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Using your strengths at work

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.

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Understanding and dealing with negative emotions

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:

  1. They are unpleasant
  2. They represent getting stuck in a rut
  3. They are associated with a loss of personal control
  4. 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)

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Office politics

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.

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More on mindfulness

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees

In an email sent out just a year ago, I was discussing mindfulness and I was very happy to receive many emails from readers with good things to say about the practice of mindfulness.

I have continued to learn more about mindfulness and its practical application in our busy lives. This email will expand on the practice with an example that may be relevant to many readers. Let’s start with some basics:

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