Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath, introduces people to new strategies to increase their productivity and overall well-being at work and in their lives.
STRATEGY #1: Find meaning in helping people
Through his research, Tom Rath found that bringing meaning is detrimental to organizations and to self. Deriving meaningfulness from money and power is the fastest way to sabotage yourself, is not sustainable because it opens up door to comparison, damages your well-being and relationships.
In order to create meaningfulness, to strengthen your relationships and increase your performance at work:
- Stop seeking happiness and stop putting your well-being first all the time. Sometimes, put people’s need before your own.
- Create meaningful interactions to protect yourself from negative thoughts, depressions.
- Contribute to a collective good to make a difference.
- Dedicate extra hours to meaningful activities.
- Avoid doing what people expect of you but explore different areas of interests.
- Focus on the impact of your work, on internal motives rather than external motives. Find ways to remind yourself of your internal motivators daily.
- Understand your contribution to your organization, your efforts to work. Your efforts can be attached to a larger purpose afterwards.
- Identify the right work to that it is not only a monetary transaction and that you are emotionally engaged, have better interactions with your colleagues, be more productive. Financial security contribute to happiness.
- Assess your strengths and weaknesses and apply them to the organization, fill a specific need. Work on your talents to grow and be great at something
- Say no to distractions. Being busy is not synonymous to importance or progress.
STRATEGY #2: Create positive interactions
To thrive in the workplace and to better your work performance, it is important to intentionally create positive interactions:
- Assume the best of a situation and of an interaction and learn to convert a negative into a positive.
- In performance review, spend more time discussing strengths than weaknesses.
- Use positive words to build on relationships. Creating strong bonds with coworkers fosters creativity and increase effectiveness at work, takes a year to solidify. When confronting or in a difficult situation, preface with positive words.
- Take small steps and appreciate small wins. For example, make someone smile before making them laugh.
- Pay attention to people so that they don’t assume the worst about you.
- Ask questions to initiate a conversation, to engage a debate, to build influence, to negotiate.
- Share embarrassing moments and mistakes to instill trust and to remain humble.
- Mirror someone else’s behavior to better the conversation.
- Don’t use your phone when spending time with people, show that you value the conversation, their time and openness.
- Create enjoyable experiences with loved ones to create long-lasting positive memories. We tend to forget the purchase of material goods over time even though we felt good while buying it. Create experiences instead and treasure the memory.
- Spend money on people you care about. Seeing them happy will instantly make you happy.
- Plan experiences ahead and share the details with people around you so you can look forward to something and increase your well-being.
- To motivate people to work for you, have them do something for someone else or for the benefit of the team.
- Be sincere, help someone see their potential and develop their self-confidence.
STRATEGY #3: Take care of yourself
Leaders are the first to arrive early at work and leave late, to sleep less hours. they claim they are busy but their lifestyle is unsustainable and will lead to burnout.
- Watch what you eat. Acquiring the right food has nothing to do with calories count but everything with quality. Therefore, eat healthy, avoid fried foods, carbohydrates, sugar and eat more vegetables to boost your energy and to positively influence your mood.
- The human body isn’t built for a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise, avoid sitting down and add as much exercise and movements a day as possible, especially in the morning.
- Sleep 20 minutes through the day and sleep longer at night to increase your ability to think, your productivity, health and well-being. Lack of sleep reduces alertness and awareness.
- Don’t work on a same activity for too long, it will diminish your performance. Take multiple breaks.
- To improve sleep quality, close the light of your electronic devices, cancel out noises with white noise or noise cancelling devices.
- Good lifestyle habits create a buffer against stressful situations and slow down the aging process.
- Take a minute before responding to a negative situation.
- View stressful situations as challenges.
Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life, by Tom Rath, is an easy to read self-help book, a practical guide to life and social interactions. It teaches us how to increase our well-being and make the mots of a bad experience.
Tom Rath has been battling an illness his whole life and as a consequence has the ability to put a positive spin on any situation.
I have discovered that creating meaning is central not just to my existence but to that of every organization in society today. Businesses, schools, governments, families, and faith-based groups are being challenged more than ever to show how they make a meaningful contribution to society. The essential thing people want in a job today is work that will allow them to create meaning for others.
Work should be more than a necessary means to an end.
The best experiences create memories and well-being that last for years to come.
In the workplace, as leaders, we mostly focus on results, performance and profits. We jump from project to project without taking the time to appreciate our achievements and the efforts provided by our teams.
However, even though we haven’t met our milestones, it is also important to build relationships and keep our team satisfied with their jobs, content with their lives.
Wondering how to celebrate success in the workplace?
Acknowledging personal and organizational success allows leaders to concentrate on the positive instead of the negative, to break the routine, to renew their mindset. Employees well-being is subsequently increased, company culture and values are reinforced.
Furthermore, praising employees from time to time allows leaders to give positive or negative feedback without followers feeling offended, criticized or taken for granted.
Finally, celebrating success brings team closer together. Celebrating success unifies the team and reminds them that the company they are working for is in fact successful.
How to effectively celebrate success?
Recognition brings job satisfaction and inner fulfillment. In order to focus on the positive and celebrate success, you must:
- Practice gratitude early in the morning when they wake up. An attitude of gratitude will help you create a reserve of positive energy, resist challenging situations and run across the finish line. Above all, practicing gratitude allows you to show gratitude towards someone else.
- Be empathetic, reinforce and build a sense of achievement within yourself to increase your own self-confidence before instilling it in others. Leaders have to focus more on successes than failures.
- Build strong relationships with your employees. Appreciate your employees and recognize the hard work. Appreciating success means increasing employees morale, dedication, self-esteem, self-respect, values, alignment, engagement, and reduce employee turnover.
- Take pride in your team’s success and don’t take them for granted. That will certainly boost your team confidence and value.
- Know your employee cultural background, behaviors, personalities, preferences so you can congratulate them accordingly and Adapt your incentives and rewards. For example, don’t offer alcoholic beverages to someone who doesn’t drink.
- Share success stories. Success stories are impactful, inspirational and motivational, helps you make important decisions on similar issues, set goals for other people, and create an exemplary roadmap.
- Let your achievements sink in. Then, take a moment to pat yourself on the back and keep it moving. Don’t allow celebrating success to sabotage your results.
- Write down your achievements (in a journal for example) and display it where you can see it.
- Call your closest friends and family. Share your success with people who genuinely care about you and who are happy to see you progress in life.
- Decide the milestone to which you want to celebrate. Set personal goals, define a mission statement, measure and promote progress, celebrate milestones and landmarks. This will help you know what to celebrate to and when to celebrate.
- Create success boards to keep your achievements in mind and to keep pushing through.
- Order food, sweets and display them in the office kitchen for example.
- Treat yourself by buying yourself a gift.
- Give out bonuses and raises.
- Reward innovative ideas and reward your team with fun activities, extra holidays and adapt them to the crowd.
- Send out handwritten thank you notes and thank you emails. You can also directly thank your employees. The way you proceed will depend on their personalities and preferences.
- Give positive and informal feedback and give credit where credit is due.
- Observe the energy employee put into their work, pay attention to their talents and passions, don’t only look at performance and results and place them in the right positions.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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18 Innovative Approaches To Improve Your Positive Thoughts, To Change Your Work Life And Your Leadership
Thoughts, positive or negative, influence our character, our behavior, our vision, how we deal with setbacks, how we build and maintain relationships, has direct impact on our body and health, emotions. For instance, negative thoughts affect our daily lives more than we think and can send us down a spiral of despair, depression, insecurity, anxiety and self-sabotage.
Needless to say, most people want to improve themselves, to evolve, to get ahead in their work life but have a tendency to welcome negative thoughts or ignore how to shut them down. Unfortunately, they end up hindering their accomplishments and career advancements.
Wondering how to process and control negative thoughts, emotions and how to use a positive mindset to get ahead at work?
Thoughts automatically appear in our mind. They come from past experiences and from the fact that we believe what people have previously said about us. They can be brought up by a word, an image or a memory and employ torture words that decrease our self-esteem, worsens situations, such as “should”, “must” and “have to”.
Because they are spontaneous, we think that they are true. In the long run, thoughts sometimes become rigid beliefs, absolute truths.
Therefore, it becomes an imperative to gain control over them. Disciplining your mind, controlling your thoughts and generating emotions regardless of your environment, regardless the level of attack help you become more mature, make healthier decisions, become more creative, escape, heal bad memories.
Maintaining A Positive Mindset
Positive attitudes can become difficult to maintain in challenging situations in the workplace. But once acquired, it is a habit that can help you overcome bad situations.
Indeed, positivity ensures progress, diffuses situations, alleviates stress, reduces fear, increases endurance, increase self-esteem, attracts positive results and better opportunities. It requires inner work and is independent of external circumstances of the outcome.
There are many ways to bring positivity into the workplace and into your mind:
- Identify the source of your thoughts and check the memories that you store in your brain. Be selective about the information that come into your mind. Stay away from the news because they will negatively affect you. Have a joke of the day and send it to people who matter to you. Watch shows, listen to podcasts, audio books that will uplift you, inspire you and motivate you.
- Identify triggers, patterns in your thought process. How do they start? What my thoughts say about me? What are the consequences of my thoughts? What do you say regularly to yourself?
- Be aware of the content of your thoughts. Therefore, you will be able to interrupt them whenever they don’t help you, to delete the negative ones and replace them with forward-looking ones. Changing thought patterns is difficult because our brain generally resist change.
- Understand that you are not the prisoner of your thoughts. Be the one to change the atmosphere in the workplace. Don’t allow the environment to drain you or define who you are. Don’t let someone else control your behavior.
- Think about who you want to become and how you want to affect people. Write down 5 dreams that you have ever have, find 5 words to describe yourself and think about it several a day.
- Select and force your brain to redirect negative thoughts toward more pleasant alternatives. For example, think about the opposite of the negative thought, attach constructive emotions to an outcome, visualize a positive outcome for the situation or visualize the perfect life every day before you got to bed and everyday when you wake up.
- Focus on what is going right instead of what is going wrong. People give negative emotions more importance than the positive ones, which conditions our brain to bring up negative thoughts automatically and repetitively for a long period of time. You have the power to choose and train your brain to give positive emotions more attention.
- Accept the present moment and understand that it is inevitable. How to focus and stay in the present? Understand that panicking and worrying is useless, that the past is unchangeable and the future uncontrollable, that every experiences have made you who you are today.
- Give your thoughts a name and call them out whenever they send us down a negative spiral and challenge every single thought by speaking them out loud.
- It is easy to complain and whine, so be grateful that you have a job and show appreciation in your contribution.
- Learn to discern toxic coworkers. Don’t tolerate or focus on negative people.
- Get up early and work out before going to work to release the endorphins throughout the day.
- Create a positive work zone by insulating yourself with headphones for example. Also, avoid gossip at all cost, put up motivational objects around your desk. Take regular breaks from your cubicle to stop thinking, to meditate and go to the bathroom.
- Create a better work life balance to protect your home life. Leave the drama at work, be strict with your hours, avoid staying late and taking work at home.
- Behave positively as well. Meaning fake it until you make it.
- Separate yourself from the negativity and surround yourself with open-minded people with a positive mindset. Stick positive quotes on your wall of your cubicle or on your desk.
- Take a class after work or find a hobby so you have something to look forward to at the end of the day.
- Discreetly find a more comfortable and productive workplace.
The Need For Positive Leadership
Positive leaders have a moral compass, are purpose driven, communicate effectively, exhibit integrity and provide emotional safety. Because they inject good energy into the team, they instill an atmosphere of trust and openness they rip enthusiasm, motivation, transparency from their team.
Positive leaders are able to impact their company culture, improve results, increase performance and enhance job satisfaction.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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Toxic leaders, with different backgrounds, populate television, politics, corporate and decent ones are extremely rare. We have all met the chosen one in the workplace. The chosen one is protected by hierarchy, is more or less competent at his or her job, displays charisma and easily influences others.
However, The chosen one is also arrogant, unscrupulous, manipulative, lacks integrity, lies, deceives gossips freely about people. He or she doesn’t need to excuse or justify himself or herself, has carte blanche to do whatever as long as the organization profits from their behavior.
Wondering why toxic leaders have followers, how to detect and deal with them?
Toxicity is the quality of being harmful and poisonous. There are different levels of toxicity and most of the time, the leader’s character and level of toxicity are closely connected.
Toxic leaders have a welcomed home in corporate, emerge from different cultures, take pleasure in seducing, sabotaging, undermining, manipulating, criticizing, intimidating, scapegoating, suppressing their collaborators and own followers, in harming followers physical and mental health and in using fear to get their way.
Furthermore, they lack integrity, awareness, emotional intelligence and core values, are overly ambitious, are arrogant, shift blame easily, see money as power, are blinded by the impact of their actions, are unable to understand occurring problems and difficult decisions.
The reasons why people don’t stand up to toxic leaders
Some leaders behave harmfully without knowing it or without wanting to change. Some leaders acknowledge their poisonous behavior, commit to improving themselves and become exemplary leaders on the long run. Others go from naive and gentle to toxic due to their environment and their followers.
Around the leader, they are different types of followers. There are those who encourage the leader’s negative behavior. Those that ignore and protect the leader’s behavior. Those who just want to work or follow a vision. Those who seek to undermine the leader to safeguard their own position or to take the leader’s position.
Most toxic leaders are difficultly overthrown, are able to successfully retain followers and progress in the corporate ladder. In life and in the workplace, followers tend to stay in negative environments and to rationalize the behavior of toxic leaders because:
- Leaders have the power to promote and demote their followers, to hire and fire them.
- Leaders bring financial security, put a roof over our heads.
- Followers create toxic leaders even if they don’t exist and tend to keep them in power. Bad leaders flaws are generally ignored, minimized or protected to fuel the follower’s interest. As a result, their strengths are highlighted.
- Followers are afraid of reprisals, of challenging the status quo, of going against group-think.
- Followers are addicted to the culture of success.
- Followers are unable to overcome self-preservation.
- Followers need acceptance from a group, recognition, approval, validation to increase their self-esteem.
- Followers seek purpose, self-fulfillment and think that the unhealthy workplace will bring them closer to their calling.
- Followers are relieved that the leader makes the hard decisions and lifts the heavy weight.
- Followers think of kind and decent leaders as weak and therefore undermine their authority.
- Decent leaders are not represented in the media. Exemplary leaders are not applauded for their behavior, and performance, even though they are not exempt of weaknesses.
The benefits of tolerating toxic leaders
From the follower’s stand point, there are several benefits from tolerating toxic leaders. Suffering followers:
- Get to know themselves better, to strengthen their core values, to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
- Find out their blindspots and the impurities in their character.
- Learn the behaviors to avoid as a future leader and how to take the high road when things get hard.
- Become stronger, more resilient and are able to perform under pressure.
- Have the opportunity to recognize their potential and to emerge while leaders are looking to control their followers.
- Network outside their toxic workplace and bond with others suffering followers under the yoke of the leader.
- Increase their spiritual awareness and grow closer to God.
How to detect toxic leaders?
A nontoxic leader can exhibit a few toxic behaviors and qualities depending on the circumstances. Toxic leaders are hard to detect because they are sometimes able to disguise their negative behavior with benign behavior. To identify them, look out for behavioral patterns, learn the lessons of History and monitor leaders who:
- Promote themselves by diminishing others, are arrogant, shift blame and lie easily.
- Manipulate others and make them do their dirty work.
- Mistreat the most insecure and weakest person on the team, who openly criticize people on the team.
- Reject constructive criticism.
- Create conflicts between collaborators, seek to deceive, dominate and eliminate followers.
- Foster a competitive workplace, where their power and well-being are more important than the well-being of their followers.
How to deal with toxic leaders?
Fighting back is hard but not impossible because toxic leader grow stronger and more resilient per attack. To deal effectively with toxic leaders:
- Speak out and directly confront toxic behavior. If toxic behavior persists when alone and behind closed doors, recruit help of others and confront in group.
- Find a trust factor to connect with the leader
- Mentor or coach the toxic leader. Train leaders to be accountable for their actions.
- Attempt to quietly undermine the toxic leader.
- Organize protests against the toxic leader
- Leave the organization as a last option. When you reach your breaking point physically and mentally, when your performance suffers.
- Don’t allow leaders to remain in the same position too long.
- Hire people with character, who don’t seek power and monitor their behavior.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.
Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni defines the five dysfunctions of a team to avoid in order to be successful. He teaches us how to build a team as a leader and how to effectively be part of one.
What is a team?
For Lencioni, a team is a “relatively small number of people (anywhere from three to twelve) that shares common goals as well as the rewards and responsibilities for achieving them. Team members readily set aside their individual or personal needs for the greater good of the group.”
Why build a team?
Patrick Lencioni believes in team work and that it is the ultimate competitive advantage in a company. Effective team work being easy to attain but hard to measure, he judges effective team work by measuring its performance, its results, by its capacity to overcome obstacles and the five dysfunctions model (seen below).
Overcoming Dysfunction #1
Trust is an uncommon trait in life, is the most important factor in team survivals, is rare and is generally hard to instill. Being a trustful and trustworthy designates a person unafraid to be open, candid, transparent, willing to expose their weaknesses, and admit their failures.
Because of human preservation instincts, because people wear masks to protect themselves and their true feelings, being vulnerable is uncommon and unnatural. People don’t find rewarding to take such risks, to put themselves in harm’s way for other people, for an organization.
Furthermore, lack of trust is a destroyer of team work, multiplies hypocrisy, causes the team to watch their every move, monitor their every word. To overcome this dysfunction, Lencioni suggests that:
- Building trust takes time but is not impossible.
- Team members take various personality assessment tests, like the Myers Briggs test, before sharing their story.
- Team members open up so that everyone can judge them fairer, understand the person that they are today, not expecting that they reveal their darkest secrets or that they get emotional.
- Leaders create a safe space for their team to speak. Team members generally look to their leaders to show them his to build trust. Leaders have to first put themselves out there without knowing that their behavior will be reciprocated, respected or rewarded.
- Maintain the bounding experience and pursue the relationships built.
Overcoming Dysfunction #2
In addition to overcoming trust issues, teams must learn to handle conflicts. Conflicts don’t necessarily have to be feuds, quarrels or arguments. Conflicts can also be healthy debates that lead the team to a solution, discussions where people are listening and seriously considering other people points of view. Needless to say, without trust, the debate will easily become a contest.
Conflict is inevitable but must not be avoided. It is either constructive or destructive, and anywhere along that spectrum. It has the benefit to push people out of their emotional comfort zone.
To overcome dysfunction #2, Lencioni proposes to:
- Assess each and everyone conflict profile before hand. Indeed, everybody handles conflict differently. Therefore, it is essential that everybody knows the way they react and interact during conflict, in order to adjust their behavior in the future.
- Establish a conflict norm for the team. Conflict norming requires laying down rules of engagement, depicting how to team members should engage with one another, and which behaviors are acceptable.
- The leader that sets the tone by applying the rules, adapting them to the team members and holding them accountable to the rules.
- The leader has to moderate conflict, especially in meetings, push the quiet ones out of their comfort zone and temper the aggressive ones. Lack of conflict leads to boring meetings, bad decisions, lack of clarity.
Overcoming Dysfunction #3
A lack of commitment is the third dysfunction to be overcome by teams. Commitment lies in fact that the team buys in a decision whether or not they agree with it. To create clarity and alignment, to avoid assumptions:
- Leaders must extract every unapologetic ideas from their team. Knowing that all aspects of a situation have been studied, that all opinions have been expressed and considered, team members are more likely to commit to the leader’s decision.
- Leaders must share their principles, missions, values, goals, purpose and their behavioral expectations, generate consistent business policies.
Overcoming Dysfunction #4
All members of the team, including the team leader, must remain accountable for their actions. They must remind each other of their respectful responsibility, of their behaviors, standards, results and performance. Otherwise, they gradually lose respect for each other, lose morale.
Leaders have to be able to receive critical feedback around their behavior and performance in order to give feedback. To encourage a culture of peer-to-peer accountability, Lencioni suggests that teams must openly:
- identify the most important behavioral characteristics that contributes to the strength of the team and the ones that weakens it of everyone.
- know everyone’s area of expertise.
- in meetings, everyone should verbalize their list of priorities and measure their progress.
Overcoming Dysfunction #5
Self-orientated distractions, individualization are also destroyers of teams. To address this last dysfunction, there is no need to have completely overcome the four previous dysfunctions.
Focusing on collective results implies that team members are not self-interested and not only looking out for number one.
Results are what measure team success and keeps people focused on the priorities. Teams must commit early and openly to their expected results, keep a scoreboard and measure the progress at all times.
In Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni shows leaders how to build and optimize their team through practical examples, gradual exercises and valid assessments such as the Myers Briggs assessment tests.
Overcoming The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is very insightful and dedicated to toxic environments, to self-disciplined, thoughtful leaders. In order for them to be successful, Lencioni recommends that team members become:
- More vulnerable with each other, without being touchy-feely or emotional, in order to be successful and to understand each other. It is always difficult to share information about yourself in the workplace because there is always room for manipulation and personal attacks. However, if the exercise succeeds the team is fit to understand the decisions made and actions taken.
- Masterful at conflicts. This requires that team members assess their strengths and weaknesses, be disciplined enough to control their emotions, be active listeners and seek understanding of others.
- Committed to the task and to the organization. Creating employee alignment and engagement depends on the leader’s vision and mission statement.
- Accountable for their actions and behaviors.
- Focused on results.
Each characteristic can be worked on simultaneously. Of course, the leader has to be the facilitator as well and all expected behaviors have to be modeled on the leader.
After analyzing the 5 different dysfunctions that destroys teams, Lencioni answers additional questions that he received from clients, consultants and executives, replies to the objections of some participants, demonstrates the obstacles to avoid, the ways to convince skeptical leaders, engage uncomfortable people.
At last, Lencioni provides us with tools, questionnaires, team building exercises, road maps, steps to take in order to start and maintain the team building process.