LESSONS from FAILURE. Smooth 98.1
It’s another beautiful day, and I’ll be focusing on relationships, pressure and work. Now, I believe the strength of productivity lies in being fulfilled, and the strength of being fulfilled lies in being well balanced emotionally and mentally. When we are not able to sustain a certain a level of performance on all grounds, we end up feeling frustrated and disappointed. Putting the workplace in perspective, what are the issues that constitute pressures? The answer to this question is relative, and it lies in four major variables:
- Not being able to effectively organize schedules and priorities (sense of thoroughness)
- Not being skillful enough to handle a variety of task all at once (Multi-tasking).
- Not knowing what responsibilities to accept, what responsibilities to decline, when to decline and how to decline without appearing uncommitted (Managing expectations and candor).
- Not knowing how to relate effectively with people at the top, peers and those below (People skills).
All pressures in the workplace come from these four areas and most of the challenges in life come from these as well. Whichever the case maybe, I have reached the conclusion that all pressures are self inflicted. We all possess the ability to control the above stated variables.
Now, I believe that the answers to all the pressures we face within and outside the workplace are encapsulated in our willingness or unwillingness to break free from our conveniences, insecurities and fears. For instance, the entire concept of being well organized is only as strong as our willingness first, to learn the principles of organizing and to apply them. Lots of information abound on these issues, so the issue most of the time is not a lack of the knowledge of how to be organized but rather the unwillingness, unpreparedness or inability to apply the principles. The readiness to commit to the needful by staying nimble enough to deny efficiency ourselves of convenience and comfort as necessary as we thoroughly think through our tasks and schedules and develop a workable plan that would keep us effective and organized are more often than not sacrificed on the altar of convenience and comfort. Employees are too selfish and full of their preferences and prejudices to politely say no to their bosses without appearing clearly uncommitted; yet they do this, and still sustain a desire to appear in the good and best books of the boss.
I will focus on the third variable mentioned above; – knowing what responsibilities to accept from your boss, what responsibilities to decline, when to decline and how to decline without appearing uncommitted. I have discovered this to be a major challenge with individuals in the workplace. People would rather accept responsibilities beyond their ability (at that time), suffer under undue pressure than say no to the boss; which is about the fastest way to end up frustrated on the job you now have to handle. Now, do you have the right to say no to the boss? If you do not, then what you have is not an employer-employee relationship or a boss-subordinate relationship but a slave-task-master relationship. What most people try to do is to deflect any impression of non-challance or disloyalty because they don’t want to appear negative and they hate to rock the boat. So they heap up too many tasks, falter under the load and end up destroying the impression they try to create. How then do you say no to your boss? The failure or success with this, is founded on the depth of relationship you share with your boss. The major challenge is that a lot of people are not free in the workplace. They cannot be who they are and do what they have to do once the boss is around. These people are tyrants at home but very weak at work. It is not rare to find employees adjusting themselves and their behaviors at the slightest indication of the boss’s presence. What we have in majority of our workplaces are employees who are trying to please the boss and put themselves in his good books. These are very small minds needing healing. It is just very difficult to build sound relationships with this kind of mindset. And the freedom to work within the limits of your ability per time without putting yourself under undue pressure, is founded on building the right kind of relationships with your boss and you cannot do this without being free and being yourself. See, any fool can keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. You don’t need formal training to be able to do so. But you will need character and inner strength to be able to employ candor to share your best thoughts in the most respectful way anywhere you find yourself. So, strive to understand your boss and how he or she operates. The five questions to focus on are very simple. You must know this questions and seek answers to them regularly…say quarterly. It’s important to let your boss know you want to perform better and meet necessary performance expectations. The questions are: (1) What are his or her major priorities? (2) What is exceptional performance to him or her? (3) Is he or she equally under any pressure from above? (4) How organized is he or she? (5) What are his strengths and weaknesses? These are things you find out by having a quality relationship with your boss. Scheduling a meeting in his office, at the lounge, while on a flight, over lunch or dinner like quarterly or every six months, and been seen to be making sincere efforts to meet up with the answers and findings will give you incredible leverage with your boss and amazing speed in your career. Trust me, it works. Building the right relationships help solves a great majority of the problems we face in the workplace and this is just a small fraction of it. So stay here tomorrow. We’ll continue right from here. Remember to always ask questions, always learn, always improve yourself and never complain. Give your best to your job and life will reward you as you work for you.