...work, we know, is both a burden and a need, both a curse and a blessing... remind yourself that there are other ways to define yourself besides work.
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“The problem with communication is the illusion that it has been accomplished.” George Bernard Shaw
We say something, we write something, and we think that because we clearly communicated our thoughts and feelings that the other person has understood us.
The only way you can know if you communicated successfully is by observing, and then interpreting the response.
If you don’t get a response that indicates understanding, your communication was faulty, or your interpretation of their response was faulty.
This might not be true in every case, but it’s a useful premise. Acting as if it is true means taking responsibility. You cannot ‘blame’ someone else for your communication failing.
Here are 12 premises, including this one about communication, that may not be true, but are useful as working beliefs for a better life.
I was watching the last leaves fall from a tree in my garden today, floating orange in the late autumn sunlight.
It got me thinking about the seasons of change and how our own lives can go through cycles.
What cycle is your life in right now? Growth? Sameness? Slowing down? Time for a change? Stuck? Ready to flower?
How would you describe it?
What things do you regularly do, or not do, that if you changed them now would make a positive difference as you enter a new decade in a few weeks’ time?
It’s worth thinking about!
In 2008, Google did an internal study on what behaviours make a great manager. They identified eight.
Last year they updated and extended this study, called Project Oxygen, and added two more behaviours.
Here is the updated list…
Is a good coach Empowers team and does not micromanage Creates an inclusive team environment, showing concern for success and well-being Is productive and results-oriented Is a good communicator – listens and shares information Supports career development and discusses performance Has a clear vision/strategy for the team Has key technical skills to help advise the team Collaborates across Google Is a strong decision maker How would you notice each of these behaviours? In other words, what exactly would you observe that meant the behaviour is present?
If you are a manager, how well do you think you would score or, more importantly, how well would your team score you?
Here is a link to more information, including the surveys they used.
You’re a manager and you want change.
Ask, “Do I want people to do different things or do things differently?”
In other words, do I want people to change WHAT they do, or HOW they do what they already do?
Now, hallucinate the future when the change is done. What would you notice about their behaviour that is different? Define the gap between their current behaviour and their ideal future behaviour. Get really clear about what you want, and the gap, so you can describe it easily. Write it down!
What’s stopping them right now from crossing the gap and doing the desired behaviours?
What are the barriers getting in the way?
Here’s a radical thought.
And you might like these tips on finding out the real drivers of the desire to change.
Last time I looked, work was a part of life, so maybe we should be talking about work vs non-work balance?
Whatever we call this balance, why do we want it?
And why do we blame work when our lives feel out of balance?
For many people, work seems to detract from the balance we are chasing which, to me, is a quality of aliveness and satisfaction that makes me feel like I am thriving in my day to day life.
How would you define this ‘balanced’ state for you?
If we end up working a lot to provide for ourselves and others, we say our life is out of balance and we beat ourselves up about it.
What if that work was nurturing and you thrived doing it?
Is that OK/not OK?
And if your work does not make you feel alive, what can you change about your work, and more importantly, about how you approach and think of your work?
"Networking is to be likened to a season ticket, not a day pass." - Alan MacKelworth, AMaC Ltd
Whether you come to this section out of pressure or sufferance or hopefully wanting to hone your results, you will find a lot of very useful and practical advice. You go for it and enjoy...
Paul Matthews writes a practical tip every Monday. Short, sharp and immediately useful and practical, each tip will give you something specific you can focus on during the week to improve and master your skills and abilities.