The start of a new year is filled with hope, aspirations, and resolutions. However, many find themselves lacking motivation and abandoning goals before the first month of the year is over. The good news is that there are ways that you can stay motivated and achieve your goals for the year. Here are a few strategies:
During this time of year, people often reflect on the things that they are grateful for. Often, those “things” are material things or circumstances. This year, I practiced telling the people around me that I am grateful for them and why. I use this approach as a leader to express gratitude for my team members and decided to apply this to my personal life. My conclusion is that this attitude is beneficial in all areas of my life!
As an employee and team member, I have been in situations where I felt undervalued, underappreciated, and taken for granted. I believed that the leaders around me treated me like I was expendable and the employees as interchangeable. I vowed as a leader that I would never intentionally make my team feel that way. When I became a leader, I made sure that my team knew that I valued their skill set, experience, and expertise. I let them know that it mattered to me and the organization if they stayed or left and that I wanted them to continue to be a part of the team.
If you would like to take steps to show gratitude to those around you, try these strategies:
As a leader, I recognize that it is an honor and great responsibility to lead others. Without followers, there is no leader. I am thankful for all those, past and present, that have allowed me to lead them in any capacity. It is truly a pleasure!
There is a saying that being a leader is like being a man alone on an island. It is true that the higher up the career ladder you go, the fewer people there may be in your organization to collaborate with or to confide in. You may find that others do not understand your job responsibilities or that the people that you used to talk to are now your subordinates. Whatever the case, you may find yourself alone and desiring support. Some of the signs that you have created your own island are:
Have you ever felt like you end up in the same situation over and over again? Maybe you find yourself in a job that seems is going to end in your termination. Or maybe you discover that the problems in your new relationship are identical to your past relationship problems. In our personal and professional life, if we don’t learn the lesson that we’re supposed to, we may find ourselves repeating the same scenario until we do. Learning a lesson results in growth and change on our part. In order to understand a lesson, we have to go through the process of the pain, experience, learning, and growth. If you skip the process, then the experience was not beneficial for your professional or personal growth, and you will find yourself in the same situation, just in a different location with different people.
How do you know you have skipped the process?
It can be difficult to go through the process of learning a lesson, but skipping the process results in more damage in the long run. How can you make sure that you are not skipping the process?
Most of the growth that we experience is the result of life lessons. If we skip the process of learning lessons in life, we will find ourselves growing older but never growing up.
You have put in the time. You believe that you’re good at your job. People around you are moving up, yet you keep getting passed up for promotions. Perhaps you ask yourself, why am I constantly overlooked?
Managers and leaders look for a variety of qualities and qualifications when it is time to promote from within the organization. If you are consistently passed up for promotions, it may be for one of these five reasons:
If you believe you have been passed up for promotions or other leadership opportunities, reflect on your performance before getting frustrated with leadership. It is possible that you have not demonstrated your readiness for promotion as well as you believe you have. Don’t be afraid to ask your hiring manager what you could do differently or better in order to be promoted and receive their feedback with a positive attitude.
Have you ever woke up in a good mood only to have a phone call ruin your day? Have you ever arrived to work with a positive mindset only to have the office climate depress your spirit?
You work too hard on establishing and maintaining your mental, emotional, and physical health to allow someone or something to diminish it. This is why you must be determined to "protect your space". The people we come into contact with, the places that we go, and the actions and habits that we take all have the potential to affect us positively or negatively. Here are some questions to think about to help identify the positive and negative influences in your life that may affect your space:
Let’s be honest. Conflict in the workplace and in business happens. Sometimes, personalities clash, stress causes some to speak or act out of frustration, or opinions and feelings dominate. When conflict happens, how we handle it can determine if bridges will be burned or if working relationships can be preserved. Here are a few tips for handling conflict in the workplace.
Most of us lie every day in some form or another. Perhaps you tell your significant other that you are fine when in reality there is something bothering you. Maybe you tell the server at the restaurant that the food and service were good, but in the back of your mind, it could have been better. It is possible that you told your boss that bad traffic was the reason for your tardiness, but really you stayed up too late last night and had a difficult time getting up in the morning.
The motives for lying can be selfish or altruistic. Selfish people lie for personal gain or to avoid the consequences of their actions. They deceive others and may even take pleasure in doing so. This type of lying is offensive and many would agree that it is wrong. However, others may lie in order to protect others from harm. For example, telling a person that their new hairstyle is terrible may damage their self-perception so you may choose to lie to them instead. Does that make the lie acceptable? Finally, there are those that lie by omission. They intentionally leave out details or facts, either for self-preservation or to protect others.
In business, is lying ever okay or is honesty always the best policy? The short answer is that honesty is best. However, as a leader you will find that there are times when the truth has to be given out in responsible doses or softened so as not to do damage. How you deliver the truth can be just as important as whether or not you tell the truth. For example, if an employee is not performing to expectation, you can communicate that to them without belittling them or making them to feel completely incompetent. Take a look at the following scenarios and determine whether or not you would tell the truth:
You have just received a promotion, but it is not effective for two weeks. You have been told not to announce the promotion to anyone on your team for confidential reasons. One of your lead team members informs you that they heard a rumor that you were being promoted and asks you if this is true. What is your response?
You have applied for a new job and your potential employer has asked for your last supervisor’s contact information so that they can obtain a reference. You know that your last supervisor did not like you and would not provide a favorable reference. What is your response?
You are conducting a performance review for one of your top team members. If they receive the highest rating on their review, they will receive their annual bonus. However, even though this team member is a top performer, they have arrived to work late almost every day this quarter and should be marked down. What do you do?
How do people describe you when you're not in the room? What do people notice about you?
As a leader of a team, you must recognize that people draw conclusions about you and make assumptions about you that can affect their willingness to be a dedicated team member. Are you known as the leader who never smiles? is negative? always late?
As leaders, we cannot be concerned with everyone's opinion of us, but we must be aware of the opinions that can inhibit team performance or even affect respect and recognition of your leadership. How can you find out how your team feels about you?
As a leader, you are in the spotlight. Team members and employees notice everything about you, including your appearance, your speech, your mannerisms, who you associate with, the activities you engage in, and the activities you do not choose to engage in. This does not mean that you need to conform to the expectations that others have for you, but it does mean that you have to be aware of how other's perceptions of you may affect the efficacy of your leadership.