What you care about offers valuable clues to a fulfilling and successful career. Often, what you care about is not readily considered when making career decisions or choices. It should be! Caring about something usually correlates with your taking it seriously, cherishing it and wanting it in your life.
What do you care about? Are those things currently present in your career to motivate high performance and skill? Make an evaluation of the things you care about and whether they are present in your work life. Go from there in getting more of what you care about into your work or finding places where what you care about is present and valued.
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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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Is there anything in your work life right now that needs some addressing? Something that is a direct effect of what you are doing? Something that needs to change? If there is, what do you need to tell yourself to make the situation better?
Some things only you can handle. For example: your behaviors, reactions and responses, interpretation of events, results or actions. If you can make your work life better, have a talk with yourself today about making the changes you think are warranted.
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What are you doing right now? Being present in every moment gives you major advantages. Fully in a moment you have a clear picture of what is happening, can act when it matters and be at your best. What allows you to be fully present in a moment? Calmness, focus, discipline? What brings you away from the present moment? Stress, distraction, avoidance?
Cultivate your ability to be fully present and make the most of now!
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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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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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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.
What does it take for you to be “on point”? Being on point increases your influence, productivity, self-confidence and effectiveness.
There is a lot in our world that can pull you off point. These things can be: creating distractions, unsettled emotions, stress and anxiety, poor preparation, being tired, losing focus, being late, falling into dull routine or disliking what you are doing.
Keep yourself on point by being aware of what you need to be at your best!
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Sometimes, you can go along for a while without a lot happening or without knowing what’s next. It can be a kind of quiet growth period. Then, you get restless and want to know what’s next. It is like the newly formed butterfly wanting to break out of the cocoon, without knowing what awaits it outside. As with the butterfly, you want to make sure you are ready to make the best of your next move.
Sometimes, you can jump ahead without being ready or knowing where you are going. This is okay, but has its risks. Best to be prepared. There is also the other, sometimes mysterious, factor of timing. You don’t always control the timing of things. If you push before the time is right, your move can backfire.
When you are ready to break out, make sure you are aware, at your best and ready. That way, every move can be a positive one.
Sometimes you have a choice between letting something go and pushing it through to completion. When that choice shows up, usually it takes a lot to push through and you have to decide if you are up for it. Say, something has gone off-track in a project through no fault of your own, but you are the only one around that can fix it. Doing so means extra hours and a lot of effort. How do you get yourself ready?
There are several ways to gear up for pushing through. First, mentally prepare by accepting what’s ahead. Second, make sure you have what you need to get done what you have to. Third, make sure, even though you are pushing, that you do not burn yourself out physically. You may have to stretch a bit, but then you can make sure to make space to rest once you are done.
If you feel you cannot push through alone and get a job done, ask for and get the help you need. Pushing through is not an every day thing; however pushing through, when it’s warranted, helps your career and has many rewards.
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