Shifting the conversation to engage, challenge and inspire
Doing something you’ve never done before can be scary.
Because you don’t want to experience the pain of failure.
Doing hard things that you don’t want to do, but know that you must do, brings up all sorts of fear-based thoughts…
- What will it mean if I don’t succeed?
- What will people think of me?
- What will I think of myself?
- How will I recover?
- How will I regain the wasted time?
But it’s only by doing those new things and doing those hard things that we give ourselves the opportunity to learn and grow…and a shot at success
So, how do you do those new things or those hard things and stick to it until you succeed?
You test and learn.
You’ll get some things right.
And other things may go horribly wrong.
And when, not if, that happens…
You find the courage to tweak or pivot and give it another go.
YOU PRACTISE TILL YOU GET IT!
Huh? What do you mean? What does Uber have to do with Thriving at Work?
Okay, let me clarify…I’m not talking about Uber, the multinational ride-sharing company, but about you ‘being uber-’
Like being uber-efficient, uber-productive, uber-resourceful
Also known as ‘super’, ‘outstanding’ or ‘excellent’.
I know I could have just said “how to be super at work” but I want to have some fun here.
So how do you become uber- at work? Here are two things you must do.
1. Practice, practice, practice
The aim with practicing should be to practice until you cannot get it wrong. It is about being able to try and fail multiple times until you get really good and cannot get it wrong anymore. Professional sports people, professional dancers and musicians are great at this type of practice.
Another way to think about practice is the idea that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. This translates to roughly spending 20 hours a week for 10 years on a specific task to master it. Hmm…if you’re like me, you want to get there faster.
So, to become uber-, I prefer to embrace the concept of ‘deliberate practice’. This is the skill of focusing on a specific thing, task or skill that you want to master and consistently practicing that thing with purpose. It’s a cycle of consistently trying, making mistakes, learning, tweaking then trying again until you get it right each time. This is very different from the often-observed scattered effort or mindless action.
2. Get coached
A coach is especially impactful if you find yourself stuck at a certain level in your quest to becoming uber- and just can’t figure out where to go next or what to do next.
CEOs have executive coaches to help clarify their thinking and decision making. Sports people work with coaches to achieve peak performance, so why not you?
Another reason to get coached is that we all have blind spots. Even the most self-aware person may stumble on their journey to becoming uber- at work due to behaviours they are either just not conscious of, or are conscious of but have no idea how to get rid of, or are resisting to make a change and it is holding them back.
In your quest to become uber-, enlist the help of a coach. Try it out. Why? Because it often takes an outside perspective, someone who is committed to your success, to point out behaviours that are holding you back, to develop strategies to overcome those blind spots and to hold you accountable for making the shift to get you to uber-.
BONUS…If you want to go even faster, add the following to the two above:
- Ask quality questions – it is said that the quality of your life depends on the quality of the questions you ask
- Model success – look at successful people and do what they are consistently doing to get results
- Stretch yourself – get out of your comfort zone or expand your comfort zone
- Invite feedback – as the saying goes…feedback is the breakfast of champions
Here’s to you becoming uber- at work.
I’m thinking specifically of transitions as a result of:
– A restructure that changes the composition of your team
– Redundancies that impact people you work closely with, but not you
– New management, where you get a new boss you’ve never worked with before
These can be times of heightened stress and uncertainty. So how do you protect yourself so that you can thrive during such times. Here are 3 strategies…
1. Keep things in perspective
Remember that change is constant. It can be planned, which makes it easier, or it can be unexpected and thrust upon you, forcing you to go down a path you had not anticipated.
As things around you change, consider how you can make the most of the new reality. Focus on how you would like the transition to work for you. Look for opportunities that are presenting themselves and how can you make the most of them.
Think of the lessons you’re learning through the transition – the new skills you’re gaining or what you’re learning about yourself. What weaknesses are showing up for you and what you can do about them. What strengths are surfacing that you were not aware of and how can you build those up. Forced transitions are more often than not an unwelcome situation, but are also full of lessons for the future.
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer
2. Let go
Periods of transition signal that it is time to let go of certain situations, circumstances, experiences, thoughts, habits, rituals and even people. This can be uncomfortable, even painful. But the sooner you can let go of how things are “supposed to be” and embrace “how things are”, the easier the transition will be for you.
A useful strategy is to focus on finding the positive aspects of the “new way” and appreciating that instead of dwelling on the past.
“Cry. Forgive. Learn. Move on. Let your tears water the seeds of your future happiness.” – Steve Maraboli
3. Upgrade your self-care
Protecting your wellbeing is paramount during periods of transition. Keeping yourself away from spiralling into negativity when fear, doubt and uncertainty pervade the workplace is a must.
Surround yourself with positive people who will lift you up. Seek the support of your close friends and if required, of professionals who will help you process your thoughts and feelings to shift into a more resourceful state of being.
You’ve heard it a million times before, and I’ll say it again…exercise often and spend time outdoors in nature, in a state of gratitude.
Taking care of your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing during periods of transition is non-negotiable. Full stop.
“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you’re struggling with a current transition, email me for a laser coaching session to help you push through. Email me at email@example.com
“I believe if I do a good job, my work should speak for me and I will be recognized for the great work I do. I’m not comfortable self-promoting.”
Then I ask…
“So how is that strategy working for you? Are you getting the recognition you believe you deserve?”
I inevitably get a sheepish look, followed by the words “hmm, not so well” or some version of that.
At that point they are open to addressing their discomfort with self-promotion and we can move forward.
How about you? Are you comfortable self-promoting?
Yes, I’m asking you.
Don’t run away. Stay with me.
I’m not talking about the type of self-promotion that makes you feel like you’re boasting or bragging.
What I’m talking about is Authentic Self-Promotion.
It’s the type of self-promotion that feels true, congruent, ethical and uplifting to you.
It’s the type that lets you showcase your gifts to the world, and leaves you feeling fulfilled.
And it makes people want to engage with you and learn more about you.
It’s an art that you can learn.
Here are 3 tips to get you on your way.
1. Change your thinking about self-promotion
If you stop thinking about self-promotion as this dirty, awkward or comfortable thing and start to see it as a way to make you visible so that you can get the recognition you deserve, it becomes easier to master.
2. Observe others
Look for people who you think self-promote in an admirable way. What can you learn from them? Make it your mission to deeply and curiously study what they are doing right and model that.
Now that you’ve observed a few things that you can model, look for opportunities to take a turn. Keep practicing authentic self-promotion, get feedback, adjust until you can do it without discomfort.
Don’t be afraid to blow your own trumpet – in the most authentic way.
A change did not turn out as well as you thought it would and now your joy at work is impacted.
It could be that your team has been restructured and you’ve ended up in a team you have no desire to work with
Or new management has arrived and created changes that don’t work for you.
Maybe you’ve missed out on a promotion.
Or that your once peer is now your manager.
The list is endless because stuff happens all the time.
And you get angry and bitter…that reaction is quite normal.
What matters is how you deal with these very emotionally charged changes.
If you choose to stay or absolutely cannot leave, how do you exhibit consistent values and professional character no matter what. How do you guard your personal brand and professional reputation when you are angry, bitter or frustrated at work?
Here are some tips to help you protect your personal brand through the turmoil.
Vent, then move on quickly
Emotions need to be released. Without a doubt, you need to be able to process your negative feeling towards the situation.
However, limit the time it takes to move on and limit the number of people you confide in.
Remember what you focus on expands so if you dwell on your painful circumstances, you get more pain.
Make your own plan for where you want to be and start working on it
Will you go or will you stay?
Appreciate what you have gained so far and move on to greater things…those things that you want for yourself. Not what someone else has decided for you.
In most cases you’re still in control and you still have a choice – stay or leave.
If you plan to leave, then develop a calculated exit strategy that leaves your reputation intact as you move on.
If you’ve slipped, admit it and apologise
Lost your cool in a meeting due to all this pressure?
Admit it, apologise and guard yourself against making the same mistake again. There is no need to damage your reputation even further.
If you chose to stay during unfavourable circumstances, have the strength of character to stand tall, live your values no matter what inner turmoil your current work situation is putting you through.
In other words, find the resolve to deal with your circumstances without diminishing your credibility.
Remember the world is now very small
Six degrees of separation is a myth and news travels really fast. A bad reputation can follow you around and can be hard to shake off.
So…protect your reputation no matter what!
I call it Warped Thinking.
This type of thinking is distorted and causes one to undermine themselves and fall short of their potential or to fail in realising their ambitions.
Self-sabotage is common, it’s frustrating and can be painful, if it becomes a habit.
The good news is that you can reverse self-sabotage.
You can do this by changing the THINKING that caused it in the first place.
Here is a simple but effective process you can use anytime you find yourself practising self-sabotage. I call it the WARP technique
W – WRITE down the thought you are having
Notice the thought that’s running through your mind and write it down. It might be something like…
“I won’t succeed anyway”
“Who do I think I am to get this done”
“I’m not smart enough to do this”
Hone in on the one thought that is holding you back. You will notice it as a small niggling voice in your head that won’t go away and that causes you to feel stuck.
A – ASK yourself is it really true.
Are you 100% sure that the thought is true? What evidence do you have for it? More often than not you will realise that you don’t have evidence to support your self-defeating thoughts. You will notice that you are over exaggerating the situation.
R – REPLACE it with a better serving thought
The realisation that the thought is not 100% true allows you to replace the thought with a better, more realistic one. One that will empower you and propel you into action.
P – PRACTISE the new thought consistently
Once you identify the new thought, think about it often until you believe it solidly.
You will be surprised what you can accomplish when you get rid of warped thinking using the 4 step W-A-R-P technique.
If you find this technique hard to do by yourself, let me know and I’ll guide you through it. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Its end-of-year reflection time. So here’s an exercise for you.
Find 10 minutes when you can sit quietly and reflect on the past year.
Get your journal, note pad or computer and answer each of the following questions.
Don’t just answer them in your head, you have to write your answers down.
The act of writing helps you clarify your thoughts and anchors your reflection so you will remember them.
Here are the five reflection questions:
Your gratitude and pride reflection:
- What are the top 3 things you are most proud of accomplishing this year and for each, what are you specifically grateful for?
Your challenges and learnings reflection:
- What were the top 3 lesson-generating challenges you had this year and how did each make you a better person?
Your to-do reflection
- What things did you want to start but didn’t, or started but did not finish, that you wish you had?
Your desired goals reflection
- What are your top 3 goals for next year and for each, what will achieving the goal give you, make you feel and mean for you? For each goal, what would it mean if you did not accomplish it? Why is each goal important?
Your career / work / life / business reflection
- What do you want to be different in your career / work / life / business next year? Pretend it’s December and you’re looking back. How has your career / work / life / business changed?
If you answered all 5 reflection questions, you now know:
- the progress you made this year and what to focus on next year
- the hard things you faced this year and how they helped you grow
- the unfinished business you will need to make time for or decide not to do at all
- the goals you can set for next year
- the things you want to achieve in your career / work / life / business
You can’t explain it, but every time you think of dealing with that task, you remember 101 other things that need doing first.
You find yourself stuck!
You can’t understand why there is so much resistance to getting that project or task completed.
Let me shine a light on the probable source of the problem. You are experiencing one of the following…perhaps you’re experiencing two, or maybe all three root causes.
The 3 things that could be working against you are…FEAR, UNCERTAINTY or DOUBT.
If fear is stopping you, then the best antidote is to START. Do the smallest action you can think of to get moving. For example, if you want to write that blog post, then open up a blank document and type the heading of your post, save the document, and that’s it. Come back tomorrow and write the first sentence and see how fast that blog gets written.
If uncertainty is causing you to procrastinate, the answer is to build momentum first by doing ONE THING. Stop looking at the end picture or the list of all the required steps to accomplish the goal. Instead focus on one step in the process. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t make that a big deal. Just pick one thing and do it. It does not matter where it fits in the sequence, just do that one thing. Then ask yourself what you can do next, and do that. You will find your flow.
If you find yourself procrastinating because you are not convinced of your ability to succeed, the best strategy is to FINISH something. Pick one small item that is almost done and finish it. The sense of accomplishment will give you the energy and confidence to get more things done.
Any one of FEAR, UNCERTAINTY or DOUBT is helping you procrastinate. Don’t become good friends with them. Get rid of them FAST!
Challenge yourself to pick the one thing you believe is holding you back the most and try the remedy I’ve suggested. Let me know how you go: email@example.com
1. Know your Worth
2. Master Self-Promotion
3. Make your Presence felt
4. Speak with Impact
5. Role-model Resilience
6. Become Interesting
7. Help Someone Succeed
Get the complete guide for an explanation of each of the 7 ways.
It is a key resource for you if you are tired of waiting for others to notice you and want to create change yourself.
Get the complete guide here
Communicating with impact is a powerful skill to have.
But how do you ensure that people do what you desire following a conversation with you?
Here is a simple but powerful tactic you can use.
Before you speak with your audience, whether it’s an audience of one or of many, be very clear on 3 key things.
Make no mistake, if you want to use your communication to create results you have to be crystal clear and be able to answer the following questions without hesitation.
- What do I want my audience to FEEL to make this communication memorable?
- What INFORMATION do I want my audience to have to make this communication meaningful and relevant?
- What specific ACTION do I want my audience to take as a result of my communication with them?
If you devote a few minutes to answering these questions before each communication you deliver in person or in writing you are guaranteed of getting a result from your communication. That is, you are guaranteed of having impactful communication.
This is imperative. You must do it. Don’t brush it off as being simplistic.
Do it, master doing it each time and watch your influence grow.
Try it and let me know how you go… firstname.lastname@example.org