15 Signs It’s Time To Quit Your Job

Though people have to be financially responsible, they give themselves the opportunity to explore and to search for a job that will make them happy.

Needless to say, quitting your job is a big decision, an exciting yet scary endeavor.

On one hand, we remember that we have to survive and pay the bills. On the other hand, we no longer have to put up with bad decisions, poor workmanship and slow processes.

Wondering how to recognize when it’s time to quit your job and how to effectively develop an exit strategy?

15 Signs It's Time To Quit Your Job

People give themselves the opportunity to explore and to search for a job that will make them happy. Click To Tweet

15 Signs It’s Time To Quit

Sometimes, we are in way over our heads, other times we just want to collect that paycheck and nothing else. It becomes hard to notice the signs that it’s time to quit.

You know it’s time to quit when:

#1. You Desperately Look For Reasons To Quit

Your job has become a problem and is weighing heavy on your shoulder. You feel it in your bones and your desire to quit roams your brain all day.

At this point, anything would justify your desire to quit.

If you don’t get your morning coffee, then it’s time to quit.

If your train runs late, then it’s time to quit.

If there is too much traffic today, then it’s definitely time to quit.

#2. You Believe The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side

You are low-key envious of people who quit their job and who start their own business ventures.

#3. You Are Burnt Out

When it’s time to quit, your intuition will usually let you know in advance that something is wrong.

If you don’t pay attention to your intuition, your mind ill start to go in overdrive.

Finally, your body will suffer the repercussion.

You are burnt out if:

  • You are doing your best on the job but your best doesn’t seem to be enough.
  • You don’t have the energy or the time to do your work.
  • Your physical health suffers. working out doesn’t help anymore and you have probably put on weight.
  • You don’t pay attention to your personal grooming.

#4. You Require A Better Work Life Balance

You bring your job home and incessantly complain about it.

You don’t take care of yourself or your family.

You believe that you deserve a better work-life balance.

#5. You Are Depressed Every Sunday Night

Sunday nights are extremely depressing because you remember your past week and  because you dread Monday mornings.

#6. You Are Underperforming

You are underperforming and are making too many mistakes on things that you used to be good at.

You have been unable to reach deadlines, to defend your progress and perspectives.

You constantly look for distraction from your work environment whether you are on or off the job.

Furthermore, you don’t care about your workplace performance, your reputation, your well-being, the opinion of your coworkers, and the respect for our boss is gone.

#7. You Are Undervalued And Underutilized

You feel underappreciated and are bored to death.

You have no voice within the organization.

You don’t feel like your strengths and weaknesses are being adequately used.

#8. You Take Too Many Breaks

You have been absent and keep taking more absence leaves that you used to.

Basically, you cannot wait for the day to end.

You plan your breaks, your lunches and your vacations before you even start your workday. You obsess about your vacations and your mental health depends on them.

You go to the bathroom too often and take too many calls out of your office.

#9. You Just Don’t Fit In

Working gives us the means to survive and is quasi inevitable.

You need more freedom to express yourself and the company culture does not allow your form of expression.

#10. Your Job Does Not Align With Your Life Purpose

You spent time studying for a degree, graduated and your college degree doesn’t match your job description.

In addition, you don’t understand your task, get no satisfaction from doing your job and you start questioning the purpose of your job.

#11. You Cannot Project Yourself In The Future

There are no growth opportunities to evolve, to move towards a new position, to learn new skills.

You cannot project yourself in the future because you have other plans for your future, your leadership vision is not being executed, your life is changing but your salary isn’t, your colleagues are getting better paid than you do or because you have been passed up for promotion too many times.

#12. Your Social Life Is Affected

Your social life is stunted and your relationships are strained.

You don’t want to bring up work with your friends and family.

Conversations about work with people you enjoy depress you, project you in negative thoughts and negative emotions overwhelm you.

You are not a complainer but you start complaining NON STOP about your job. You bring up the subject with whomever even when it doesn’t matter.

#13. The Ethics On Your Job Are Questionable

You work in a toxic environment:

  • Your higher-ups and your organization generally lack ethics.
  • Your core leadership values don’t align with those of your organization.
  • You experience an emotional rollercoaster daily.
  • You are perpetually in fight or flight mode. You are either looking for conflict or hiding from everyone and everything.
  • You are being bullied, your self-esteem is continually being attacked and your ethics are daily challenged.
  • You suddenly cannot stand your colleagues and find faults in everything that they do.

#14. Your Leader Is Out Of Control

Employees don’t leave a job, they leave bad bosses. 

You don’t admire or respect your leaders. You don’t ask them for advice anymore and question their decisions.

#15. Your Organization Is Laying People Off

Your organization is facing serious financial difficulties and you think that you will get laid off.

You have to financially take care of yourself and quit.

There are two options after quitting your job: either you find another one or you create one. Just remember that not all workplaces are the same.

Developing An Exit Strategy

Sometimes, we have reached our limits and it’s time to quit. However, it’s always important to develop an exit strategy.

  1. Examine your mental, physical and emotional health.
  2. Take time off to think about yourself. Identify your core values, your purpose, your strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Evaluate your motivations to stay on the job. Look around for clues that it’s time to quit your job. You can do a pros and cons list.
  4. Think about the consequences of leaving your job.
  5. Plan your future before quitting. It is imperative that you:
    • Analyze your skill sets and check which ones you wish to develop.
    • Find out which field you wish to work in and discuss it with people who are in your field of preference.
    • Proactively look for another job. Keep looking for job and applying online while you are still employed. It is recommended to discreetly find a new job before moving on to the new one.
    • Pick your next profession with care.
    • Build a solid vision.
    • Prepare yourself for the next opportunity and get rid of past baggage.
  6. Be comfortable with change and embrace the unknown.
  7. Speak to your close friends and family about your decision. Ultimately, you know what is best for you.
  8. Be confident in your decision, acknowledge that there is no shame in quitting and understand that there is no perfect time to quit.
  9. Leave on good terms even though you hated your job.

Last Words Of Advice!

Quitting your job doesn’t mean being jobless, giving up on yourself or that you have failed altogether. During the quitting process, it is detrimental to grow internally, to keep yourself busy and stay on purpose.

Furthermore, you can either go after your dreams or help someone else build their own.

If you don't build your dream someone will hire you to help build theirs.” Tony Gaskins Click To Tweet

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.

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11 Habits Of Emotionally Disciplined Leaders

There are no good or bad emotions per se. However, some emotional displays are more socially acceptable than others, depending on each individual’s socio-economic background, appearances and attached stereotypes.

For example, being spiteful and openly provoking someone is socially accepted. However, a person reacting to that provocation with anger is not.

Furthermore, in the workplace, you must leave your emotions at the door, and display a confident and positive attitude. Demonstrating that you are having a bad week will probably get you removed from the project.

When the pressure is on, organizations look to leaders to take action and to safely bring the organization out of hot waters. Leaders who are unable to step up to the plate will potentially be removed from their position.

As a leader, you must discipline your emotions, always have a clear head, continuously deal with challenges, give and receive feedback, keep your employees motivated and on task, even when you are tired or fed up.

Wondering how to discipline your emotions and improve your leadership skills?

11 Habits Of Emotionally Disciplined Leaders

What being emotionally disciplined means…

Emotional discipline is about being able to effectively manage your feelings. Being emotionally disciplined means that you are also able to:

  • Stay calm in challenging situations and overpower your own emotions. You can then deal with a tough situation, without making it worse.
  • Respond and not react to triggering events.
  • Gain more power over yourself and control yourself instead of being controlled.
  • Separate your inner voice from the outside noise.
  • Remain in the present, avoid dwelling on the past and obsessing about the future.
  • Decide and act how you want to really feel.
  • Acquire the freedom to express yourself freely and to engage in activities that make you happy.
  • Avoid getting tangled up in someone else’s web and positively interact with people. Let’s be honest, emotional discipline is useful to gracefully put people back in their place.
  • See people for who they really are and for how they really make you feel.
  • Gain new perspectives on your problems and navigate different situations.
  • Effectively address important and difficult issues.
  • Take advantage of a given situation and delay instant gratification for long-term rewards.
  • Possess several strategies to overcome most challenges.

Why discipline your emotions?

People will try your patience and your peace of mind on a daily basis in life and in the workplace.

The way you feel has an impact on your behavior, on the way you lead and the way you think. Your emotions also affect your health, your self-talk and your work performance.

Needless to say, becoming emotionally disciplined requires a lot of self-reflection, quiet moments with yourself and understanding that no one can harm you without your consent.

It requires growth, that you build up your resistance and become thick-skinned. It is not an easy nor an overnight process.

How leaders strengthen their emotional discipline?

Most people who possess emotional discipline are successfully placed in leadership positions because they are able to work through their own discomfort. To strengthen your emotional discipline, it is imperative to acquire the following habits.

#1. Leaders have a strong hold on their identity

They know their core values, their strengths and weaknesses. They also know where to apply them and they learn about themselves through their emotions.

In addition, they do not let stereotypes and assumptions define them.

#2. Leaders understand their triggers

This step is time-consuming because people might not want to immediately confront their emotions and they might resist the drive down memory lane.

When the pressure is on, leaders are able to quickly identify the origin of your emotions. They know their triggers, understand why that situation or this person is triggering them.

Furthermore, they don’t let anyone push their buttons or control them, they don’t react but they respond to negative behavior.

They navigate office politics well and they know how to deal with toxic people.

Remember, it is essential to not give the people who are triggering you satisfaction.

#3. Leaders stay on purpose

They have a goal and vision for their life.

They wake up in the morning ready to achieve their goals for the day and to make the right decisions for themselves.

#4. Leaders walk with integrity

They do what is right because doing the wrong thing requires too much emotional effort.

Moreover, they take accountability for their actions and don’t shift blame.

#5. Leaders stay in the moment

Most of the time, being in the moment will give you the opportunity to feel your emotional response and give you the appropriate response to any situation.

#6. Leaders identify the emotions that overcome them

If you cannot find the right words to describe your emotion, postpone your self-reflection until later, when you’re in a quiet place.

#7. If they can, leaders write down their thoughts on paper

This way, you will notice your thought patterns, illogical and irrational thoughts, the assumptions that you make, the systems of beliefs, the solutions to your situation, what you need to feel better and to clarify your situation.

#8. Leaders practice self-care

They work out regularly, eat well and do things that you enjoy.

In addition, they take the time to meditate, to quiet the noise in their minds, to improve their self-talk and to employ the power of positive affirmations.

#9. Leaders see people for who they truly are

Leaders are not only self-aware but they are aware of other people’s intention.

#10. Leaders have a strong support system

They have an emotional support system in place that helps them reason, that they go to regularly and that act as a sounding board.

They also surround themselves with people who are emotionally healthy.

#11. Leaders don’t take anything personally

To paraphrase Eleanor Roosevelt, no one can harm you without your consent.

So, emotionally disciplined leaders look for solutions instead of dwelling on their circumstances, focus on the positive and don’t dwell on the negative.

Last Words Of Advice!

You cannot run from your emotions and project false ones. 

Eventually, they will catch up with you. One small insignificant incident can trigger and instantly download all the emotions that you haven’t dealt with.

Don’t be afraid of your emotions. They are there to help you and they will ease up once you have confronted them.

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.

The Importance Of Gratitude In Leadership

Some leaders who have achieved high levels of success are unhappy and ungrateful.

They go through life with pessimism and a sense of emptiness.

They don’t express gratitude. They pass down their toxicity to other people, find faults on everything and everyone. Why is that?

It is safe to say that people who express gratitude in the workplace are seen as naive and weak. Are they really thou? Do they know something that we don’t?

Wondering what are the benefits of gratitude and how to improve your level of gratitude?

The Importance Of Gratitude In Leadership

What is gratitude?

The expression of gratitude is both personal and universal. It depends on your cultural background, your systems of belief, your circumstances and your self-awareness.

Gratitude is a conscious choice.

Gratitude is acknowledging the value of someone or something, celebrating success after reaching our goals, choosing to see the positive in any situation and consciously remembering who helped you.

Being grateful is a thinking process that needs constant work. It is a demonstration of your character and your internal strength.

Gratitude is a perception of life.

It is appreciating what you have in life, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Gratitude is an emotion, an attitude, a habit.

To some, gratitude is directly linked to happiness. To others, it fosters complacency and selfishness.

Benefits of gratitude?

Some days are harder than others. Gratitude doesn’t make things magically go away. However, it puts things in perspective.

In addition, being grateful has the ability to:

  • Increase your self-awareness. Gratitude will automatically influence your attitude, your character.
  • Stabilize your health, manage your emotional intelligence and improve your self-esteem. Gratitude is a combination of your emotions and your state of mind.
  • Increase your effectiveness, productivity and optimism.
  • Build great and valuable relationships. You will also be seen as friendly, positive and much more approachable.
  • Make others feel appreciatedMaking people feel valued will in turn make you feel valuable.
  • Promote empathy, resolve conflicts and successfully influence people.
  • Help you recognize that a curse is in fact a blessing in disguise.
  • Help you activate the laws of attraction. more opportunities will come to you naturally.
  • Make the best of everything.
  • Value and focus on the things that you do have.
  • Help you enjoy your journey and find greater meaning in life.
  • Energize you and help you experience positive emotions. It prevents depression and suppresses pride.

Through this practice, leaders build up a reservoir of positive energy.

How to improve your gratitude?

Gratitude is recognizing people for the things that they gift you, for the hurdles, the joys, for your past, present and future. To express your gratitude, practice these tips:

  1. Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
  2. Accept yourself for who you really are.
  3. Clarify your own goals and purpose. You will then know when to celebrate your success.
  4. Keep an open mind which means that you must be open to explore and to learn.
  5. Be sincere and positive. Avoid focusing on negativity in general.
  6. Show that you care and directly give thanks.
  7. Write down all the things that you are grateful for. You can also keep a personal journal. Then, you can memorize what you are grateful for so you can visualize it during hard times.
  8. Give yourself permission to be vulnerable, to emote and to speak your mind.
  9. Volunteer and give back to people.
  10. Engage in activities that are essential and beneficial to you.
  11. Maximize the opportunities that come your way.
  12. Learn from your painful experiences.

Gratitude is not a common emotion or state in the workplace.

Furthermore, nothing can make you feel demoralized and unappreciated like an ungrateful boss.

Nevertheless, at work, there are several opportunities to demonstrate gratitude: a motivated team, a respectful salary, expected results.

To nurture a culture of gratitude within your organization, it is important to exercise your muscle frequently :

  1. Lead by example and be genuine when expressing gratitude.
  2. Get to know your team.
  3. Help someone out once in a while.
  4. Acknowledge people’s success and offer rewards for a job well done.
  5. Sincerely compliment people once in a while.
  6. Encourage your team to always do their best.
  7. Provide frequent feedback.

What are the things that you are the most grateful for?

 

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.

Boosting Your Leadership Self-esteem

At work, leaders are constantly being challenged by coworkers, by the need to conform to the organization culture, to resist to the opinion of others and to work through other external pressure.

Because leadership comes most often from within and requires great energy, self-discipline, strong purpose, maintaining self-esteem is critical to maintaining leadership.

Wondering how to get a bulletproof self-esteem?Boosting Your Leadership Self-esteem

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem corresponds to our self-image and to the opinion that we have of ourselves. It is made of the differences between the way we perceive ourselves, the way we want to be perceived and the way we are actually being perceived.

It is also a feeling of competency, worthiness, efficiency, performance, self-respect. It delimits our sense of identity, self-worth, well-being and constant satisfaction no matter the circumstances.

Self-esteem is the ability to cope with life challenges. It is the belief in our abilities, our values, our potential to confidently demonstrate our abilities and values. Therefore, self-esteem is an important component of leadership.

Self-esteem is an internal quality, is not a constant and can rise or fall throughout life, throughout challenges.

Why is it important?

With a proper amount of self-esteem, you are able to trust your skills, your knowledge, your decisions and your thoughts. Low self-esteem leads to poor relationships, depression, anxiety and anger. Increasing self-esteem amounts to better health and a stronger ability to cope with stressful situations.

As a leader, having a solid self-esteem is necessary to make decisions without fear or hesitation, to think clearly, to trust his or her opinion, to remain optimistic under pressure, to help others feel good about themselves, to build relationships, and to gracefully welcome change.

Furthermore, building self-esteem in your team will help them take pride in their work and make them commit to goals.

How to boost your leadership self-esteem?

Building self-esteem is not an overnight process and requires patience. To boost your leadership self-esteem:

  1. Rewire your thinking process and remember that you are not alone if you are suffering with low self-esteem.
  2. Recall that you cannot please everyone and the first person to please is yourself.
  3. Remember that you cannot be a master at everything and that you must focus on the vital few.
  4. Accept that you cannot control everything, that suffering and joy are part of life and that no one is perfect.
  5. Assess your strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a different combination of experiences, of strengths and weaknesses that they must accept. This will help you build on the skills that you are good at and operate through your weaknesses.
  6. Accept yourself: learn to spend time alone and to enjoy your own company. Find activities that are fun and that you do well outside of work. Treat yourself kindly and take time off to do things that are pleasurable to you.
  7. Avoid reasoning with your emotions, dwelling on the negative, complaining, self-pity, shifting blame or blowing an issue out of proportion. You can remove the power that emotions and past negative experiences holds over you by writing down on paper or by speaking it out loud.
  8. Always maintain your integrity, treat people fairly and do the right thing, even if it puts you in a difficult situation. This will also help you maintain your self-respect and the respect that people have for you.
  9. Stay authentic. Being fake or hypocritical is not sustainable on the long run and your real self will slowly suffer the consequences.
  10. Be resilient and believe that you can overcome challenges and that you can find solutions to your problems.
  11. Learn to be grateful and stay grounded in reality but learn to appreciate and celebrate success, to recognize your achievements and position in life.
  12. Don’t be afraid of failure and learn from your past mistakesIf you have wronged someone, admit it and apologize.
  13. List your life achievements and list what you wish to achieve. Understanding what you have accomplished will increase your positivity and strengthen your belief that you can see things through.
  14. Avoid seeking only status and playing aggressive politics at work to get ahead.
  15. Stop comparing yourself to others and compare yourself to your past self instead.
  16. Create good habits and be self-disciplined enough to stick to a routine.
  17. Set boundaries. This is a complex task because most people don’t know how to, some confuse standing up for themselves and setting boundaries with being blatantly mean.
  18. Be compassionate towards yourself and others. Forgive yourself and others. This doesn’t mean that you have forgotten or that you now start back trusting or working with the same people.
  19. Experience life with an open-mind. Don’t take life too seriously and acknowledge that you don’t know everything.
  20. Eat well and regularly. Use meditation and exercise to stay healthy mentally and physically, to stay in control of your thoughts and to evacuate negative emotions.
  21. Don’t deprive yourself of sleep. Sleep affects your mood, your thoughts, your body and your resilience towards adversity.
  22. Don’t rely on people or other external factors to restore your self-esteem. Compliments only stroke your ego and will have no effect on your self-esteem for long. On the same length, belittling people won’t do the trick either.
  23. As a leader, it is important that you share your knowledge with your team. Retaining information is a sign of weakness, of a desire for control, power and will not lead you to success. On the other hand, your team skills, loyalty and respect will unequivocally be increased.
  24. Take responsibility for your actions, seek solutions instead of creating problems.
  25. Seek positive qualities in your employees, give positive feedback and build a positive work environment. Giving positive feedback doesn’t mean dismissing or sugarcoating negative feedback but it means that you give constructive criticism and make people feel good about their work performance.
  26. Know your team’s strengths and weaknesses. Place them on tasks that employ their strengths, and don’t hesitate to stretch their abilities and responsibilities.
  27. Remove doubt from your employees so they can perform better.
  28. Teach your team to see problems as challenges or opportunities in disguise. Do not punish mistakes and show that it is OK to disagree, to share a dissenting opinion, or to say “I don’t know”.
  29. Mitigate bad behavior within your team and maintain composure no matter the circumstances.
  30. Include playful time in the workplace. This will increase productivity. Contrary to popular bureaucratic and corporate belief, be playful is not a sign of immaturity to carelessness. Instead, it is a way to release painful experiences.
  31. Seek external professional help to sort through bad experiences and memories if necessary.

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.

Daniel Coyle

MEET THE AUTHOR

Daniel Coyle is a contributing editor for Outside magazine. Daniel Coyle is the New York Times bestselling author of The Talent Code.

Are you Fully Charged? The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath

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.

Are you Fully Charged_ The 3 Keys To Energizing Your Work And Life by Tom Rath

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.

Review

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.

Favorite quote(s)

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.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Tom Rath

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How Full is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton

How Full is Your BucketIn How Full is Your Bucket?, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath have partnered up in the hopes of helping people focus on the positive and not the negative. In his previous research and in his life experiences, Donald O. Clifton noticed that every interaction in life made a difference and profoundly shaped his perceptions.

The theory of the dipper and the bucket

To Donald O. Clifton and to Tom Rath, everyone possesses an invisible bucket and an invisible dipper. Filling your bucket would be synonymous to “boosting your well-being” and feeling engaged in your work.

An invisible bucket that can be emptied or filled depending on our interactions with others. When the bucket is full, we feel great, optimistic, energetic, renewed and strong.

An invisible dipper that can empty of fill someone else’s bucket. When the dipper is used to fill someone else’s bucket, we simultaneous fill our own bucket. When we use our dipper to empty someone else’s bucket, we empty our own bucket.

The power of Negativity

The Power of NegativityNegativity has the power to kill an individual. For most of us, negativity is common and harmless, but erodes our well-being and productivity. Negativity is also contagious and pushes us to start dipping in someone else’s bucket in the hopes of fulling ours.

In the workplace, daily multiple micro aggressions or the accumulation of negative interactions can cause people invisible and individual bucket to be emptied. An empty bucket has consequences on your well-being, on the well-being of your friends and family members, on your work performance, on your team’s productivity.

The disengagement and the negativity of employees are conveyed by “glazed looks”, counter productivity, a tendency to “stirring up trouble with whining, complaining, and even paranoia.

Fortunately, positivity is much more impactful than negativity.

As a leader or manager, how to make sure that employees individual bucket is full? How to get them to stay engaged?

Employees often lack recognition for their good work and “praise is rare in most organization”.

It takes a little initiative to create inexpensive and meaningful bucket filling experiences. For example, a short, motivating, positive conversation from leaders to increase employees productivity, alignment and engagement would suffice.

Leaders and managers have to:

  • switch the focus on their employees strengths only,
  • daily and positively interact with their team members.

Where is Negativity Rooted?

Our predisposition for either positivity or negativity is similar to our metabolism and our or disposition for weight gain. No matter how much someone eats, they will always remain thin.

Filling someone bucket should be unique, specific to the individual, appropriate to the work environment. Generic one size fits all approaches often backfire.

The american culture is to blame for the development and inclination toward negativity. In the American culture, we focus on what we do wrong instead of what we do right, on fixing weaknesses and dismissing strengths. “This focus is particularly evident in our school experiences” or at work where our natural talents and our skills don’t fit our roles. Also, we expect our employees to change their personality to fit the role.

According to John Gottman’s research on marriage, there is a magic ratio to respect in order to maintain positivity and to fill your bucket. The magic ratio is 5:1 which means that there must be 5 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction.

This magic ratio is critical for the workplace. For instance, teams with having more than 3 positive interactions for every negative interaction (3:1 ratio) gain in productivity and engagement. However, teams having more than a 13:1 ratio lose in productivity.

That is why, Rath and Clifton recommend grounding positivity in reality, but also acknowledging negativity and weaknesses and correcting mistakes.

The Benefits of Positivity

Positive or negative encounters are highly memorable and can change your life forever. Positivity creates a mindset that:

  • becomes a buffer against adversity, depression, health issues,
  • enables recovery from traumatic, painful experiences,
  • improves mental physical well-being,
  • stands as a coping and defense mechanisms,
  • transforms and breaks down social barriers,
  • generates optimal functioning in organizations and in individuals,
  • Induced by leader, improves productivity and group performance in the workplace.

How to Increase Positive Emotions?

To increase positive emotions and positive encounters, apply the following five strategies:

  1. Prevent any type of bucking dipping

    • Stop poking fun at someone, focusing in their insecurities, chronically criticizing others.
    • Encourage this change among people around you.
    • Start pressing pause consciously eliminating unwarranted negativity.
    • Keep track of your progress by scoring your interactions.
  1. Focus on what is right instead of what is wrong

To know if your focus us centered around what is right or if you have some impact on your environment, take the Positive Impact Test from Gallup. The Positive Impact Test provides 15 statements to measure your impact and your progress. Don’t hesitate to print them, read them and encourage your friends to take the test.

  1. Develop several good relationships

    • These relationships have to be best friends quality with coworkers in order to increase your job satisfaction and productively and subsequently increase theirs.
    • Actively listen to your coworkers.
    • Acknowledge when someone is doing a great job.
  2. Give unexpectedly

  3. Reverse the Golden Rule

    • The Golden Rule signifies “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. Clifton and Rath introduced the reverted golden rule: “Do unto others as they would have you do unto them”.
    • Personalize your interactions and the way you praise and recognize others.

Review

How Full is Your Bucket? by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath is a brief, easy to read, encouraging and compelling book that gives tools to spread positivity in life or at work, to become a better leader, to develop values and character.

Furthermore, I found interesting that both authors share their personal adversities and explain how they have ingrained positivity in their lives and thoughts to overcome their health obstacles.

On a personal level, I wanted to read a positive book, that can stimulate everyone’s mind, inspire leaders to work on themselves and their leadership skills, to provide some tools to dilute the toxicity and the negativity in the workplace, to break the cycle of negativity in your life.

I believe that most of us can handle positive situations and encounters, but not everyone can handle difficult situations, that preparation is key and it is better to be safe then sorry, that it is better to be warned about toxicity than to be blindsided by it, and finally that knowledge is power.

In addition, Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath are right when they claim that negativity stems from your culture and has become the norm. They are also right when they state that emptying someone else’s bucket will not make you feel better but only make you feel less then. So, you have to wonder: are you a bucket filler or a bucket dipper?

Favorite quote(s)

Most of us want more positive emotions in our lives. We want to feel like Tammy did in her brief meeting with Karen more often – and like she did after her performance review less often. Unfortunately, wanting a more positive environment isn’t enough. Most of us have grown up in a culture in which it’s much easier to tell people what they did wrong instead of praising them when they succeed. Although this negativity-based approach might have evolved unintentionally, it nevertheless permeates our society at all levels.

Recognition is most appreciated and effective when it is individualized, specific, and deserved.

Ratings 3/5

Author

Donald O. Clifton

Tom Rath

Purchase

Donald O. Clifton

authorDonald O. Clifton, Ph.D. (1924-2003) was a chairman of Gallup, was named the Father of Strengths-Based Psychology by the American Psychological Association. Donald O. Clifton is also the author of How Full is Your Bucket?.