Personal Development

Unhappy at work? Reflect on your values!

If you’re unhappy at work, take a moment to jot down what’s most important to you. For example:

đź–‹Connection with loved ones
đź–‹Autonomy in my job
đź–‹Making a difference
đź–‹Having fun
đź–‹Being a subject matter expert

Next, evaluate these values across three levels: the role, your manager, your company culture.

Review each value against each level and ask, is this value honored by my role, my manager, my company culture?

When your values aren’t honored by the inherent aspects of a role, this could mean career transition is in order.

When your values aren’t honored by your manager, moving to a new team in the organization could be in order.

When your values aren’t honored by the culture, departing the company could be in order.

Knowing where your values are violated is almost as important as knowing what you value.

I hope you find this as helpful as I did. This very exercise led me to quit my job and found Virtus Career Consulting.​

Self-Compassion

​The sweet spot between high self-importance and low self-esteem is self-compassion. It’s as important to extend compassion to yourself as it is to others.
Years ago, I made a mistake that caused me to beat myself up almost daily. With the help of mentors and supportive people in my life, I learned to be kind to myself and break out of my own mental prison.
We realize perfection isn’t attainable by others, but sometimes don’t afford ourselves that same grace.
Be kind to yourself and suspend self hyper-critical thinking to move toward loving yourself correctly.
Do you find it hard to practice self-compassion?

Assumptions

Assumptions really are termites to relationships. I hear assumptions every day because the bulk of my leadership coaching is helping people manage their people problems and conflict.
“She’s dismissing my ideas because she’s threatened by me.”
“He’s not promoting me because he doesn’t like me.”
“She’s not including me in decisions because she’s a control freak.”

For any given situation there are MANY possibilities to explain what might be going on. Some of our problems might even be caused by our own blind spots.

Instead of assuming, ASK. Open, honest communication works best. Try something like this:

“The last few weeks I’ve observed _________. Could you help me understand what led to that decision?”

“I’ve presented three ideas this quarter that were declined. I’d be interested in receiving feedback on how I could present my ideas differently to increase receptivity.”

The next time you catch yourself making an assumption, challenge yourself to consider possible alternatives, give the person the benefit of the doubt, and ask!
The gap between love and hate is created by misunderstandings.

#communication

Fear Can Inhibit Growth

​I overcame a small fear today. It’s a silly thing, but I feel victorious.
I’m collaborating with a colleague, the amazing Dawn Metcalfe, and Dawn uses WhatsApp to communicate. I enjoy learning new information, but dislike figuring out unfamiliar tools. Like you, I’m busy – I want things to work immediately.
However, I obliged Dawn and installed WhatsApp.
Then it happened.

A feeling of overwhelm. Disorientation. Frustration. What *is*this? How do I use it? Seven minutes (in vain) trying to add her as a contact. ARGH!
I uninstalled it. Who needs WhatsApp?
I emailed Dawn with other options to collaborate. She gently encouraged me to reinstall again, and she would add me.
I obliged. Reinstalled.  How do I send an audio message? I felt momentarily stupid. I took a deep breath and just starting playing until I figured it out and sent my first successful message.
Dawn’s reply to me: “I’m very, very pleased you’ve embraced this new technology.”
And guess what? I love it!
When you have the initial reaction to flee a new task or change, remember it’s the fear center of your brain speaking. It means well, but it’s not protecting you from REAL danger.
It’s keeping you from learning.
Breathe. Embrace discomfort. Push through. Growth awaits!

Got Goals? First, Do This!

​Don’t make the mistake of setting goals without first asking these questions!
1. What did I accomplish in 2017 that was important, or I valued?
2. What’s going well that I can leverage?
3. What could be different or better?
4. What’s getting in the way of improving #3?
5. What’s one thing I would change?
6. How might I get what I need to make #5 happen?

Take time to answer these questions and you’ll have a meaningful and focused foundation to plan what’s next.

What did you accomplish in 2017 that you’re proud of?

If you didn’t reach your goal, what one thing will you do differently to change that for 2018?