Don’t offer advice
Don’t offer advice until the person asks for it. People often make the assumption that when someone is talking about an issue they want to be told what to do. However, many times a person just wants to express themselves and feel heard.
Show that your engaged verbally
Muttering a generic hmmm, every now and then is sometimes what is done to portray a false sense of engagement but often the case is you’re probably just not interested. The ‘hmmm’ can also be a sign that you want to let them know you’re listening. You can also use short phrases like ‘I can’t imagine what that’s been like’ or ‘that must be difficult’ to show you’re engaged or you could ask questions.
Show that you’re engaged physically
Looking at your phone, being turned away from the person and not making eye contact can show a lack of interest. Don’t be distracted, have your body facing them and make eye contact.
Lastly, two things to remember, if you don’t want to listen then just say so instead of doing it half heartedly. Secondly, you can’t expect someone will want to come and talk to you if you don’t show that you’re interested in what they have to say.
There could be habits you have that you have carried with you thorough your life for so long that you aren’t even aware the impact they have on your life.
Perhaps, you assume that those habits are ‘just the way you are’ rather than them being something you could change.
Sticking with what you know is easy, comfortable and familiar even when it negatively impacts your life.
And so you do nothing.
That’s why I’m such an advocate for regular reflection. In doing so you’re able to identify the habits you currently have and understand how they impact your life. It could be something like you always wanting to be right because you believe that you know more than most.
This may result in people not wanting to engage in conversations with you because you’re now seen as closed minded, someone that is not open to other points of view. In turn maybe you’re unable to develop close relationships because your desire to always be right pushes people away as they don’t feel respected and they find you frustrating.
Identifying that bad habit and deciding to let it go could be the catalyst to solve many of the problems that you regularly encounter.
Of course, it rarely feels good to know that you’re the problem as it forces you to take responsibility instead of the playing the blame game. But in the grand scheme of things perhaps it is much better to know that the problem begins with you and your bad habits because that way you know that the problems can end with you too.
The idea that what you are doing might not be good enough can be difficult to accept. Especially when that might be the reason why people aren’t supporting your work.
It’s much easier to hide behind the excuse that people just aren’t supporting you because you’re not popular but if it was *insert name of celebrity*, they’d be all over it.
That could be true for some situations but it isn’t always the case.
On the flipside, instead of playing the blame game you could accept that maybe your work needs work.
Instead of feeling frustrated that you aren’t getting enough support take some time out hone your craft, learn something new and improve. Then put your work out again.
If it’s better received great but if not then maybe you need to change the people you’re sharing it with.
Think of something that you’re currently working on and ask yourself with no judgement, can I do better?
When you’re not getting what you want out of life and things aren’t quite going your way, it’s easy to blame external things.
But sometimes the reason things aren’t working out is because you need to do better.
Maybe you’ve gotten lazy or maybe you weren’t aware of the effort required.
Once you’ve realised you need to do better, do better.
Yes, it really is that simple.
If you have something bad to say about something but have nothing to say when it comes to how it could be better. I think that it’s a useless criticism.
It’s easy to be a critic or to complain about the way that something is but what’s the point if you can’t even offer a solution.
It’s far more useful and far more helpful to say ‘I don’t think this works very well but here’s what I think would work better…’, rather than just saying ‘That’s not a good idea’.
I think what a person says comes down to their intention to speaking up. Do you just enjoy complaining or do you want to try and find a way to make things better?
Would you rather do something average and deliver it on time or to a high standard and late?
Many people get caught up in wanting everything to be perfect. It can get to the point where it’s difficult to hand in the completed work because that means letting go. Now the work is in someone else’s hands and you’re open to their critique or feedback.
On the other hand, submitting something average might seem like the wrong thing to do but that’s not always the case.
Firstly, let me clarify that by average I mean something you haven’t spent an excessive amount of time on. Some thing that is good but if you had a few more days or weeks would be so much better.
The thing is that sometimes progress is better than perfect.
In the case of my original question, you have two options.
You can submit late and to a high standard and then hope overtime you get better at meeting deadlines.
On the other hand, you can commit to always delivering on time and know that with practice your average will get better.
For a lot of people they will have reached a point where they have realised working from home just isn’t the same as being in the office.
Because it isn’t.
You might find yourself less focused, less productive and more distracted, especially if you live with other people.
And so it might be helpful to find ways to replicate how you feel at work in your home.
A few ideas are:
Create a suitable working space – Even if it’s just setting up at the dining table each day. Working from the sofa or your bed isn’t a suitable environment because they’re unlikely to places that you associate with work. Also it’s helpful to create some separation so that when you log off for the day you can move to the sofa to relax or tuck yourself into bed and read.
Get dressed – Not into your work clothes but wear something presentable instead if staying in your pyjamas or wearing a worn out pair of joggers.
Follow your usual routine – Whether that’s starting your day with a cup of tea at your desk, a mid morning snack, going through your inbox for the first 30 minutes of the day, having lunch at 1.30pm, whatever it may be.
Some are scared to ask for feedback whilst others are afraid to give it.
You don’t want to offend anyone or maybe if they’re more experienced than you, you don’t think you have the authority.
But I’ve learnt that it’s good to ask for feedback. In fact, I’m trying to do more of it in all aspects of my life. From colleagues, my manager, family, friends and even from you.
It’s not about looking for praise or a harsh critique but instead about opening yourself up to the perspective of the observer or receiver because you don’t see things the way they do.
For example, at work you may think that you’re doing your job well because you haven’t been given a warning or been told you’re under-performing. However, perhaps your manager has noticed you could do x, y or z differently but hasn’t said anything because you aren’t bad at what you do.
It’s about being open to seeing that there is room for improvement.
And so I wanted to ask, if you had to make a remark about this blog, what would you say?
Leave a comment or drop me an email: email@example.com
Like ice cube said ‘check yourself before you wreck yourself’.
So we recently had our annual performance reviews at work and something I took from it was that it’s important to assess yourself throughout the year.
When you let a year go by without assessing how you’re doing there’s a higher chance you’ll be surprised by what your manager tells you at the end of the year.
I think assessing yourself quarterly (or even monthly) will help you better understand how you’re doing and what you need to work on. It doesn’t have to be with your manager, it could be with another colleague or you could do it alone.
That way you can pick up on the things you need to work on, make changes and then later reassess.
You should work on getting better, expanding your knowledge and trying new things for you. Not to appease your boss or because you know it’s ‘just part of the process’.
This is one of those ‘you get out what you put in’ kinda circumstances.
Short answer: there is no use.
If it doesn’t feel good to feel bad then why not try something else?
It’s easy to feel bad about yourself when things go wrong but ruminating on that feeling isn’t likely to help you improve and get better at whatever you’re working on.
Perhaps asking yourself ‘what could I have done better?’ might be more useful.
Then take whatever is on that list and give them a go one by one until you find something that helps you improve.
I have no doubt that will be much more useful than the previous approach.