How do you handle disruptions? Do what you can to prevent them, but they will happen. When disruptions occur, you have a choice in how you respond. You can deny they are happening (futilely), get present and figure out how to handle them, let your emotions take over, walk away or do something that lets them work to your benefit.
Whatever response you choose, there are consequences. Accept that disruptions are part of life and keep them from getting the better of you. That way, your work continues to flow and you may be able to work disruptions in your favor.
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Drifting does not have much aim. Sometimes, you can drift without realizing that you are doing so. The danger is that you may drift into something dangerous and end up surprised and unprepared.
How does this happen? It happens when you are not fully in the present moment, lose focus, are overwhelmed or “check out” because you do not want to face something. So, you go along unconsciously and lose touch with what is happening around you.
Try not to drift in this way. It does you no good and rather than relaxing you, leaves you unaware and vulnerable. Have you drifted lately? Is it time to take aim again?
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Many times, a sense of entitlement is seen as a negative thing. What if you developed a sense of entitlement that allowed you to find fulfillment in your work? What would it look like? Your sense of entitlement would come from a commitment to give your best to your work by developing your skills, using your talents and maintaining high productivity for the betterment of your organization. In return you would be valued, treated with respect, challenged to grow and acknowledged. This way, the work gets done and everyone plays their part.
Any downside to this? I don’t think so. It corrects an imbalance in many organizations that undervalue people and corrects a negative sense of entitlement on the part of workers who are not giving their best. Everyone wins.
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Wouldn’t it be great if your workplace were composed of kindred spirits? Sometimes you get lucky and your co-workers are compatible with your values and ways of working. Other times, kindred spirits are few and far between. When that is the case, the stage is set for dysfunction, judgment, conflict and dissatisfaction. It doesn’t have to be that way. Difference, variety and opposition can all make for a creative and high-performing organization. The key is to create an environment where each person can communicate and thrive.
What are the elements of such a workplace? Here are some. I’m sure you can identify others. Just think of what you need to communicate and thrive.
• Demonstrated respect for each person and their views
• Established methods for effective communication when there are disagreements or differences of opinion
• Acceptance and valuing of diversity
• Enough space for each person to contribute their best work
• Understanding that people need different environments, acknowledgement and resources to thrive
So, if you are leading or part of a team that is not composed of kindred spirits, celebrate the opportunities before you and create a workplace that encourages high performance and work satisfaction.
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Life is not static. It goes at many speeds, during different times. Are you in action right now? Is your current speed right for you?
Match your speed to your intentions and your productivity will increase.
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Sometimes, there is so much pressure and so little time that a day can turn you upside-down. It is hard to right yourself when this happens, but really, you have no choice but to do so. Let’s say you have a day of putting out fires, no time to do what you have to and stress through the roof. Towards the end of the day, you can’t find your bearings. What are you to do?
When you are turned upside-down you cannot function well. You first have to pull yourself out of the frenzied energy (however hard it may seem to do so) and settle yourself. It’s good to develop means to do this that work for you – getting out of your environment for a short time, breathing or journaling are a few ways. Then, you have to find a way to regroup and get started again in a productive manner.
When you are turned upside-down everything is in the wrong place. Find a way to right yourself again and all will be well.
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What’s currently winning out in your managing – time or quality? Do you meet your deadlines in an effective manner? Do you have the time you need to do a quality job or does the quality of your work suffer because your time is limited? Even though many circumstances are beyond your control, the choice is still yours. If quality is paramount to you, make room for it. If time is paramount, decide what level of quality you will maintain, when your time is limited.
Sometimes you can lose on both fronts. You can rush through things and quality suffers. You can take all the time you need to produce quality and deadlines are missed and efficiency is ignored.
In a perfect world, you would have the time you need to do a high quality job. It becomes a matter of balance – how do you balance your desire to do a quality job with the time you have available?
photo: Jan Vašek, stocksnap.io
Grace is a powerful word with many meanings. Is grace something you can have in your workplace? If you define grace as simple elegance or refinement of movement, I think you can.
How can you bring grace into your work? Here are some ways: cultivate calmness, be aware of yourself and of what is happening around you, treat people with attention and fairness, stay fully present in the moment, acknowledge when you make mistakes that negatively affect others, practice a level of detachment in order to manage your emotions and keep things simple when you can.
Cultivating a bearing of grace can increase your skills as a manager, your ability to work with others and assist you in getting things done.
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How do you keep yourself organized? Everyone finds their own way. Our ways are on a continuum between order and chaos. What matters is to find the way that works best for you. Are you more productive in an ordered or chaotic state?
Some find that chaos stimulates their creativity. Others find that order allows them to keep their center. There are downsides of both order and chaos. They can each be used to avoid action and keep you unproductive. For example, a near constant state of chaos can keep you from getting anything meaningful done. Too much focus on order can keep you from getting into action. What are the downsides of each for you?
If you think of nature as a system, both chaos and order exist within it, each serving a purpose. Order keeps an ecosystem together. Chaos introduces change and growth. How does your ecosystem work best for staying organized? What’s your best balance between chaos and order?
Bad habits do you no good. They can sneak up on you or you can be completely unaware of them. Can you think of any bad habits that are negatively affecting your managing – either of yourself or your team? Examine how you go through your day. Is there anything you regularly do that you consider a bad habit? If you find one, how is this bad habit harming you?
One way to get rid of a bad habit is to create a new “good” habit to replace it. Say you consider being late for meetings a bad habit. Create a new habit that you will be on time for meetings. You could begin by making sure you leave plenty of time to get to meetings, by not over scheduling yourself or being unrealistic in your sense of how much time you need to do something. If you are courageous, you could “declare” your intention to others to be on time for meetings. It is essential that you hold yourself accountable. Once you start, it is not that hard. It is well within your power to change.
Say goodbye to bad habits. They are energy drains, keep you from your greatness and sabotage you – with no good results.