For many years, career development in the US was based on working on correcting weaknesses. This is best captured in the popular phrase: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” We have seen a big shift in recent years towards a much more productive approach to career development, which focuses on using and improving strengths. This does not occur at the expense of working on areas that need to be developed. Rather, it is a focus on using strengths to “cross-train” areas of challenge/weakness.
Just what is engagement?
According to the highly regarded HR consulting firm BlessingWhite, employee engagement reflects the combination of two elements:
- The employee’s contribution to the company’s success and the employee’s personal satisfaction in their role.
It would be easy to report here on the somewhat low levels of engagement in the workplace today, along with the high levels of stress and other negative elements. Let’s look instead at engagement as a path to greater understanding of your work, and define some ways for you to increase your engagement, if you think you need to. Engagement is important to both you and your employer, as your success and theirs highly depends on it.
What is conflict?
Here we are defining conflict as simply: “Times when people’s concerns appear to be incompatible.” This does not mean that we are about to start swinging; just that we have differences in those things that we think are important to us.
Understanding your personality can improve workplace interactions
Have you ever wondered why we can talk easily with some people and not with others?
In this article, we’ll look at one measure that can be very helpful: understanding your preference for extroversion or introversion and how this impacts your discussions and interactions with others.
We find ourselves in the company of others in many areas: work, relationships, hobbies, social events and politics. Most of the time we adapt to the situation and get along, except for politics. This newsletter will describe a powerful and useful way to improve how you get along with others at work.
In my previous newsletter I mentioned values as being an important part of work. This newsletter expands on that idea and gives you an exercise to clarify your own values as they relate to your work.
Expressing feelings, including negative emotions, is a big part of the human emotional experience. But, we avoid negative emotions …for four basic, and very intuitive reasons:
- They are unpleasant
- They represent getting stuck in a rut
- They are associated with a loss of personal control
- They are perceived (generally correctly!) as having social costs.
That said, we can and do want to deal with these emotions in effective ways. All emotions, positive and negative, can be seen as information for us. (Kashdan & Biswas-Diener, 2014)
Of the many management theories and practices that have been introduced in recent years, none is as widespread as the team model. This model brings significant efficiency when understood and used properly.
One of the most effective and rapid measures of job satisfaction, and its impact on your life, is whether or not you are using your strengths. You can look at this as: “The genie doesn’t like to stay in the bottle.”
Surviving in your organization
First and foremost, every organization, regardless of its mission or industry, has some sort of politics that functions as an inhibitor of certain behaviors and a reward for others. While politics can sometimes contribute to efficiency, we generally focus on the negative aspects, as these can have a great impact on our careers.