. It asks that you continually improve your skills, honor your values and stay true to yourself.
Be aware of people or situations that hamper your ability to be at your best.
Being at your best is your gift to the world and to yourself. When you put your focus on being at your best, it is a win-win all around.
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
The Urban Dictionary defines Dumbing Down as:
The act of taking a product and watering down elements of it to make it appeal to a broader mass market. This often damages or destroys the very elements that gave the product any appeal in the first place.
As managers and leaders, we sometimes dumb down our work and products without direct intention to. How does this happen? I think a central reason is that we allow outside influences to trump our own commitment to quality and excellence. For example, there may be too much to do and you scrimp on quality, just to meet your deadlines. Or, there are “politics” involved in a project and you feel you have to please the various parties (watering down) to make the outcome palatable to them. Sometimes choosing to dumb down in this way is about being lazy. Instead of maintaining your commitment to quality and excellence, you take the easy road, detach from the project and decide to diminish the quality of the product, rather than hassle with others or find elusive solutions.
Dumbing down never serves you as a leader or manager. Have you dumbed down any of your work this year without intending to? What does your answer tell you about how you are leading?
photo: Stuart Miles, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
A remix is a song that has been edited or completely recreated to sound different from the original version.
Is it time to rethink and remix your team for 2014? Change is a key to innovation and keeps things fresh. A remix must be done wisely – change for change’s sake has no point. A remix that has the intention of improvement and excellence can boost productivity and strengthen your team.
How would you start? The beginning of a new year is a good time to evaluate how the previous year went and what you would like to shift in the new year. What are the areas where your team failed or under-performed in the past year? Where did they shine? What are their strengths that you can build on? Where can your team go that they have not been before? What changes have your team expressed a need for? Where do you want them to go?
Try a team remix this month. Your team’s new sound may a great one.
photo: adamr, FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Teams need diversity to innovate, excel and succeed. Inherent in diversity are differences. As a manager, how do you handle differences and incompatibilities among team members and maintain diversity?
Diversity has many forms – among them personalities, culture, work styles. Differences do not lead inevitably to disagreement, but do need to be acknowledged and observed. Some teams have people who are outliers. They stand apart in skills, by choice, or otherwise and the distance can be significant.
Managing a team with one or more outliers calls first for assessing the value and origin of the outliers’ distance. Do their differences contribute or detract from the team? If they detract, challenges lie ahead for you – to minimize the detraction if the team member is worth keeping on. If the differences contribute, a good challenge lies ahead – to manage your team by honoring each individual and creating an environment for each team member to do the same. Malcolm Forbes offered this positive definition of diversity: Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.
Team outliers can make the difference between excellence and the commonplace. Inherent in diversity is difference, which makes it so valuable. Value your outliers. If you do not have one, bring some in and manage them well.