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You hear it all the time: Success is a state of mind.  Some would argue that success is a natural result of proper planning, preparation and focused action – and that viewpoint certainly holds a grain of truth.  But there are also many exceptions to disprove that “rule.”  Have you ever wondered how two people can attempt the same objective in the same way and only one of them succeed?  Is it sheer luck?  Timing?  Tenacity?  More often than not, it’s a person’s mindset that determines whether they fail or succeed.

What is a mindset, anyway?  Typically, it’s your predominant state of mind from day to day.  It’s what you think about, focus on, and expect from your daily experiences.  Think negatively, expect the worst, feel pessimistic about your options and that’s exactly what you’ll seem to draw into your life.  Likewise, think positively, expect the best and focus on a successful outcome and you’ll get it most of the time.

It makes sense, but how exactly does this work?  Why is a Success Mindset so important?  Take a few moments to read about three of the biggest reasons below.

1) A Success Mindset boosts your confidence and self-belief.

A lack of belief in yourself usually comes along with a sense of powerlessness and futility, which is the exact opposite of a Success Mindset.  Lack of confidence means you see no point in trying to be successful because it won’t happen anyway.  Obviously, this is a recipe for failure in any endeavor.

Having a true Success Mindset, on the other hand, means you believe in yourself and your capabilities.  You acknowledge that you have strengths, experience and abilities that will contribute to achieving your goals and you believe you can succeed if you try – and that motivates you to

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Giving Effective FeedbackGiving effective feedback is a critically important part of the communication process within the workplace. Most people find it easy to offer positive comments, but avoid giving negative feedback because they fear confrontation and conflict.

While criticism isn’t easy for anyone, it is necessary to receive honest appraisals from those you work with in order to better understand where you stand with your co-workers and supervisors. Unfortunately, the need for improvement is not always conveyed or responded to in a constructive fashion.

Giving feedback requires specific skills you can learn if you practice. Below is a list of 10 tips that can greatly improve your communication and result in better interpersonal relationships and performance at work.

1. Provide information that is descriptive and objective. When describing your thoughts stick to the facts rather than bringing in your personal interpretation as much as possible.

2. Avoid using labels to describe behavior such as “unprofessional” or “irresponsible.” These words are ambiguous and unclear and do little to help the receiver understand what you are looking for.

3. Try to eliminate extreme words such as “always” or “never.” These words often trigger a defensive reaction and will draw the conversation away from the real issue.

4. Avoid words that convey value judgments or personal attacks such as “good,” “bad,” “stupid,” or “incompetent.” These words reflect an authoritarian interpersonal style which greatly undermines the value of the feedback. Rather than telling someone that they are rude or insensitive, it would be better to say something such as, “You have been late three days in a row and consequently missed the first 15 minutes of the last three team meetings. This has put us all behind schedule.”

5. Assess the receiver’s readiness for the feedback. Timing is very important, so if you sense that the

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workplace relationsThe average full-time worker spends over two thousand hours on the job every year with most of that time involving face-to-face interaction with co-workers. Research has shown that if your workplace relationships are strong you will likely experience greater job satisfaction and better performance. Conversely, when on the job relationships are weak you are apt to experience greater stress resulting in lower job satisfaction and poorer performance.

Below is a list of highly effective interpersonal strategies that will help you improve your workplace relationships.

Be Friendly

Get to know everyone within the company, and impress them with your interest in them, no matter what their position. Doormen, receptionists, secretaries, vice-presidents, sales people et al… There’s no one undeserving of your respectful attention. If you think there is, you will likely struggle with your relationships no matter where you work.

Don’t Gossip

One of the quickest ways to get to know everyone in an organization is to involve yourself in the gossip. The problem with such immersion is the inaccuracy of information you will typically glean from such chin-wagging, along with the reputation such behavior invites and the relational division that often occurs.

Embrace Social Events

The social side to work relationships can often be awkward as colleagues find it difficult to interact in a novel environment that doesn’t involve work. However, the bonds formed at such events can be invaluable in fostering a sound communication base. By embracing such opportunities to get to know your co-workers better, you can build a foundation on which to improve your working relationship.

Don’t Take Sides in Petty Arguments

One of the defining characteristics of the office dynamic is the often childish and petty nature of interpersonal squabbles. Taking sides in such disputes forms rifts between colleagues that can destroy any previous relationship-building you

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Workplace RelationshipsFinding the right position is only one piece of the puzzle that leads to job satisfaction. Have you ever heard someone say, “I’d like my work if it weren’t for the people I work with”? One of the greatest challenges in the workplace is getting along with other people. It hardly matters if someone is the best and brightest at what he does if he creates dissension in the office. Regardless of whether we’re hired to lead or be led, it is the ability to establish functional and healthy workplace relationships that can make or break our success and job satisfaction.

Supervisors have a particular responsibility to create a satisfying and productive atmosphere that encourages others to reach their full potential. To inspire confidence and loyalty from others, a supervisor must lead by example. If he values punctuality, he should be punctual. If he insists on respectful behavior, he should demonstrate it in his treatment of others. If he wants to create a spirit of teamwork, he should do his best to keep workers informed of developments that could affect their departments. In other words, a supervisor should practice the Golden Rule in order to create an environment where he himself would want to work.

Relationships among peers can be some of the most competitive and challenging in the workplace. Balance and discretion should be exercised in these associations. Some individuals feel that the only important relationships are with their supervisors. This attitude overlooks both the importance of teamwork and the obvious benefit of building friendships, which in some cases last a lifetime. Peers can constitute a valuable network of shared information and can generate an atmosphere of cooperation. When we build goodwill among our coworkers, we contribute to our own feelings of well-being on the job and the well-being

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changeChange is inevitable – everybody knows that. Still, most people seem to resist change even if it’s positive. In today’s world, nothing stays the same for very long, so those who are unable to effectively “ride the waves” will likely find themselves drowning. Here are ten powerful tips to help you overcome the fear of change.

“To change is to be vulnerable. And to be vulnerable is to be alive.” Alexis DeVeaux

1. Jump in and stay engaged

It’s easy to stay on the sidelines, whether you are at work or at home! The key is to become engaged with the situations at hand, rather than opt for distancing yourself. At work that could mean actually paying attention and participating in meetings. At home it could mean turning off the television and conversing with your family. Staying on the outside often leads to resentment and a sense of powerlessness. Ask questions, listen and participate.

2. Be prepared for a reaction

A common perspective would have you believe that in order to be stable you should be stoic, emotionless. At work, it shows perspective and leadership. At home it is supposed to show strength and stability. But the truth is you are human and have human emotions. Not only that – everyone else around you also has feelings and emotions. Don’t be surprised to experience sadness, joy, anger, laughter, crying, confusion, discomfort, excitement, etc – it’s normal!

3. Identify and express your emotions

Unacknowledged and unexpressed emotion causes stress and will make the change process painful. As a result, stay away from bottling things up. You must be able to express yourself in a reasonable manner, so that things don’t get pent up and start building unhealthy levels of stress.

4. Regularly monitor your attitude

Do two things. First, be aware

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Employee EngagementHave you ever observed an employee on the job who was obviously just putting in their time for a pay check and nothing more?  How about someone who worked so hard, enthusiastically and consistently you thought they owned the company?  What is the primary difference between these two employees?  In a word, it’s engagement.

What is employee engagement? Full engagement goes beyond basic job satisfaction; it’s the degree to which workers are fully committed, involved and enthusiastic about their jobs.  Engaged employees carry out their work for the higher purpose of ensuring that the company’s best interests are served.  Strong employee engagement is what fuels the level of productivity and performance necessary to achieve optimal efficiency and profitability.  An engaged employee will often use the term “we” instead of “they” when talking about company matters.

Employee engagement results in multiple benefits to a company.  Some of them are:

Greater employee retention
Improved customer service and loyalty
Increased cooperation and collaboration
More individual initiative and creativity
Increased productivity and performance
A strong competitive advantage in the marketplace
More likely to attract top talent
Improved employee morale
More satisfying personal life for leadership and team members

So, now you understand how beneficial it is to have engaged employees.  What can you do to create an environment at your company to help your employees stay motivated, loyal, and committed to excellence? How do you help them care enough to do their best?

10 Proven Strategies for Greater Employee Engagement

1. Don’t skimp on strategic recognition. Say “thank you” for achieved benchmarks or extra effort.  Tell your employees through intentional words and phrases that they are noticed, appreciated and valued.  Tangible forms of recognition can be very rewarding, like Certificates of Appreciation for specific accomplishments, public acknowledgements or awards.  But never underestimate the value