January 27, 2015 by Jenna
We all respond to change differently. For some of us it comes naturally and we can go with the flow, as for others, having that sense of security removed can cause a lot of stress and anxiety. Regardless of which type of person you are, it is important to develop resilience so that we can continue to move towards our goals regardless of the situation.
So what does it take to be an emotionally resilient person? Perhaps it is best to start by clarifying what they don’t do in order for us to understand what it takes to be resilient. An article by Brad Waters in Psychology Today will be my inspiration for this week and I have outlined ten of his points below:
1. They don’t cross their own boundaries – Resilient people understand that there is a separation between who they are at their core and the cause of their temporary The stress/trauma might play a part in their current story but it does not overtake their permanent identity.
2.They don’t surround themselves with bad company– In any environment, your behaviour can be greatly affected by the people you surround yourself with. Resilient people surround themselves with other resilient people who give them space to grieve and work through their emotions. These supporters know when to listen and when to offer enough encouragement without trying to solve the problem, allowing the individual to remain in control of their decisions. Good company will help calm a situation as opposed to adding frustration to it.
3. They don’t avoid self-awareness – Being ‘blissfully unaware’ can get us through a bad day but it’s not a very wise long term strategy. Self-awareness helps resilient people to know what they need, what they don’t need and when it’s time to reach out for extra help.
Prideful stubbornness without emotional flexibility or self-awareness can make us emotional glaciers. While strong on the outside to stay afloat, you can get prone to massive stress fractures when experiencing unexpected changes in your environment.
4. They don’t pretend there isn’t a problem – Pain is painful, stress is stressful and healing takes time. Resilient people understand that stress/pain is a part of living that ebbs and flows. As hard as it is in the moment, it’s better to come to terms with the truth or pain than to ignore it, repress it, or deny it.
5. They don’t ignore quiet time – Some of us find the best ways to cope with stress and anxiety is to dull out with distractions such as television, eating, drinking too much etc. While not all distractions are bad, you still need to be mindful of the current situation you may be in and not use distractions as a means of avoiding problems. Somewhere in between shutting down or ramping up is mindfulness – being in the presence of the moment without judgement or avoidance. It takes practice, but finding a quiet space to reflect is well renowned for healing and resilience-building.
6. They don’t presume to have all the answers – Sometimes we try too hard to find answers in the face of stressful or traumatic events, that activity can block the answers from naturally arising in their own due time. Resilient people can find strength in knowing they do not have it all figured out right now. They trust they will gradually find peace when their mind/body is ready.
7. They don’t put self-care aside – Resilient people have a list of good habits that support them when they need them most. Anyone can build their own list by noticing those things that recharge their batteries and give them a boost.
8. They don’t underestimate the importance of team input – Being resilient means knowing when to reach out for help from others. It also means knowing who will serve as a listening ear, and who won’t. A supporting team will help you reflect back on issues where you may have been too emotional or overwhelmed to do so at the time they occured.
9. They don’t overlook other possibilities – Resilient people can train themselves to ask which parts of their current story are permanent and which parts can possibly change. This helps to maintain a realistic understanding that the present situation may be coloured by their current interpretation. Our interpretations of our stories will always change as we grow and mature.
10. They don’t dwell on issues – When we’re in the midst of stress and overwhelmed, our thoughts can go at a hundred miles an hour. Resilient people can find reprieve accepting the situation and moving on. One technique that works for some people is the write down the issues causing the current stress.
While writing is one resilience strategy you can keep in your back pocket, there are other ways that resilient people can get out of their head. Examples include healthy distractions like going to the gym or going for a walk, cooking or baking, volunteering or any self-care items as per point #7.
How have you built resilience in times of change or difficult situations?
Category: Performance, Workplace Matters
Tags: Assessment, attitude, avoidance, Behaviour, boundaries, career, change, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, culture, distractions, emotional, employees, employer, environment, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, habits, impression, information, inspiration, interpretation, job, management, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, relationships, reputation, Research, resilience, resilient, self-awareness, stress, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
January 16, 2015 by Jenna
We’re now settling back into our work routines for the New Year and as 2015 is a time to set out new goals and resolutions, why not aim to make changes that benefit your happiness and well-being at work?
There are some simple steps that you can apply regardless of your role or background, and an article by Catherine Conlan will be my inspiration for this week’s blog. Here are six steps that you can apply below:
Develop a Structured Routine
Setting a structured routine gives a better indication of what to expect from your day and prepares you for what lies ahead. Sometimes this will require you to plan the night before, compile a list of priorities etc.
Setting up a list of tasks and duties for the day can also save on procrastination as you have made yourself aware of what important deadlines need to be achieved. Be specific with what details you set out in your routine and what you want to achieve so that you can maintain it for a long term basis.
Other routines may also include healthy eating plans and exercise routines which in turn can help improve daily performance.
Become a Mentor
If you have experience in your field and are looking for opportunities to share your knowledge and direction with other junior employees or candidates, there is a lot of fulfillment in helping others. You are not only leading someone in the direction of their future career, but you will be challenged by them to provide insight, reflect on what you have learned so far and review your career development up until this point. This can be a rewarding experience.
Change Your Mindset
Approaching your job as a daily investment towards your personal development will motivate you to pursue further responsibilities within the role and seek training and development in your career.
If your daily mindset is going to work because you have to or because of financial gain, you may be limiting your motivation level and ability to perform at your best.
Seek Out Opportunities To Give Back
If your employer has a community service program that you can get involved in, why not take the opportunity to do something good for someone else and get away from your workplace for a few hours a week.
Volunteering your time can allow you to develop different skill sets, and may inspire you to take on different volunteering opportunities in the future.
Switch Things Up
As your goals and targets will change throughout the year, make sure in turn that you are creating and adapting your routine to suit these goals. If the routine is not working to meet your personal development goals, you need to take measures to assess what isn’t working and make changes sooner rather than later.
We also as individuals need to change processes regularly to keep us engaged and motivated, otherwise the routines can become stagnant. It is important to keep reviewing your routine over time and managing it accordingly.
If management would like to you take a course to further develop a particular skill or to be trained on new database/software, it is important to take up the opportunity.
If you also feel that taking on some new training will benefit the organisations’ success, present it to the manager and don’t feel that you need to wait for training to be offered to you first. Pitch why you think the training would be beneficial and review with management to see if now is the right time to pursue it, or if there is an opportunity to pursue options in the future.
What are some of your New Year’s resolutions? What measures will you take to develop your career and reach daily satisfaction?
Category: Performance, Workplace Matters
Tags: achieve, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, candidate, career, change, communication, company, confidence, culture, development, direction, employees, employer, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, happiness, impression, information, inspiration, job, management, motivation, opportunity, options, organisation, people, performance, Personality, priorities, procrastination, productivity, Professional, relationships, Research, resolutions, routine, skills, success, Team, Training, workplace
January 6, 2015 by Jenna
It’s strange how a brand new year makes us re-assess our life and priorities. As the clock struck midnight to the end of 2014, I know many friends and acquaintances that were so happy to open a brand new blank page. A new year provides us a chance to make resolutions for those changes we want to make. But as we all know most NYE resolutions fail. Why? For most it can be summarised in two key roadblocks: fear of change and our own self-doubt. We all know there are areas of our career, relationships or personal development that need to change – so how do we overcome the fear and self-doubt?
The first key roadblock is the fear of change. Forced and unforced change leads to an unpredictable response. From denial to frustration to anger to tears to joy and right back around again. I’ve worked with those on the precipice of wanting to change, coached those leading organisational change, and supported those experiencing forced changes. All take effort, commitment, and hard work. But as one of my clients said to me just this week: “without risks come no rewards”. Without change there is no progress. However, for change to be successful we not only need to commit to the needed changes, we also need to identify a support team. Because you will go through that unpredictable emotional response, you’re only human. What changes do you need make? And more importantly who will help you keep accountable and cheer your successes towards the changes you need to make this year? (To watch a TED talk on what fear can teach us click here).
The second roadblock is our own self-confidence to make these needed changes. Most of us suffer from imposter syndrome. I am constantly waiting for someone to unmask me. Discover my inferiority. Most of us feel this way. Even award winning scientists needing to “sell” themselves for a new job to leading executives tasked with taking a new leadership challenge. I have met clients from all corners of this country and even different corners of this globe. Analysed many psychometric profiles, coached, trained, facilitated, debated and had many invigorating conversations. People are fascinating and all have more strengths than what they acknowledge and appreciate. We each have so much potential to do amazing things, if we allow ourselves to. Take some time to identify and acknowledge your strengths, and value them. What are your key strengths that will help you make the changes you need to make? (To read more about the Self Saboteur click here).
And with that, it must now be time for me to write my own new chapter. After 10 years building my career at Challenge Consulting, I’m about to embark on a brand new career adventure. I’m proud of what I’ve built and I’m equally excited to see where Steve and the team will go next. You are all in very capable hands. I’m taking with me fond memories, much laughter and joy, great friendships, exceptional mentors – and most importantly – the lessons that each of you have given me – be it a client that has challenged me, your moment of personal discovery, or an example of great leadership. You all have made the last 10 years exceptional and helped me to develop the all-important skills I need to jump into this next chapter. (To read more about how I developed my career click here).
I wish you all an abundance of success. Take the time you need to identify the changes you need to make, develop your own plan, and more importantly develop the self-confidence you need to write your next chapter. For those that want to follow my next career adventure, you can connect with me on LinkedIn at http://au.linkedin.com/in/narellehess
I will now leave you in the very capable hands of my colleagues at Challenge Consulting to support your recruitment, psychometric testing, career transition, and organisational development needs. Find out more about the team here or call the Challenge Consulting office on 02 9221 6422 to discuss your requirements.
Category: Our Team, Workplace Matters
Tags: accountable, adventure, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, career, change, chapter, commitment, communication, company, confidence, culture, develop, experience, fear, goals, guidance, impression, leadership, lessons, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, priorities, productivity, Professional, Psychometric, Recruitment, relationships, resolutions, self-confidence, skills, success, Team, workplace
December 16, 2014 by Jenna
We are delighted to share this week’s blog from Virginia Herlihy, who works for an organisation called How Do We Do It. They provide in-house programmes to help working parents in Australia and the UK combine their dual roles. For those of you that may not know her, here is her background below and we hope you enjoy her featured blog:
A note from Founder, Virginia Herlihy
My passion for helping working parents find a successful way to manage their work and home lives has meant I’ve witnessed first-hand the issues that organisations face in attracting and retaining talent, particularly female talent.
As a working mother of two and a successful small business owner, I’ve personally faced the challenge of combining work and family.
It’s been critical for me to examine and understand my values and develop strategies to achieve success and satisfaction in both areas of my life.
My background in executive coaching, training and group facilitation means I can help both organisations and parents acquire those skills and strategies– to facilitate greater work-life harmony and success.
I’m proud to say, the feedback we’ve received means the programmes and coaching we’ve developed, work.
Key Strategies for Achieving a Balance between Work and Home. How do Working Parents do it?
- 45% of couples with children under 2 are both in the workforce
- 66% of couples with primary school children are both working. Australian Financial Review 2011
Today many couples are jointly responsible for sharing their work and family responsibilities, so getting some kind of work/life balance can be a real challenge. If you’re a working mother you probably feel that family and work are competing (and constant) demands. You’re likely to be juggling your own expectations and responsibilities about how you should perform in both areas, as well as those of your colleagues and family. While mothers might get most of the attention when it comes to the challenge of balancing family and work, fathers also struggle to juggle their responsibilities and aspirations.
So, how do YOU do it? Here are some tips that you have time to read because they are short and that we know help, from our experience with working with hundreds of working mothers and working fathers.
Continue to identify, acknowledge and appreciate the benefits of what you’re doing that is working for you/what you gain from the choice you are making to be a working parent.
Remind yourself that you are not alone, and your challenges are normal which is very helpful in itself. Keep actively talking to others like you and sharing experiences. Your network and the tips they share will help normalise your experience.
Stop tuning in to others negative judgements/biases of how you are supposed to make being a working parent work. You can only get this right for you and your family/work.
Get clear on your version of success as a working parent by answering theses questions – What does success look like for me as a working parent? What’s most important to me about my life? What’s most important to me about my working life?
Avoid the language of compromise/trade off/sacrifice, which is negative and implies loss. Instead recognise that you are making choices, which have consequences and benefits so consciously use the language of choice.
Use a scaling technique i.e. rating things from 1-10, low to high – to assess how much you want to do something out of 10 in terms of your energy, motivation, ability, how important it is to others etc. You can also use this to get perspective and rate how important something is in terms of your life overall so that you are less stressed by it. Your intuitive response will give you useful information.
Check your energy around choices you are making/people with whom you are interacting and see whether or not you are being drained or filled. When you have choice, in your personal life particularly, you can limit your exposure to draining people, situations.
Remember to position shift – consider the decision/situation from different perspectives, your position, the other’s position.
Author – Virginia Herlihy, Founder and Director of How do YOU Do It – Working Parents Programmes tailored to your business.
Who is How Do YOU Do It?
- We deliver in-house programmes to help working parents in Australia and the UK combine their dual roles. We’re specialists in helping businesses support their talent.
- We help businesses solve issues including female attraction and retention, flexible working strategies, as well as “on and off ramping”.
- We help working parents find success at work and at home and balance their responsibilities in both areas
- The result is a win/win for both businesses and parents
Category: Career Choice, Performance, Workplace Matters
Tags: ability, aspirations, attitude, balance, benefits, challenges, choices, colleagues, communication, company, compromise, employees, employer, energy, expectations, experience, family, goals, guidance, information, motivation, network, opportunity, organisation, performance, perspectives, positions, productivity, Professional, responsibilities, successful, talent, Team, workforce
December 9, 2014 by Jenna
I can remember a time when I lived and breathed work. It wasn’t healthy. I was pulling longer hours out of fear of not looking productive enough, and while I had a passion for that industry I eventually started to resent it. My employer at the time did provide many benefits within the workplace, however, outside of work I may as well have been a ghost to my family and peers.
For every individual work-life balance is different. Some of us love to work the longer hours because that is the lifestyle that they prefer. Others need to have a more flexible workplace that allows parental care/leave, opportunities to work from home etc.
The problem that we have with the concept of ‘work-life balance’ however is that we imagine work and life as two separate entities that are not meant to intertwine. Therefore it becomes a constant struggle of which one do I choose as opposed to letting them co-exist.
I am very fortunate now to work for an employer that provides a very flexible workplace that meets the needs of all staff members. And because of this I was able to achieve some extraordinary goals in my personal life without having to compromise work commitments over my personal goals.
Both can work together if we let it, it just requires certain changes and planning to make it successful.
When I was training to trek towards Everest Base Camp, I would often have to do altitude training in Mosman in the mornings, and one night a week I would do endurance training with a woman’s walking group. I would sometimes bring a giant backpack with me to work so that I could go directly to training without worrying about rushing home first and arriving at training late. During down time I could enjoy spending time with friends and family as a reward for getting through the working week and training requirements. It also required discipline to maintain momentum and setting a routine for myself daily to reach those goals.
Of course there were times when I would need to work back later than expected, or perhaps I would have an off day and sleep in and not go to the gym, after all we are only human! But for the most part I was able to maintain both work and personal success and I kept my workplace informed about my goals and what I was trying to achieve.
You may not always have an even allocation of time to do everything you want to do, but be realistic with what you are trying to achieve on a daily basis and what it important for your to spend time on. If you are juggling too much or agreeing to take too many things on at the same time, you will burn out and be disappointed in yourself. That is another important piece of advice that I have come to discover about myself over the years is to know your limits. This will help you better establish whether you are capable to put your hand up to take on another assignment or goal, or whether it will be much easier to delegate it to someone who is more than capable and available.
Working for a job that you love and enjoy is also a key factor in making your work and personal life co-exist. Otherwise if you are working 80% of the time at something you no longer have a passion for, it can affect your mental well-being as well and create a negative mindset. This can therefore effect relationships with those around you. If you love what you do, you will find that your attitude and outlook on life can really make a difference for you in a positive way.
How do you get your work and lifestyle to collaborate? What steps do you need to take to ensure you get the balance that you need?
Category: Career Choice, Workplace Matters
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, career, commitments, communication, confidence, culture, experience, extraordinary, feedback, flexible, goals, job, maintain, management, office, opportunity, organisation, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, relationships, success, Team, Training, Work-Life Balance, workplace
November 25, 2014 by Jenna
Self-evaluations are often used as part of a review process, either at the end of the probation period or as part of a performance review. They include providing a personal review of your workplace experiences and accomplishments to date. Many people find this process nerve racking. However, if you take the time to plan your evaluation properly it can be an enlightening and valuable experience for both you and your boss.
Why do we write self-evaluations?
Staff are asked to write self-evaluations for two main reasons; Firstly so that managers can get a staff members of perspective about working in the company or team; Secondly it gives you the opportunity to reflect on your experience in the role, your accomplishments and as well as areas for improvement.
Where we fall short and how it should be viewed
Errors can occur when individuals assume they need to answer the questions in the way they think their managers would like to see their review. They may also fail to ask for clarification on a question or subject or fail to elaborate when there is the opportunity.
Sometimes the thought process of writing the review is a scarier process than actually writing it yourself and we can often put it off until the last minute.
Self-evaluations should be a great opportunity to showcase your skills and display your best qualities as an employee.
Take out some time in your busy schedule to block out distractions and take down points on what you have accomplished over this time period, you may surprise yourself!
Benefits of writing a self-evaluation
- Having your own voice: This is your opportunity to give an honest reflection of the work you have done for the company so far and outline how well you have accomplished your objectives.
- Creating awareness: While management may provide you with assignments and tasks, they may not be fully aware of what other projects and tasks you complete regularly and what you are contributing to the company. It also increases your own awareness of what you are capable of and can build self-confidence.
- Promoting your key skill sets: This is an opportunity to provide examples of when you had to use those skills to achieve outcomes. Perhaps even provide a list with dates to present with the document.
- An chance to ask questions and seek feedback: Some potential questions you could ask might be: 1) Where do you see my role progressing? 2) Is there an opportunity for further training or mentoring in a particular field? 3) Are there any future goals or targets that I need to be aware of? 4) Do you see me taking on further responsibilities within my role?
You also have to opportunity to provide feedback on your current working environment (what works and what doesn’t work). Perhaps you can even provide suggestions based on improvements within your work environment, show initiative.
- Reflect on your personal development needs: While this can seem scary at first, establishing weaknesses can also open up the opportunity to discuss how management can best assist you to work on areas of improvement and how to further develop in that area you may be struggling in.
- Building a closer bond between you and your manager/supervisor: By writing a self-evaluation, you can open up barriers and allow communication to flow more freely. Working collaboratively to achieve future goals and outcomes together as a team.
Writing your self-evaluation
Take the written evaluation seriously and consider the following:
- Presentation – Check your spelling and grammar (as well as formatting – make sure the information flows well). If it appears like the work has been added in haste or looks rough around the edges, management may think you don’t take this process seriously.
- Be specific when you can – include dates, examples, who you reported to (for validation) etc.
- If there were problems or difficult situations, discuss the issue and provide feedback on possible solutions so that mistakes do not repeat themselves. Take responsibility and show your genuine interest in self improvement.
- Re-establish your understanding of the role and how it ties to the goals and vision of your company/team
- Highlight achievements, but make them relevant and try not to come across as arrogant or boastful.
What feedback have you received before regarding the self-evaluation? What have you learned from writing your own evaluations?
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, career, clarification, communication, company, confidence, culture, development, employees, employer, evaluation. accomplishments, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, improvement, information, initiative, management, manager, objectives, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, perspective, productivity, Professional, qualities, reflection, relationships, reputation, Research, skills, success, Team, Training, workplace
November 17, 2014 by Jenna
During your career life-cycle, you may end up working with someone that you may not see eye to eye with. Individuals that can be placed in any of the following categories – complainers, controllers, gossipers, bullies, judges, or someone who is not flexible with accepting another opinion or feedback. This can make your working environment tense, it can increase stress levels and it can also give you a more negative outlook towards work. However, there are ways to rise above it so that it won’t affect you on a daily basis.
An article on by Travis Bradberry on SBS News provided insight on How to Handle Toxic People and I have highlighted the most important points to share from this article below:
Don’t give up too easily
It’s important to fight through another day, that’s what all great successors do, even if there are toxic individuals in your workplace. Try and be aware of your emotions and respond appropriately so that you can stand your ground when the time is right. If you leave your emotions unchecked and let items build up, it can lead to more damage than good.
Stay aware of your emotions
You can’t stop someone from pushing your buttons if you don’t recognise when it’s happening. You may find yourself in a situation where you need to regroup and choose the best way forward. Buying yourself time to assess the situation can often save an emotional reaction or putting your foot in your mouth by saying something that isn’t necessary.
Giving yourself some time to assess a situation can also allow you to provide a better and more calculated response to set the situation straight.
When you need to face your toxic co-worker on a daily basis it can feel like you are in a trap that you can’t get out of. You may think that this is out of your control and you can feel defeated and have to put up with being in their presence 24/7.
If you set boundaries and decide when and where you’ll engage a difficult person, you can control much of the chaos. You can establish boundaries, just make sure you do it consciously and proactively. Otherwise you could find yourself getting wrapped up in difficult conversations or situations more often than you have to.
Don’t let anyone limit your joy
When emotionally intelligent people feel good about something that they have done, they won’t let anyone’s opinions or snide remarks take away from them.
While we value feedback and opinions of others, we don’t have to compare ourselves with other people and it’s important to take options with a grain of salt. That way, no matter what toxic people are thinking or doing, your self-worth comes from within.
Don’t focus on the problems – only solutions
When you fixate on the problems you are facing, you create and prolong negative emotions and stress. When you focus your actions to better yourself and your circumstances, you create a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and reduces stress.
By focusing your attention on the toxic person, you are giving them exactly what they want. It gives them a sense of power over you. By focusing on how to handle the toxic person as opposed to thinking about how troubling they are, you are effectively putting yourself back into control and it will help with reducing stress when this person is around you.
There is nothing wrong with feeling bad about how someone is treating you, but your self-talk (the thoughts you have about your feelings) can either help intensify the negativity or help you move past it. Negative self-talk is unrealistic, unnecessary and self-defeating. You should avoid negative-talk at all costs.
Use your support system
To deal with toxic people, you need to recognise the weaknesses in your approach to them. This means tapping into your support system to gain perspective on a challenging person. Identify these individuals in your life and make an effort to seek their insight and assistance when you need it. Having someone provide a solution who does not have an emotional connection to the situation can really open up a new perspective.
Test different methods
You will be faced with different tests when it comes to dealing with difficult people and interactions. This will involve practicing different behaviours, and sometimes learning from failure. However, the more techniques you try (as each individual behaves differently) the more you will train your brain to handle stress more effectively and decrease the likelihood of ill effects.
In summary, the best way to handle working with a difficult person is to first understand your own emotional reactions and knowing what makes you tick. That way you can better establish how to avoid setting off a time bomb and keeping the workplace functioning in harmony. It will also help to maintain a positive outlook to your role and your working environment.
Have you recently faced a toxic or difficult person in your workplace? How did you handle it? What worked and didn’t work?
Category: Workplace Matters
Tags: actions, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, boundaries, business, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, connection, control, culture, emotions, employees, employer, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, job, management, negative, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, reaction, relationships, reputation, Research, skills, solutions, stress, success, support, Team, workplace
November 10, 2014 by Jenna
When we think of the term ‘etiquette’, we often think of table manners or presenting ourselves professionally and politely in a social setting.
Whether you are new to a role or have been working in the company for a long time, office etiquette is also an important factor that needs to be applied daily. You may be wondering, ‘What are some of the office etiquette factors that I need to be aware of?’ A recent article on Careerealism.com outlines the basics so that you don’t get caught out making these mistakes:
That Text (Or Facebook Update) Can Wait
While smartphones and tablets are advantageous in providing us with information instantly, setting reminders, etc. Be careful not to all them to become a hindrance when it comes to your meetings or presentations.
How would you feel if you are trying to close a business deal with a client to observe them as they stare at their phone and answer a text during your pitch? The same would apply to an internal meeting with staff if you are sharing ideas with the group only to see that no one is paying attention because they are reading their Facebook updates.
While we all believe we are great multi-taskers, if we lack engagement or connection with others it can be damaging to workplace relationships. You may also miss out on information relating to important tasks which in turn could affect your performance. So make sure to prepare in advance for your meeting. Advise management and others that you are attending meetings so that you will receive less distractions, and if need be, switch off any devices that may ‘beep’ or ‘ping’ during that allocated time frame.
Engagement and human interaction is still a vital part of business and maintaining connections with others so make it count. Be present.
Pretend There’s A Wall
This needs to be considered in an open office space. While you have free reign to walk around and interact, it is still important to respect and consider others and their personal space. This includes:
• Talking loudly or over someone else’s shoulder when they are on the phone
• Keeping your paperwork and office items within your desk space and not allowing it to spill over onto someone else’s desk
• Setting your phone to silent every time you receive a message or call
If you are respectful of others and their space, they will be respectful towards you in return.
For Workplace Fashion, Go With The Crowd
This doesn’t mean that you need to wear the latest Cue dress or business suit, but obviously be aware of your office environment and how others present themselves. Different workplaces will allow different dress codes but you don’t want to appear like you have rolled out of bed when others are dressed in corporate attire. Find out from management what they expect from you in terms of attire, and remember that how you present yourself is showing a representation of your company image. So why not dress to impress?
Gossip On Your Own Time
Whether you are the source of it or partaking in it, office gossip (or gossip of any kind) should be conducted in your own time and not in the workplace. It’s not only a distraction, but it can also create tension in the workplace if the gossip is of negative nature. If someone else is trying to administer it, take your initiative to coordinate an appropriate time to discuss topics. For example your lunch break or at after work drinks. Don’t be afraid to tell someone that you are too busy at the time to join in the conversation, otherwise it could affect your workplace productivity too.
Believe It Or Not, You Can Still Learn Some Things
This involves paying respect to other employees’ ideas and contributions to tasks, even if you would do the job differently yourself. Take the time to listen to what they have to say, especially if they have new suggestions that could improve outcomes of tasks, because you would hope for the same respect in return.
While you may have been hired as an expert in your field you should still be open to new suggestions, feedback and even changes within the workplace. It is never too early or too late to learn new things.
Don’t Search For Jobs On The Job
Believe it or not I have heard of employees doing this before, and to get caught doing so at your current place of work is quite embarrassing. It also demonstrates a lack of respect and loyalty to your current employer.
The same thing applies to telling colleagues that you are looking for another role before bringing it up to management. As office gossip can go around, this may potentially damage your current position before you even find the potential new role. If you feel it is time to move on, keep your job search within your own time and conduct it with discretion.
Category: Performance, Workplace Matters
Tags: Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, career, colleagues, communication, company, confidence, connections, culture, distractions, employees, employer, etiquette, experience, feedback, flexibility, goals, guidance, impression, information, interact, job, management, office, opportunity, organisation, outcomes, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, relationships, reputation, Research, respectful, skills, success, Team, Training, workplace
November 3, 2014 by Jenna
When it comes to being new at any role, you can feel apprehensive and even a little bit overwhelmed with what you need to take in during the early days of training and development. You are also in a new environment with colleagues and associates to impress and that will naturally make you nervous. However, this isn’t an ongoing feeling and there are ways you can start building your self-confidence so that you can let yourself shine in the workplace.
Jacqueline Smith from Forbes outlined ways to be more confident at work and I have chosen to outline nine key steps from this article below:
Stay focused on you. “Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.” – Paul Coelho. Remember why you are here and what it is you want to achieve and don’t let distractions get in the way of pursuing your goals.
Identify your strengths and capitalise on them. Be aware of what your strengths are and try and utilise them in your role as much as you can. By driving your best qualities, you can feel a greater sense of accomplishment and it helps you maintain engagement and stay energised. Don’t be afraid to outline these strengths with your manager. That way they can extend opportunities that will be beneficial to those skill sets when they arise.
Identify weaknesses, and work on them. With your strengths there are also weaknesses and it is important to be aware of what they are. At the same time, judging yourself harshly or wallowing in self-pity over mistakes will not help you overcome them. The purpose of identifying weaknesses is to discover ways to improve on issues for the future or avoid repeating bad habits and mistakes.
Believe in yourself. How will others start believing in you and what you are capable of if you don’t believe in yourself? While this may sound like common sense, doubt will hold you back from taking risks and pursuing opportunities. Set yourself achievable targets, mentally motivate yourself to keep moving forward and don’t be afraid to sell your personal brand to those around you in the right light.
Closely monitor your successes. Keep track of your daily accomplishments from a to-do list or in writing. It helps you keep track of what you are achieving on a daily basis and as you progress whether you feel you would like to take on more responsibilities. This is also advantageous when reviews take place by management or even once the probationary period is reached to present your written accomplishments.
Seek encouragement from others. This doesn’t mean that you are trying to seek constant praise. Ask people you trust or management to evaluate you on what your strengths and weaknesses are. You can also ask for feedback and direction on projects to see if you are meeting or exceeding expectations.
Challenge yourself. As a new employee you will not need to rush this process as you can attempt this over time with baby steps. Accomplishing new challenges can be a great way to boost your confidence. Find projects and assignments that give you an opportunity to use your strengths and projects that stretch you once you feel further established in the role. Don’t be afraid to also raise your hand if colleagues or management need assistance on tasks as it shows initiative.
Be a role model of positive attitude. By showing a positive attitude you will see how positivity will spread within your working environment. This doesn’t mean you always need to be smiling and acting cheerful. It can also be your attitude when you approach a challenging task and showing resilience at times of change. You need to be wary of how you react to situations as it can affect the outcome of assignments and relationships with colleagues or management.
Don’t let failure or setbacks take away your self-confidence. Great successors didn’t get to where they are today without failing their first attempts and sometimes second or third attempts. It can bruise our confidence a little bit when things don’t go according to plan. However, the worst thing to do about it is to shrink away, hoping it all blows over and say to yourself, ‘Well I’m never doing that again!’ Admit that you have failed at the time, assess the situation and brainstorm areas for improvement. Taking a step back to review things is sometimes the best way you can move forward.
How do you set yourself up in a new role? What are some of the struggles that you had to face and how did you overcome them?
Tags: accomplishments, approach, Assessment, attitude, Behaviour, boss, business, candidate, career, colleagues, communication, company, concentrate, confidence, culture, development, direction, distractions, employees, employer, experience, feedback, goals, guidance, impression, improvement, information, management, office, opportunity, organisation, people, performance, Personality, productivity, Professional, qualities, relationships, reputation, Research, skills, strengths, success, Team, temporary, Training, workplace
October 28, 2014 by Jenna
Your role has been assigned and management has worked with you to outline your job description and your daily tasks. Now that the reigns have been passed to you, what are the key personal characteristics your manager is looking for?
I found five characteristics that I have elaborated on that I believe you can apply regardless of what role you are currently in:
Your attitude will not only affect your relationship with your manager, but it affects your entire work environment (your colleagues, clients, suppliers etc.).
Employers are looking for someone who looks forward to coming in to work each day. Someone who willingly takes on new challenges and finds ways to accomplish even the most tedious of tasks without complaint.
We have all been there and know what it is like to be in an environment with someone who is not flexible or enthusiastic about the task at hand. Someone who complains to get out of an assignment or has nothing positive or encouraging to contribute to the group.
How can you expect managers to trust you will do well in a higher level role if you are not making your current position appear positive? If you are feeling in a motivational slump, try to find ways to clear that negativity so that your thoughts and behaviour create a more favourable lasting impression.
Being dependable means you follow through on tasks you have committed to. Whether it is a task set by management or a team assignment, your contribution to the task contributes to the overall success of others (and the company), not just yourself.
Dependability means holding yourself accountable to meet deadlines. It also means knowing when to speak up if you are struggling so that items do not fall behind. To consistently be dependable you need to be well organised and disciplined.
Brushing up on your skills or learning new skills allows you to contribute more to your organisation. You can help the company develop by taking on training in your current position. This helps you become more indispensable in the workplace.
Continual learning doesn’t mean you need to study on the side part time while trying to balance a full time role. Asking questions, taking advantage of training programs at work, and reading books all count as learning opportunities. You will be seen as showing more initiative in your personal progression.
Another important note is to accept feedback when it is provided and apply it.
While you may be comfortable with your daily routine, when is the last time you thought outside the box, or even stepped outside of your comfort zone? Have you tried contributing new ideas lately? Or even volunteered to take on a challenge that no one else in your team has put their hand up for?
This will give your employer a chance to see you in a new light. To show a side of yourself that you may not have had the chance to show before. You won’t be successful every time but it’s a good way to establish where your strengths are and learn from your experiences.
Almost every job will comprise of an element of teamwork and being able to co-exist with others to collectively achieve goals. Each team member will have strengths and skills that they contribute to the team. Working in harmony will make it much easier to reach success.
Not only will getting along with team members make your environment more enjoyable, they can encourage you and motivate you to achieve your best and vice versa.
Managers need to know that they can rely on their team to perform and it won’t help if you are the missing link.
Don’t be afraid to contribute ideas and show how your skills can help the overall outcome of a group assignment.
Do you follow any of these traits? What do you think your employer expects from you the most? How do you meet those expectations?
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