Posted by & filed under Employee Development.


In the words of author and business leader, Adam Whitty, “You don’t have to be a business guru to recognize when a business is firing on all cylinders, that everyone is putting their skills to maximum use, working together, and actually having a good time. How to create that chemistry – that’s the question.”



5 Essential Building Blocks of a Thriving Work Culture



Here are 5 ways to get that hum in your workplace every day.


1) Staff your team with A-players; they’re worth the wait. An A-player is someone who brings all of the necessary qualifications to the table – perhaps more than you were expecting – and that something extra as a human being. Of course, that isn’t always readily apparent during a 45-minute interview; it can take time to see the true colors of a talented individual to come through.
This speaks to the importance of having an intuitive hiring manager, “which may be a small business’s CEO,” Witty adds. Also, it’s important to have A-players who put the team first. Egomaniacs who cannot collaborate can grind productivity to a screeching halt.
Prioritize recruiting the most fitting people for the position and organization. The wrong person costs your company.  It’s much better to have an empty spot than the wrong person lurking around your office.


2) Recognize the importance of having fun. “Having fun not only helps your team do well, it’s a sign that you’re doing things right,” Witty says. “Where fun and work meet is the understanding from employees that they’re making a difference. You want a team of individuals who are motivated by the ‘why’ of what they do.” Fun at work means having energy and enthusiasm while tending to the tasks at hand.


3) Make employees and clients your extended family. A family environment significantly facilitates a team mentality, especially for those quiet geniuses who like to keep to themselves because they’re shy. But why stop there? Extend the love to clients, suppliers and other crucial components of the business. Without these folks, your business couldn’t survive.


4) Commit to lifelong learning. Seek to uncover and promote the leader in every one on your team by encouraging all members to follow a path of personal and professional development. With increased knowledge, experiences and skills, people lead to a more fulfilled life, which can profit everyone within a working environment.


5) Utilize the trouble makers. Which members of your team are scrappy upstarts? Start using their talents to consider new solutions to the same old problems, instead of trying to make them fit into the typical team dynamic. According to author Witty, “Our team members are driven by the ‘why’ of what we do. The right content in the right person’s hands at the right time can change the world forever. We believe in sharing stories, passion and knowledge to guide and help others learn and grow.”

We are coming to a city near you! Join us for a COMPLIMENTARY 1/2 day workshop and get the latest workplace data on building cohesive teams. See you there!



Reserve Your Spot


Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. With over 20 years of experience in employee develoment, we know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.

Posted by & filed under Communication.

The One Skill That Improves Your Personal Effectiveness“The ability to make a person feel that, when you’re with that person, he or she is the most important (and the only) person in the room is the skill that separates the great from the near-great.” ~Marshall Goldsmith

Can you make people feel that they are the only one who matters? This is the skill that defines some of the most successful interviewers, such as Oprah Winfrey, Katie Couric and Diane Sawyer. Bill Clinton also has this ability. He makes a point of knowing or learning something positive about the people he communicates with, and letting them know that he recognizes it.



Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!


What is at the core of this kind of intentional listening? FOCUS. People tend to lose focus when listening to others. Eyes dart around the room, thoughts of your next meeting or the next thing you want to say are edging in. Here is an exercise to help you increase focus. Close your eyes. Start counting to 50, and only concentrate on counting. If your mind wanders, bring it back to counting. You may be surprised that many people are unable to do this. Use this exercise as a way to improve your ability to concentrate in your everyday communications. Once you can  count to 50 without interrupting yourself, then you’re ready for a test drive. Here is a core listening list, compliments of Marshall Goldsmith:

  • Listen, don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t finish the other person’s sentences.
  • Don’t say “I knew that.”
  • Don’t even agree with the other person (even if he praises you, just say, “Thank you”).
  • Don’t use the wordsthe words “no,” “but,” and “however.”
  • Don’t be distracted. Don’t let your eyes or attention wanter elsewhere while the other person is talking.
  • Maintain your end of the dialogue by asking intelligent questions that (a) show you’re paying attention, (b) move the conversation forward, and (c) require the other person to talk (while you listen).

Eliminate any striving to impress the other person with how smart or funny you are Your only aim is to let the other person feel that he or she is accomplishing that. In the words of Marshall Goldsmith, “The more you subsume your desire to shine, the more you will shine in the other person’s eyes.

Effective listening skills are one of the cornerstones in personal effectiveness. After many years and countless clients and colleagues who have improved their careers (and lives) from our Increasing Personal Effectiveness program, we have found that true, sincere, active listening skills are key to success.

Listen for collaboration.
Solve problems by asking questions.
Create self-growth through listening to constructive feedback.

The 5 Flaws of Listening

  1. Giving advice
  2. Defensiveness
  3. Interrupting
  4. One-upmanship
  5. Telling others how to feel

WARNING
Active listening is not about developing newfound charm!  Make it purposeful, sincere, and focused on making the other person feel recognized and understood. You already know how to do this, because you do it on those special occasions, like a first date, an interview, or meeting someone you admire for the first time. Now remember to do it all the time.



Impact Performance Now


“Successful people become great leaders when they learn to shift the focus from themselves to others.”  ~Marshall Goldsmith

Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. We know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.

Posted by & filed under Conflict.

6 Benefits of Conflict & Leveraging it for Personal EffectivenessConflict can be uncomfortable and is generally viewed as a negative in business and in life. Most people fear it and try to avoid it by being agreeable, by going along to get along. There is, however, a cost to that kind of harmony. An environment totally free of conflict is static. In the same way that friction creates heat and, properly managed, can ignite a fire, conflicting ideas and goals, properly channeled, can spark innovation.



Impact Performance Now


In a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) Blog Post Liane Davey says, “Teams need conflict to function effectively. Conflict allows the team to come to terms with difficult situations, to synthesize diverse perspectives, and to make sure solutions are well thought-out.”

Ron Ashkenas and Lisa Bodell add their voices in favor of what they term constructive conflict in their recent HBR article Nice Managers Embrace Conflict, Too with this bit of wisdom: “When people hesitate to speak up about poor practices or processes that don’t make sense, it creates a significant amount of unnecessary complexity and fosters a passive acceptance of the status quo.”

What is it about conflict that people fear? They fear its power, its ability to stir intense emotions such as anger, hostility, and defensiveness. But that same power, used positively, can excite creativity. It can energize and motivate.

Because of its negative aspect, societies have devised constructs to more safely use conflict or controversy in positive ways. Governments employ formal debate by opposing parties. Jesters, using comedy, physical antics, and music, had the ability to speak the truth to kings and noblemen in relative safety. In our own society, comedians, artists, and writers often fill that role, encouraging divergent perspectives by illuminating, exaggerating, and reflecting society back to itself.

In working with teams on projects, constructive conflict can be a useful and powerful tool, especially once a few strong directions for a project or solutions for a problem have been identified. It is just as important to know, and be able to address, the downsides of a solution, as its upsides. Knowing what ways your new product fails to satisfy some consumer needs will open up discussion for improvements. Brainstorming sessions where dissent and debate are encouraged can inspire a multitude of creative ideas.

If respectful dissent doesn’t come naturally to your team, you can encourage it by dividing the team into small groups and assigning each group to either defend an idea, or advocate against it. Ask each group to gather as much evidence as possible supporting the position that they represent, and be prepared to  present and defend their position at the next team meeting.

Since there is no question that conflict can be destructive, it is imperative to cultivate constructive conflict within your team with written guidelines to remind them to:

Participate;
Listen to everyone’s ideas whether or not they agree;
Be critical of ideas, not people;
Focus on coming to the best decision, not necessarily the decision they initially endorse;
Be willing to change their mind;
And remember: The perfect can be the enemy of the good.
Recent research* has shown that healthy conflict has the potential to deliver significant benefits, such as:

Focus the attention of all participants on the project or problem being considered;

  • Energize the team members to seek new information;
  • Motivate participants to continue to think about the project outside the working sessions;
  • Produce higher levels of creativity and divergent thinking;
  • Improve participants’ open-mindedness, their ability to view problems from different perspectives; and
  • Strengthen working relationships.
  • Encourage respectful dissent on your next project to energize your team, challenge assumptions, and spark creativity.



Learn More Now



Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov

Posted by & filed under Career Development.

6 Actions to Increase Team EffectivenessLeaders often can’t help but step up and become the point person on the latest initiative. They bravely plow through the big challenge and thrive on personal career success. But hold the phone! Significant research has shown that groups make better decisions than individuals, that there is wisdom in crowds. So instead of taking the reigns, use your energy to form useful and well-run teams, and you’ll find that strides are made more quickly and efficiently than you could do it on your own. Your role as a leader includes 3 main tasks.

1. Challenge the status quo. Make it your priority to consistently expose your team to disruptive ideas. Give them new people and perspectives as often as possible. This will keep them thinking of the bigger picture and not accepting the status quo solutions that other teams have been coming up with for years.

2. Questions are king. Don’t over simply. Keep asking questions! This will ensure that your team is able to address complex, challenging tasks.

3. Build relationships and trust. As Patrick Lencioni, New York Times best-selling author has shown us, one of the core behaviors of a successful teams is a relationship based on trust. This means you have fostered a relationship that allows people to speak up, instigate conflict, and openly solve problems together, without fear of reprisal.

Short List for Developing Trust
While not many of us will come across the same conflicts that member so the US Armed Forces handle, the army has a powerful process for developing trust.  Ask these questions, compliments of Harvard Business Review, to facilitate trust building in your organization:

  • Do I place trust in my employees as a prerequisite to earning theirs?
  • What are my organization/profession’s shared values and culture?
  • Have these values been articulated within the organization to the point they are internalized and go without saying?
  • How much do I know about my employees and their families and how well do they know me?
  • What experiences can I offer to increase cooperation and familiarity in ways that are appropriate and rewarding?
  • And last but certainly not least, does my personal competence inspire trust in my subordinates?

Now it’s time to put thes concepts to work.Is Teamwork is Over-Rated?

JOIN US IN YOUR CITY THIS SUMMMER FOR A COMPLIMENTARY SEMINAR!



Reserve Your Spot


You may have already learned that Patrick Lencioni’s words of wisdom from his New York Times Best-Selling book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team have recently been made into a watershed program for building cohesive teams. If you aren’t familiar with Patrick Lencioni, here is a quick video:

The main concepts of The 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team have already gone to work for many organizations. As a mission-driven company, the EDSI team is very excited about the ideas and skills that this program provides.

As a matter of fact, we’re so excited about it that we’re traveling to 11 cities this summer, and providing a complimentary 1/2 day seminar to our colleagues and clients. EDSI is covering the cost, so attendees are able to concentrate on the takeaways. (We’re also serving a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch.)

Finding ways to build confidence in people who only have to look as far as the daily news to find numerous reasons why not to trust may be challenging, but ultimately well worth the effort.



Learn More




Reserve Your Spot


Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. We know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.

Posted by & filed under Communication.

In one way or another all of EDSI’s programs deal with the ability to complete what you have started. This could be related to professional presence, personal effectiveness, or performance management, but they all touch on making sure you are able to consistently follow through on your commitments. We don’t usually think about this, but there are concrete steps to completing the projects you have started, which will lead to completing your career and personal goals, and helping you create your ideal career!

Read and internalize these steps. Believe us, they have worked for thousands of our program participants over the years, and we’re confident that they’ll work for you, too.

  • The 5 C’s of Completing Anything
    Clarity
    Concreteness
    Commitment
    Concentration
    Celebration

Clarity
If you don’t have a very clear idea of what you are doing and why, then your project is unlikely to be completed, at least not to your satisfaction. The famous Covey example comes to mind here. If you are leaning your ladder against the wrong building, it doesn’t matter if you climb fast, you’re still going to the wrong place.  This is the same as when you are lost and start to drive faster. Of course, you’ll only get more lost, more quickly! Without clarity, starting, following through (and most of all) completing anything at all will be drudgery.
Clarity is knowing generally what needs to be done, whereas concreteness is knowing specifically what needs to be done. What are the exact steps needed to get this done? Many people shy away from this step, because they’re concerned that once they acknowledge all the steps, the project will just become overwhelming, and seem less likely to succeed. Not so! If you have all the steps in mind, you are free to start on some part of your challenge, every day. A to-do list also will keep you going on those days when your energy is waning. You can just go to the list and at least do SOMETHING to help you accomplish your goal, even if you are having a tough week.

Concreteness
Concreteness is the tie that binds your clarity and concreteness together. It is what gives you the ability to move ahead. Let’s face it, without resolve, you’re not likely to get to the end of your project with a satisfying result.

Commitment
Do you fill your to-do list with lack of commitment? Seriously, we all do, at one time or another. You may be filling your daily list with things you should do. The successful list includes only those things that you are truly committed to accomplishing. Otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure, and starting tomorrow with a sense of feeling behind.

Concentration
Do you flit around from email to website to project? Does your morning fly by and you wonder what you’ve been doing for the last four hours? Most people around you are doing the same thing. Here is your chance to rise above the fray. Learn to “batch” your day. Commit to concentrating on one project for 45 -90 minutes at a time, and don’t let yourself check email or answer a phone call. It will drastically impact your personal effectiveness, both at work and home.

Celebration
Remember, when you have clarity surrounding your goals, every single thing you do is getting you closer to your destination. So celebrate! This will give you the energy and boost you need to address tomorrow’s work with the same clarity, concreteness, commitment, and concentration that you did today!

Finally, what do you need to quit?
This is not part of the 5 Cs of completion, but choosing NOT to do something means that you are putting more energy behind the work and the service to others that is really yours to do. It’s okay to quit something that you shouldn’t have been spending time on in the first place. It may be an indicator of your increased clarity. Some things just fall off the list naturally when you are focused on the work you really want and need to do.

Posted by & filed under Communication.

Ready to learn more? Here is a roundup of our most popular performance management articles.

Emergency Intervention for Performance Management

Dear Suzanne,
I  manage employees for a law firm in San Antonio. I know that star employees who leave an organization are often leaving the manager not the job itself. Recently I have had a few  resign, so I can’t help but ask myself if they are leaving because of my management style. If you had to make a short list for an emergency intervention of performance management, what would it be? Find out…



Impact Performance Now


Are 80% of YOUR Employees Dissatisfied, Too?
According to Deloitte’s Shift Index survey, as much as 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs. As if that isn’t bad enough, now consider what percentage of leaders are likely dissatisfied.

With that in mind, you can imagine that with the unique and extreme challenges leaders have had to face over the last few years, they are probably just as dissatisfied as the people they are managing. With most employees (and likely their leaders) languishing in a pit of job dissatisfaction, organizations need to make sure employee outlook stops raining on the success of the organization.  Read more…

Increase Personal Effectiveness in Every Setting!

One of the most important elements of communication is clarity. If you are communicating to manage performance you must be able to convey clear performance expectations to your team. But not only is this simple directive more difficult than it sounds, the difficulty is often exacerbated by the depth of your knowledge of the information to be disseminated. The fact is, the more you know about a subject the harder it can be to communicate that knowledge to others. Here’s how to get started.

Are You Considered a “Good” Boss?

Think about the best manager that you’ve ever had. What put him or her into that category for you? Undoubtedly, your performance was enhanced while you were working with that manager. Now think about your own team members. Do you think you fall into the “Good Boss” category for them? If you aren’t sure, here are some things you can do to help yourself get voted into the “Good Boss” category with your team and grow your organization.

I’ve got increasingly more pressure to increase productivity in my department, so I hope you can help me out.

When I give feedback to my team, I usually experience resentment and even an effort by the employee to slow play the changes. -At least that’s how it feels on my end. What am I doing wrong? As the manager, it’s up to me to give direction, but I have a gaggle of unruly geese to control, and it’s not working.



Increase Your Personal Effectiveness!


Improve Clarity in Your Communication to Increase Effectiveness!

The average manager spends 30 to 40% of a typical workday giving information to others— in face-to-face interactions, in writing, via the telephone, or through e-mail and other electronic media. Despite this emphasis on conveying information, breakdowns continue to be one of the greatest sources of problems in the workplace. Most managers have never been trained in how to explain things clearly, simply, and effectively. Yet the command of the spoken and written word plays an extremely important part in their success. Here’s how to increase clarity.

 

Posted by & filed under Career Development.

You may have already learned that Patrick Lencioni’s words of wisdom from his New York Times Best-Selling book, The 5 Dysfunctions of a Team have recently been made into a watershed program for building cohesive teams. If you aren’t familiar with Patrick Lencioni, here is a quick video:
The main concepts of The 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team have already gone to work for many organizations. As a mission-driven company, the EDSI team is very excited about the ideas and skills that this program provides.

As a matter of fact, we’re so excited about it that we’re traveling to 11 cities this summer, and providing a complimentary 1/2 day seminar to our colleagues and clients. EDSI is covering the cost, so attendees are able to concentrate on the takeaways. (We’re also serving a complimentary continental breakfast and lunch.)



Learn More


  OR



Reserve Your Spot


5 Habits of a Cohesive Team

We hope to see you there! If you have any questions about these events that are not answered here, please contact us at info@EDSIUSA.com or give us a call: 800.282.3374

Posted by & filed under Accountability, Communication.

The Huffington Post recently highlighted the necessity of team cohesiveness, which dovetails with the EDSI 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, a new watershed program based on the work of New York Times best selling author, Patrick Lencioni. EDSI believes so strongly in the power of a cohesive team that we are traveling to over 11 cities this summer, providing a 1/2 day COMPLIMENTARY program (with free continental breakfast and lunch, too!), and we invite our clients and colleagues to reserve their spot now before they’re all taken.

Creating an impactful team is a function of personal effectiveness, professional presence, and other skills.

As a matter of fact, we are coming to 11 cities this summer to provide a 1/2 day COMPLIMENTARY program for our colleagues and clients. It includes complimentary continental breakfast and lunch, and we are looking forward to sharing Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, the latest workplace data, and a 1/2 day of personal development for you! 



Reserve Your Spot


Be Missi0n-Driven. At Employee Development Systems, Inc., we are solidly mission-driven, and credit the strong connection we have to our mission as the key component in our success. What is your mission? How about your organization’s mission? Are they aligned?

Diversify experience set and behavioral style. You may think that gathering a group of all like-minded people will make the best team, but you will find that a diverse group (both in skills and work styles) will render the newest, most ambitious results. It helps people to get out of their typical styles and away from the people they are most used to working with.

Identify natural roles. Use a simple behavioral or workstyle assessment such as the DiSC or DiSC Profiles to broach the subject of work and behavioral styles, and help the team realize how important they are in this setting.

Utilize individual strengths. Determine the strengths of each team member and assign them to specific tasks based on their strengths. Delegating based on strengths is the best way for the group to accomplish its goals. Be clear about what each member is responsible for and hold them accountable.

Communicate effectively. A team cannot be cohesive if communication is ineffective. Make sure to methods of communication are consistent. Clearly explain the team’s instructions and goals. Make sure all messages are constructed for the benefit of the team.

Keep the feedback loop going. Give regular, consistent feedback, both on the good and not so good aspects of performance. This should be a combination of individual feedback and for the team as a whole. Explain what worked well, what didn’t, and the results of their project. Constructive feedback will make for a more cohesive team during the next project.

Acknowledge successes. Acknowledge and celebrate successes along the way. Leverage those high energy moments to recalibrate the team for its next challenge, so they are all ready to go on the next step or level in the grand mission.

*Source: Huffington Post



Learn More Now


7 Traits of Effective Teams (courtesy of Troy University) What a Cohesive Team Will Do for You & Your Team

Effective leaders ensure that:

  •  Team members understand and share their leader’s vision.
  •   Group members respect and ideally like one another.
  •  Individuals derive satisfaction from being a member of the team.
  •  Communication is open and all members are encouraged to participate in discussions and, where possible, decision making.
  • The group has a sense of team pride.
  •  There is little conflict on the team, and when conflict occurs, it is handled using constructive problem-solving techniques.
  • Group members are encouraged to cooperate with each other.
  • Group decision-making and problem-solving is commonly practiced.
  • The group learns to work together in a relaxed fashion.
  • Team recognition and credit for a good job is freely given.
  • Team members understand and share goals, objectives and mission.

Thank you to Troy University for their team leadership tips.

 

 

Posted by & filed under Conflict Resolution.

Conflict can be uncomfortable and is generally viewed as a negative in business and in life. Most people fear it and try to avoid it by being agreeable, by going along to get along. There is, however, a cost to that kind of harmony. An environment totally free of conflict is static. In the same way that friction creates heat and, properly managed, can ignite a fire, conflicting ideas and goals, properly channeled, can spark innovation.

In a recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) Blog Post Liane Davey says, “Teams need conflict to function effectively. Conflict allows the team to come to terms with difficult situations, to synthesize diverse perspectives, and to make sure solutions are well thought-out.”

Ron Ashkenas and Lisa Bodell add their voices in favor of what they term constructive conflict in their recent HBR article Nice Managers Embrace Conflict, Too with this bit of wisdom: “When people hesitate to speak up about poor practices or processes that don’t make sense, it creates a significant amount of unnecessary complexity and fosters a passive acceptance of the status quo.”

What is it about conflict that people fear? They fear its power, its ability to stir intense emotions such as anger, hostility, and defensiveness. But that same power, used positively, can excite creativity. It can energize and motivate.

Because of its negative aspect, societies have devised constructs to more safely use conflict or controversy in positive ways. Governments employ formal debate by opposing parties. Jesters, using comedy, physical antics, and music, had the ability to speak the truth to kings and noblemen in relative safety. In our own society, comedians, artists, and writers often fill that role, encouraging divergent perspectives by illuminating, exaggerating, and reflecting society back to itself.

In working with teams on projects, constructive conflict can be a useful and powerful tool, especially once a few strong directions for a project or solutions for a problem have been identified. It is just as important to know, and be able to address, the downsides of a solution, as its upsides. Knowing what ways your new product fails to satisfy some consumer needs will open up discussion for improvements. Brainstorming sessions where dissent and debate are encouraged can inspire a multitude of creative ideas.



Reserve Your Spot


 (Meet us this summer for a COMPLIMENTARY program in your city to learn how cohesive teams are built!)

If respectful dissent doesn’t come naturally to your team, you can encourage it by dividing the team into small groups and assigning each group to either defend an idea, or advocate against it. Ask each group to gather as much evidence as possible supporting the position that they represent, and be prepared to  present and defend their position at the next team meeting.

Since there is no question that conflict can be destructive, it is imperative to cultivate constructive conflict within your team with written guidelines to remind them to:

  • Participate;
  • Listen to everyone’s ideas whether or not they agree;
  • Be critical of ideas, not people;
  • Focus on coming to the best decision, not necessarily the decision they initially endorse;
  • Be willing to change their mind;
  • And remember: The perfect can be the enemy of the good.


Learn More Now



Recent research* has shown that healthy conflict has the potential to deliver significant benefits, such as:

  1. Focus the attention of all participants on the project or problem being considered;
  2. Energize the team members to seek new information;
  3. Motivate participants to continue to think about the project outside the working sessions;
  4. Produce higher levels of creativity and divergent thinking;
  5. Improve participants’ open-mindedness, their ability to view problems from different perspectives; and
  6. Strengthen working relationships.

Encourage respectful dissent on your next project to energize your team, challenge assumptions, and spark creativity.

 

Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”

Isaac Asimov

* http://edr.sagepub.com/content/38/1/37.full

 

Posted by & filed under Career Development.

The past six years has been a period of a very sluggish economy and frighteningly high unemployment. Everyone knows someone who has been out of work for a long time or who is under-employed. The reality of these times has led to people staying put, keeping whatever job they’re in regardless of their aptitude for it, and hesitating to “rock the boat” in any way. As of result, many of us work in departments or entire companies that are stuck in a rut.

If you are surrounded by people who are sharing the same atmosphere of unchanging behavior and routine, you might be in quite a deep trough without realizing it. Take time to take stock. If you’re bored or on auto-pilot at work, or feeling like you’re spinning your wheels and not getting anywhere within the company, your department, or your career, it’s likely you’re in a rut. If you’re not having fun anymore, or don’t seem to have any ideas on how to contribute something new and of value to your company or department, you’re in a rut.

You can’t see much from down there in a gulley. But how to get to higher ground?



Impact Performance Now


You may have fallen into this funk because of outside forces that are beyond your control, but once you recognize that your work-life has become humdrum, you have the power to change your mindset and so your situation. The first step upward is to realize that the solution isn’t likely to be provided by anyone or any event outside yourself. The ability to climb out of your rut lies within you. This essential bit of wisdom has been around awhile:

“Let him who would move the world first move himself.”
― Socrates

So how do you move yourself? Ruts come about because of a pervasive resistance to change. The stairway out of a rut is created by increasing your personal effectiveness, shaking things up a bit—seeking change. Once you’ve made the decision to help yourself put the following 4 suggestions to use to lift your mood and maybe even to lift the mood of those around you.

1. Reach out to different people. For your next project, choose 1 or 2 people you haven’t worked with to be on your team, or volunteer to work on a team that has some people you haven’t yet worked with. When mulling over an idea, stop by a different co-worker’s cubicle or desk to brainstorm or ask someone new to lunch.

Make an effort to get to know people in other departments. They will have a different view of your company. Their perspective will help you to see your own work in a new way.

2. Do things differently. Give yourself the opportunity to learn and grow by volunteering for a new responsibility, especially if it is a challenge. If that isn’t possible, then take a fresh look at your current responsibilities with an eye toward improving the way you now do things. Review and rewrite a template that you use for reports or for answering queries, update your method of filing paper or digital material, or reorganize your work area to make it more efficient.

3. Change your schedule. Switch routine morning tasks with those you do in the afternoon. Switch lunch times with someone else. Take a day off, or take a vacation. Nothing reinvigorates like a change of scene. If you have a choice, don’t work overtime, instead go home and enjoy your family or some favorite pastime. Creative ideas come when the mind is relaxed and free to imagine.

4. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get plenty of sleep. Always take a break for lunch and, if possible, walk to and from lunch. Take the stairs. Walk over to a co-worker’s desk instead of asking a question by email or phone. Stand up to file or pace when talking on the phone. Take correspondence to the mailroom. In other words get out of your chair—move!

These simple changes can make a surprising difference in your personal effectiveness at work and, as a result, in your sense of professional fulfillment and enjoyment. Learn more with our course, Increasing Personal Effectiveness, and give yourself the skills to avoid future ruts and move on to a more satisfying and successful career.

YOU ARE INVITED:

EDSI is going on an 11-city tour this summer (2014). We are giving a complementary 1/2 day program based on Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Behaviors of a Cohesive Team. We invite you to join us!

Click below to learn more and reserve your spot.



Reserve Your Spot

 

Employee Development Systems (EDSI) is a mission-driven company. We know that we can increase engagement, impact, and productivity with our hallmark programs. We invite you to learn more about our programs and connect with us.