If I gave you a magic wand and granted you one wish to use to improve morale at your workplace, what would that wish be?
What Are You Visualizing, and What Does It Say About You?
It has been said that everything important, including every great company, begins with a single idea in someone’s mind. A simple vision of what is possible is affirmed, nurtured and supported until it becomes reality.
For individuals seeking to set a new or improved course for their life, visualization can be used as a way to embrace this new “picture” of the future. Affirmation of this new vision is a way in which we can move out of our comfort zone to adopt the new vision and establish behaviors that will support it. Engagement depends upon our ability to envision what is possible and commit to achieve it.
As we move through life, we gather thoughts and perceptions based on past experience. We may not realize they are there, until our beliefs are challenged or we find they are limiting to us in some way. At this point, we have the opportunity to visualize what is most important, and reconsider our beliefs and experiences.
This can be difficult, because without a special effort on our part, these perceptions can shape the way we look at the past, live in the present, and plan for the future. They can become like a “movie” we replay in our mind over and over again, and which seems comfortable and familiar.
Those of you who have children know we start enjoying movies, and playing them over and over, at an early age! Children can watch movies tirelessly, memorizing their favorite stories, dialog, and songs, enjoying them no matter how many times they have seen them. Often, these movies are hopeful and inspiring!
When we create our own “life movie” it is important to think about the theme we want to create, and what is most important to us. We want to focus on the happy ending we seek. Like the child, if unchecked, we will memorize that movie and use it as a filter in our own world. If you don’t believe it, consider the conversations around you! How often do people tell stories again and again about something that happened in the past, allow them to influence behavior and relationships in the present, and cling to them in considering the future..
As you become conscious of what you will allow in your movie, the same process that may have restricted you, will now work in your favor. As you become more engaged with this new vision, you will watch it again and again! It will provide a positive way to consider what is possible, and to learn from what happens along the way. It will become natural to you to look for those things that will support this vision. You will, as the saying goes, “become the change you seek in the world.”
Napoleon Hill described the importance of being purposeful about your vision by saying,
“… imagination is the most marvelous, miraculous, inconceivably powerful force the world has ever known.”
How will you inspire yourself and others with imagination? Here are some thoughts as you begin:
- Create a plan for your life that will help you identify your vision, goals and purpose, and to pursue them.
- Consider the people and events most important to your vision.
- Find comfort in the memories, relationships and resources that inspire you.
- Value the physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial assets that will be important to your vision.
- Create structure, allow for the unexpected, and remember that Rome was not built in a day!
- Congratulate yourself for success.
- Remember that failure is part of success.
- Revise your plan when needed – this is a process of discovery!
Just as a good chef carefully prepares all aspects of a meal before plating each dish, successful HR professionals carefully map out every aspect of a task before executing it. In fact, HR professionals are probably some of the most well-prepared individuals in an organization—or at least they should be.
While thorough preparation is undoubtedly stressed in most professions, HR veterans have learned the value of being able to “expect the unexpected.” HR professionals know that all tasks require preparation. That’s true regardless of whether you are implementing an unfamiliar system, conducting a routine meeting with an employee, or pitching a new idea to senior management.
Although every situation requires specific preparation, here are some universal tips to keep in mind when approaching a task:
(1) Know the background. Being the most knowledgeable person in the room never hurts, but that is not always possible. Get as much background information as possible so you will understand the story behind the situation. Walking into a meeting without understanding why the meeting is necessary in the first place is not just uncomfortable, it is also irresponsible. Always take the time to research events leading up to a meeting, especially if you are a latecomer to the situation. Do not hesitate to reach out to other employees for a rundown of the situation. Keep in mind, however, that everyone has a different perspective, so it is a good idea to check several sources.
(2) Organize the evidence. Organization and preparation go hand in hand. When doing your prep work, make sure you stay organized so you can use those hours of preparation effectively. For example, if you spend hours investigating and preparing a response to a grievance, sitting down and writing the response will be much easier if you take the time to organize your notes into meaningful categories.
(3) Anticipate possible counterarguments and reactions. It is absolutely critical to anticipate push back from others. Sometimes laser focus on a matter prevents us from taking a step back and evaluating other perspectives. A lack of preparation will be noticed immediately when you are unable to effectively manage adverse reactions or counterarguments. For example, during a termination meeting with an employee, don’t take any chances. Hope for an amicable conversation, but prepare for the worst.
(4) Develop a Plan B. Being fully prepared means that you have already thought through a Plan B. Most of us have experienced situations in which our original concepts either didn’t pan out or were not accepted by senior management. Ideally, you should come prepared with several alternatives, but you certainly should have a solid Plan B. If you end up needing a Plan B, you will be very thankful you prepared one in advance.
The better prepared you are to tackle a challenge, the more successful the outcome will be. Your preparation (and resulting success) will not go unnoticed. Developing preparation skills will enhance your reputation as a reliable “go-to” person in your department and organization. Being a “go-to” person will allow you to know that you are valued by others and that you bring value to your organization. As an HR professional, it is your job to be an expert. Make sure you are prepared.
Originally Published in Words on Wise
Guest Columnist: Cassandra Lewis
According to Harvard and The Energy Project people that are able to focus on one task at a time are 50% more engaged. What this means is that those people were more involved with and passionate about their work.
The same holds true for Innovation. Those individuals who can focus on one task at a time tend to be more innovative. The big question is why?
The answer is simple. Innovation takes time. In order to create something new or change a process in a meaningful way it takes time.
When we innovate we need to play with ideas and concepts, define a future state, test new processes, and more. People innovate when they have the time and space to engage in those efforts.
We also lose time when we take on too much and multi-task. Study after study comes back with the same answer:
- People that multi-task actually lose productive time and the quality of their work decreases.
So in order to truly say yes to an idea we have to say no to others. How are you creating time in space in your organization for people to innovate? How are you creating the time and space for you to innovate?
What’s standing in the way of our running a successful enterprise?
Executives from all over the world were asked to choose the top two obstacles to building a workforce that meets their future business needs. The two biggest obstacles identified were:
- Employee longevity or loyalty
- Adequate leadership
Source: Oxford Economics’ Workforce 2020: The looming Talent Crisis 2014
When you compare that with following Career Builder statistic:
- Only 34% of U.S. workers aspire to leadership positions, with 7% aiming for senior or C-level management.
We have a challenging recipe. But when you add-on that several studies that state people will switch jobs over 10 times by the time they reach 30 we are really underwater.
What do you think we can do to address this issue?
If only 34% of U.S. workers aspire to leadership positions, with 7% aiming for senior or C-level management what will that mean for our leadership bench strength? share your thoughts and ideas.
That may be the case if you feel like your ideas better than everyone else’s.
- When you ask for ideas and help do you share your ideas? Do you share them first?
- Do you like to use your ideas and not anyone else’s?
How can you get people to be creative and collaborate when they have to make you happy in the process? What employee will share their ideas when their boss has already told them what they wanted?
Leaders need to hold back their ideas when collaborating with their people. A leader’s job is to define the problem that needs to be solved or the opportunity that lies ahead and then ask for help. Leaders should encourage open transparent idea sharing. Once people share ideas a leader should provide feedback about the idea they would like to pursue. Specifically a leader should share the positive aspects of the idea and then share the aspects of the idea that are disadvantages. Once a leader is finished their next responsibility is to ask their people for ways to alter the idea in order to keep the positives and reduce or remove the negatives. By approaching innovation and problem solving in this manner a leader can create collaboration and strengthen their team’s analytical and creativity skills.
If after following this process you still have not made progress then you as the leader can share your ideas. However it is best if you build off of your team’s ideas. The key is to gain real buy-in from your people. It is better to move forward with an average idea that has full support and proper execution rather than a great idea with little support and haphazard execution.
In the end each of us as leaders must ask ourselves…
Would we rather be right or get something done?