A well-known quote from Lucius Annaeus Seneca says “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” One way to establish the aim (and wind) to carry you forward is to identify what you hope to gain from your work in 2019. Are you looking for a promotion, satisfaction, monetary compensation, building skills, growth, being of service to others?
Ask yourself “What payoff am I going for this year?” In doing so, you will firmly set your aim and your plans will carry forward.
Is being in the unknown uncomfortable for you? It’s natural to seek certainty. It gives you a feeling of being safe and secure. The reality is that, seeking certainty or not, you can find yourself in the unknown often. If you do not have a way of dealing with the unknown, it can turn you around and unsettle you, ultimately affecting both your emotions and your performance.
What can you do when you are wanting answers that are not there? First, you can accept the present reality and know that answers will come eventually, either from within you or from outside sources. You can develop your ability to be comfortable in the unknown by seeking ways to find answers and centering your self in the process.
You have what it takes to deal with the unknown and will get better at it as time goes on. The next time you are wanting answers, embrace and make the best of being in the unknown!
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How are things moving along for you in the new year? Just right? Slow? At warp speed? It helps to focus on the type and level of momentum you want to create in 2019. In doing so, you set the pace of the year and, hopefully, ensure a productive and fulfilling one.
Momentum involves many aspects of your work, including the pace at which you work, the amount of work you handle and the direction you go in. Take a moment to look at the level of momentum you created in 2018. Then, set your sights on the new year and creating a level of momentum that works well for you. Before you know it, you’ll be in your “zone” and getting to where you want to be.
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Avoidance is an energy drain and usually does not make something go away. Best to face, rather than avoid, something you would rather not deal with.
Is there anything you are avoiding now? If yes, claim it. You have what you need to face it and determine what you want to do.
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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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