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The Importance of Authenticity and Respect in the Workplace

W hen it comes to putting together a top-flight organization, two questions immediately surface. How do I get great employees to join my organization? And, how do I get those employees to stay?

In a job market where unemployment is low and people have an abundance of choices, it has become much easier for workers to hop from job to job in order to find greener pastures. Those pastures may not always turn out to be so green, but simply the potential of a job change improving one’s outlook makes people take action.

Few metrics better illustrate a company’s culture than the loyalty of an employee.

According to blogger Nick Kasik, “Few metrics better illustrate a company’s culture than the loyalty of an employee.” So then, what are some of the underlying reasons people are drawn to a company and choose to stay when there are so many other options available to them? Two components need to be in place for employees to truly connect with the company for which they work. The company needs to be authentic, and it needs to be respectful of its employees by putting people first.

 

Authenticity

For a company to be successful, and for its employees to stay engaged, it’s extremely important for that company to be authentic. Be who you say you are. The company needs to define a mission, tie that mission to a few important core values, and then live those values every single day. Any successful company will lead through its actions. If a company takes on a “do as I say but not as I do” attitude, it shows through very quickly and can be a culture killer.

Everyone makes mistakes, from the lowest levels to the CEO. The key to overcoming the occasional mistake or bad decision is to own up to those mistakes, learn from them and move forward. That’s a two-way street.

Title shouldn’t give anyone a free pass when it comes to owning up to a mistake, but it can be very powerful when a leader says “I was wrong.”

Title shouldn’t give anyone a free pass when it comes to owning up to a mistake, but it can be very powerful when a leader says “I was wrong.” Doing so shows the human element behind the leader and can help increase authenticity as well as respect from the rest of the workforce.

There are times when an organization needs all its employees to step up and work as hard as they can to achieve a certain outcome. The workforce will rise to the task if they see that the leaders are stepping up and working equally as hard. This creates a dynamic of working together for a common goal, regardless of position or title.

 

Respect

At the end of the day, every employee wants to have the respect of his/her coworkers, managers and leaders. Regardless of how much work needs to get done, the employee wants to feel that in times of need, the organization puts the person above the work.

Good employees want to voice their opinions and have those opinions be heard.

Good employees want to voice their opinions and have those opinions be heard. These opinions may sometimes be in opposition with those of leadership, but any good organization will openly listen to the feedback and give it honest consideration. The employee will remain engaged for only as long as he/she feels heard and, ultimately, respected. Without respect, there can be no foundation upon which to build a company culture, and engagement can turn into disengagement overnight.

 

Final thoughts

The workplace can be a place where one thrives or just survives, depending on perspective. If the organization puts people first and truly respects them for what they contribute as people as well as their work production, the likelihood of that employee staying engaged (and employed) at that organization increases tremendously. And if the organization consistently practices its core values that rally around the company’s mission, those employees will not only want to stay, they’ll encourage their friends to join the organization too.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

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Why People Quit Their Boss, Not Their Company

T hink about previous jobs you’ve had. For one reason or another, you decided that a particular job was not for you and you moved on. Now that you’ve had time to think back and reflect, why, exactly, did you leave that company? Was it money related? Did your core values not align with the company’s values? Or, did your relationship with your manager simply run its course? So many times, workers don’t quit organizations, they quit their boss.

 

Purpose and relationships

Former Pearson COO and leadership expert Ziggy Liaquat believes two things need to happen for workers to remain happy and stay with an organization. They need to connect their personal purpose to the purpose of the organization and workers need to be inspired by the management to really succeed and to stay. In other words, there needs to be a people-connection.

If, as a leader, you can connect your purpose in the world to your purpose at work, then your passion for what you do will course through your veins.

Liaquat’s hypothesis states, “If, as a leader, you can connect your purpose in the world to your purpose at work, then your passion for what you do will course through your veins. You will inspire and motivate people with ease and you will make tough decisions with courage. Why? Because you are being authentic and true to your purpose.

So it’s something of a two-way street. Workers need to be inspired by management and management needs to be authentic and true to their purpose. What happens when one of these things do not align?

Who you work with matters

Eric Reed of thestreet.com received some sage advice during his school years. “Pick the people you want to work with, not the position. How much you like your coworkers will determine 90% of your happiness at the office.” Reed’s article went on to state that according to Accenture, research showed that of the top four reasons people gave for leaving a firm, all four had to do with management and the personnel environment. The four reasons were: they don’t like their boss (31%), a lack of empowerment (31%), internal politics (35%) and lack of recognition (43%).

This ties back to a study conducted by Harris Interactive that states 74% of people today would consider finding a new job, with 32% of those actively looking. In a supposedly stable job market, that’s a lot of potential movement. And so much of that movement could be avoided if the worker/boss relationship was given a little more attention.

What can be done?

When it comes to aligning a person’s purpose with the company’s, that’s something that should be well researched and established during the interview process and, at worst, cemented by the end of the onboarding process. If it’s apparent that the two are not a fit, moving forward is not beneficial for either party.

When it comes to the boss/worker dynamic, the responsibility lies on both sides of the desk. However, the human element should always reign supreme above the work details. Not every project will make the deadline, go as planned or be of the utmost quality originally envisioned.

The key is to learn from mistakes and move forward a little smarter from the experience, but always preserving the two-way relationship.

The key is to learn from mistakes and move forward a little smarter from the experience, but always preserving the two-way relationship.

It’s easy to be a great manager, or employee, when things are going good. When stress hits and the work seems insurmountable, that’s when the true test of a leader’s ability to keep people-first will be tested.

While some projects will succeed and others will fail, a manager will thrive when he or she treats workers as human beings first and, as employees, second. Learning from mistakes is easy, but it’s not nearly as easy to recover from a personal condemnation when something goes awry. Treating people with respect at all times is paramount for leaders to retain the interest and dedication of those who report to them.

 

Conclusion

Does your manager understand and respect what is truly important to you? Do you connect on a human level? Is your manager someone you would willingly have a beer with after work? If you answered yes to these questions, you’re probably working for someone that understands and embraces the human element of the boss/worker relationship. If you answered no, it might be time to dust off that resume.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights

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Soft Skills vs. Hard Skills – Which is More Important?

D o you remember that one special teacher from back in your school days? Mine was a math teacher who somehow was able to make math class a real joy. It certainly was not because algebra or the Pythagorean theorem were so much fun, it was because something magic happened whenever she was teaching. Her flair, passion and outside-the-box presentation skills made math class just fly by. She is a great example of someone well developed in both hard and soft skills.

I also remember the opposite: teachers who were really competent in the subject they taught, but who lacked the empathy, leadership and ability to motivate. That made classes boring at best, and frustrating and demotivating at worst. While the hard skills were certainly present, the lack of soft skills blocked them from making a real connection with their students. They just ‘taught’ us a subject, instead of inspiring us to learn.

What’s the difference between hard and soft skills? Are soft skills more important than hard skills, or is it the other way around?

This brings us to a very valid question: what’s the difference between hard and soft skills? Are soft skills more important than hard skills, or is it the other way around? And, if soft skills are so important, is there hope if you lack somewhat in that department?

What are hard skills?

Hard skills are measurable, functional or technical skills. Examples include calculating, reading, writing, typing, accounting, working with technical devices and computer programming, to name a few. Specific professional knowledge such as knowledge of human anatomy or Chinese economy would also qualify. Hard skills are skills that you can verify through individual exams, tests or assignments. Results can be compared to a set of predefined, hard criteria.

 

What are soft skills?

Soft skills are “soft” due to their being hard to measure objectively. Often, we call them personal skills. When we say soft skills, think about skills such as leadership qualities, working together with your teammates, listening to others or inspiring an audience. Soft skills are not all about others, they can also be applied to the self.

Think about self-care, the ability to focus or showing resilience in the face of setbacks. The hard thing about soft skills is that one cannot measure them on the basis of criteria-based tests. The absence or presence of a soft skill will only show itself in response to a series of different and varying situations.

Which is more important?

Both types of skills are important. Certain professions require very specific and well-developed hard skills. Without them you would fail instantly. But even then, soft skills will assist you to develop and use your hard skills successfully.

Imagine what happens if you are a brilliant neurosurgeon (hard skills) but you have a short temper (soft skills). Or as a fireman you can swim very fast (hard skills), but you cannot cooperate with your teammates (soft skills). Or you are a certified TTISI trainer or coach (hard skills) but you have difficulty listening to others (soft skills). It’s not so hard to predict you may struggle to save the lives you intend to save, or to help your clients to develop themselves.

Soft skills enable the neurosurgeon to keep severing blood vessels precisely even when that operating room nurse keeps annoying him.

Soft skills enable the neurosurgeon to keep severing blood vessels precisely even when that operating room nurse keeps annoying him.

Soft skills allow the fireman to work together with his teammates to get a victim out of the vehicle in the water. They also enable a certified trainer to respond to the individual needs of his/her clients. Soft skills are the key to success!

 

Why soft skills now?

Only a few decades ago, a customer was mainly dependent on what was on supply. These days, a customer has so many options that the customer journey has become a key concept in the boardroom. Whoever delivers the most flexible, attractive, trustworthy and innovative product and/or support wins over the customer.

Today, you can buy advice, counsel, coaching, mediation, search, or support in all areas of work and life, delivered by entrepreneurial professionals. Since service is a less tangible product, soft skills are vital to make a difference in a market full of well-informed and assertive buyers. How to handle stress, or how to address the modern customer, may spell the difference between success and failure.

 

Both skills are necessary to succeed

There is absolutely still need for hard skills in a changing marketplace. It’s still crucial that a bus driver owns a license, a judge knows the law and a pilot can fly a plane. And it’s certainly helpful if a math teacher can continue to tell us what the Pythagorean theorem actually means.

In the age of the customer, soft skills become more important than ever. Soft skills will make your hard skills more valuable. They are like oil that makes an engine run smoothly.

Soft skills will make your hard skills more valuable. They are like oil that makes an engine run smoothly.

Like Dr. Watson next to Sherlock Holmes. If they grow together symbiotically, they both become a unique buying point for your customers.

 

Conclusion

The good news is that, just like hard skills, soft skills can definitely be developed. However, they do require a different learning approach. It all starts with getting to know yourself, such as how you tend to do things, what drives you, and how you respond to feedback. With a fair amount of introspection, some patience and a will to improve, you can develop soft skills which can help bring out the best in all of those hard skills you’ve learned over the years.

Article written by Rieke Geerlings, Customer Care Professional at TTI Success Insights Benelux.

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When it comes to the long-term success of your organization, who you work with matters! [Infographic]

T TI Success Insights has been an industry-leading force helping organizations across the globe improve hiring, retention, engagement, and training with effective, valid and reliable assessments since 1984.

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How Your Commute Can Impact Your Entire Day

R oad rage hardly needs an introduction. We know what it looks and feels like, and if you’ve never experienced it, you may be part of a rare 20% of our population. As for the rest of us, we report experiencing significant anger, aggression, or road rage at least once a year. If you happen to live in Arizona as I do, that number may be significantly higher.

Egregious acts of lawlessness on the roads can be extremely frustrating, especially when the other person’s disregard causes a near accident. In a split second, you may go from calmly cruising along to wanting to pull someone out of their car and teach them a thing or two about the importance of roadway courtesy. How we deal with road rage really comes down to our level of emotional intelligence (EQ), specifically the self-regulation component of EQ.

How we deal with road rage really comes down to our level of emotional intelligence (EQ), specifically the self-regulation component of EQ.

Origin of road rage

I’d like to consider myself a calm and patient person, yet when I get behind the steering wheel in my giant box of metal, I become confident and fearless. That increases when I feel that I’m on the defensive. One study shows that personal factors such as age, gender, beliefs, or your mood can determine the level of anger and road rage you experience.

Additionally, we often “personalize” incidents that happen on the road. Close calls may simply be due to the fact that other drivers aren’t paying attention, yet we often react as if they did something to us intentionally. Judgment and decision-making go out the window and we turn from Jekyll to Hyde in the blink of an eye. This is when it’s most important to tap into our EQ and realize that, regardless of why they are driving poorly, it has nothing to do with us. We shouldn’t take any ownership of the situation. Instead, just let it go.

5 tips for improving your commute (and by extension, your day)

What can we do on the road to ensure we have a better day at work? Try incorporating at least one of these things into your commute each week. After five weeks, revisit how you feel after your morning commute. Chances are, it will have improved and what previously seemed like a chore may have evolved into something you actually enjoy.

  1. Leave earlier! Rushing around is more likely to intensify your irritation with other drivers. Leaving 10-15 minutes earlier than you normally would will help you feel calm, cool and collected.
  2. Drive mindfully. When you drive, just drive. Distracted driving is still an increasing issue. Despite technology advances, 49% of drivers are still holding cell phones in their hands.
  3. Get more sleep. When our children are cranky and fussy, we put them down for a nap. It’s amazing how pleasant they are to be around after some extra rest! That goes for us too – while a nap at work may not be feasible, taking responsibility for your sleep at night could make a big difference on your morning commute.
  4. Don’t respond. We tend to feed off of road rage behaviors. By participating in the rage, we continue to pass this along to other drivers which then carries on with us throughout the day. Instead, try to resist. If another person cuts you off or tailgates, just slow down or change lanes and move away from them.
  5. Breathe. Take a few deep breaths in and out, perhaps even letting out a very intense sigh. If somebody cuts you off, instead of honking or yelling, take a deep breath and say aloud, “I hope they arrive to their destination safely” and then just keep on keepin’ on.

Recovering from road rage

So, how does this relate to the rest of our day at the office? As we cross paths with hundreds of drivers on our morning commute, it’s almost impossible to leave the emotion of negative road experiences behind as we lock our cars and walk toward the office. The intensity lingers as we check our inboxes and begin firing off emails and messages to coworkers. The negativity carries over into other aspects of our day turning minute issues into problems that feel much worse than they really are. Why does this darn coffee machine take so long to brew a cup of coffee?!

The commute is often overlooked as an opportunity to ensure your day runs smoothly and positively.

The commute is often overlooked as an opportunity to ensure your day runs smoothly and positively.

If you drive a vehicle, you play a small part in the complicated dynamic of traffic patterns and commuting. Are you someone who contributes to making the commute a pleasant relaxing experience or might you be the cause of other people’s frustrations? Your small part could have a big impact on the overall commute if we all work together on improving our personal driving experience.

 

The road to a better commute

When a person encounters a highly stressful situation, it can take 3-4 hours to recover from that stressful event.

When a person encounters a highly stressful situation, it can take 3-4 hours to recover from that stressful event.

During that time, everything is affected, including interactions with coworkers and the quality of work performed. Learning to raise your self-regulation will help limit the instances of falling victim to these situations, leading to more peace and harmony in your life.

When you feel good, you perform better. Momentum builds and you accomplish so much more. Whether or not we realize it, so much of that starts with our morning commute. Put the phone down and pick a lane. When someone around you drives discourteously or flat-out breaks the law, let karma be that person’s judge and jury while you relax and enjoy the ride.

Article written by Sarah Merkle, Vice President of People at TTI Success Insights.

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Driven to Distraction: The Reason Why Some People Just Can’t Relax

P eople can become stressed out for a myriad of different reasons. Identifying the “why” behind that stress is half the battle towards reducing it.

When it comes to understanding a person’s behaviors, especially the drivers behind those behaviors, the 12 Driving Forces® assessment is extremely valuable. Created by TTI Success Insights based on the initial works of Eduard Spranger, 12 Driving Forces measures the impetus for why a person does the things they do.

One of the 12 Driving Forces is ‘Resourceful.” Resourceful speaks to people who are driven by practical results, maximizing both efficiency and returns for their investment of time, talent, energy, and resources. This reminds me of a real-life story where a friend of mine was having an internal struggle, due in part to his elevated Resourceful driver.

How drivers shape behaviors

Today is a gorgeous day outside! As we gazed out the window sipping coffee, my friend mentioned that he has difficulty making time for golf, even on a gorgeous day like today. When he does make the time, he can only think about the work he “should” be doing while on the course. Despite wanting to relax, be outside, enjoy friends and relieve a little stress, he just can’t seem to relax. It’s a classic case of possessing a strong Resourceful driver.

A person who has a strong Resourceful driver puts a premium on resources. What resource on Earth can be more valuable than time? This particular person is an achiever and wants to accomplish as much as he possibly can. He is driven to maximize his resources. That drive dictates to him that he needs time to accomplish his goals. Taking time away to golf cheats him of some of his precious time.

While he may have reasons for feeling this way, all work and no play is a recipe for burnout. If he would simply look at golf as an investment in himself and his well being, he may have an entirely new view of his next 18 holes. If he thinks about golf as the resource it is to clear his mind, and that playing golf might give him the energy and mental clarity to be even more effective in his work, he may no longer feel guilty for taking an afternoon away from the job.

The final turn

Drivers explain the why behind we do what we do. When someone has an extremely dominant driver, the tendency exists for that driver to become overextended, causing stress. The key is managing the driver or positioning that driver in a more useful way.

In the same spirit that people invest money in health food, massages or other things that promote healthy living, investing a little time in relaxation will change this person’s mindset for the better, and may even improve his golf game!

Article written by Joe Liss, Founder of New Orleans-based The Wisdom Institute.

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10 Things Successful People Do Every Day

H ave you ever wondered if there is a secret formula for being successful? Why is it that some people seem to have a Midas touch while others struggle to get by? American historian, best-selling author and keynote speaker Kevin Kruse recently interviewed more than 200 highly successful people, a group that included seven billionaires, 13 Olympians, and accomplished entrepreneurs from many walks of life. One simple question provided a tremendous amount of insight. The question was: “What is your number one secret to productivity?”

One simple question provided a tremendous amount of insight. The question was: “What is your number one secret to productivity?”

Avoid meetings like the plague

Notorious time killers, meetings can derail positive progress in a hurry. Billionaire Mark Cuban advises, “Never take meetings unless someone is writing a check.” If you find meetings are absolutely necessary, keep them short and to the point. Stay focused.

Process everything just once

How many times have you gotten a memo or an email and you read it, set it down and put it in your to-do-later file. The next day, you glance at it again but still take no action. Finally, on the third day, you finally respond to it. Time spent looking at it the first two days was wasted time, since you didn’t take action until the third day. Make it a point to finish what you start so you can maximize the use of your time.

 

Carry a notebook

Many people consider Richard Branson to be the standard by which entrepreneurs are judged. His secret to success is having a notepad handy at all times. Regardless of how technology savvy he and his company may be, Branson is most comfortable writing down ideas on paper when they appear in his mind. Doing so gives him a starting point from which to build a more robust concept later. Writing things down allows the idea to have a place to live, freeing his mind to focus on other things.

 

Live in minutes, not hours

The absolute most valuable commodity in the universe is time. Successful people try to use every minute wisely.

The absolute most valuable commodity in the universe is time. Successful people try to use every minute wisely.

To that end, why schedule a meeting for an hour if you may really only need 37 minutes to accomplish what you set out to achieve? Using every minute to its fullest helps a person simply get more done, and do so more efficiently.

Schedule activities through calendar only

How many people spend time creating to-do lists that somehow never get fully realized? Studies show that only 41% of items on to-do lists ever get done. This lack of resolution leads to something known as the Zeigarnik Effect, a fancy term indicating these unresolved tasks will cloud one’s mind until they are resolved. Instead of creating these self-imposed mental distractions, schedule everything through your calendar and leave the to-do lists for the amateurs.

 

Limit distractions

Remember how excited we all were when email was first created, and we could instantly communicate with others with just a few keystrokes? How do we all feel about emails today? What used to be a welcome new addition has become, for many, a pesky gnat that won’t go away.

Like any other task, emails need to be managed. Limiting time spent reviewing emails will help you focus more and be distracted less, allowing you to accomplish so much more. Be sure you are managing emails and not letting emails manage you!

 

Create a consistent routine

Having a solid foundation for starting one’s day off right leads many successful people into hugely productive days.

Having a solid foundation for starting one’s day off right leads many successful people into hugely productive days.

Habits can vary from person to person. The key is to find what works for you that makes you feel good, provides energy and propels you to attack the day with vigor and purpose. For some, these habits include a morning run or yoga. Others prefer eating a healthy breakfast or a period of mediation. Find what works for you and do it consistently.

 

Master the art of delegation

Successful people don’t need to have their hands in everything. They simply want projects to get done. Those who understand delegation realize it’s about the task, not the person, and completing the task is far more important than having an active role in the process. The more that can be outsourced, the clearer the mind to focus on the things that really matter.

 

Prioritize the important things in life

The most successful people on Earth find time for the things that matter. Going back to Richard Branson, he often breaks midday from work to go kitesurfing. This activity provides an opportunity for him to clear his mind as he focuses on staying upward in the water, while serving the added bonus of being a great form of exercise. Nothing like clearing one’s head while doing the body good!

Work hard, but be prepared to walk away when the work is done. Make time for those who are important in your life. Have family dinners. Be present for the kids’ recitals. Take the family vacation and extend it an extra three days, just because. When you prioritize what matters, it creates a balance that makes everything else become that much easier and more enjoyable.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

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4 Ways to Unlock Creativity

J ohnny Dwinell, veteran Nashville artist/producer/businessman, recently shared insight into increasing one’s creativity. Inspired by John Cleese of Monty Python fame, Dwinell recounts Cleese’s wisdom on how to get into a creative zone, do it quicker and remain there longer.

According to Cleese, creativity is not an innate ability that you either have or you don’t. Creativity is not, in and of itself, a talent. Creativity is not related to IQ. Creativity is a way of operating.

Creativity is not an innate ability that you either have or you don’t. Creativity is not, in and of itself, a talent. Creativity is not related to IQ. Creativity is a way of operating.

Becoming creative is all about being able to get into a particular state of mind, a playful state. Psychologist Donald Wallace McKinnon studied creativity and described it as an ability to play describing the playful mood as ‘childlike’ among most of the creative people he studied. Getting into this playful mode allows people to think without restrictions or judgment. The more free a person’s mind is during creativity, the more creative the person can be.

In his talk, Cleese mentions another study that breaks down the functions of people into two modes: OPEN and CLOSED.

Closed is the mode in which we spend most of our time. Closed is where we are purposeful with our actions: we are getting things done; we are practical, pragmatic, and businesslike. This mode is very is very results-driven and comes with a certain amount of anxiety, expectation, and pressure. Creativity does not happen in the closed mode.

Open is a state of creativity. You are open to anything.

These aren’t judgments — both are necessary. In fact, you need to be in the closed mode to execute that which is created in the open mode.

Four requirements to unlock creativity

1. Space: Like a garden, creativity needs space to grow. The mind doesn’t naturally switch on and off, it needs space before the necessary mindset can be achieved. Finding a place that is free from daily tasks and stresses, a creative “oasis” of sorts, can help the mind get to a creative state quicker.

Think of it like an old car on a cold winter’s day. If you start the car and immediately drive it without letting it warm up, it won’t perform well. Giving it a few minutes to heat up will allow the car to perform optimally. Your creative state is the equivalent to an aged car engine on a winter’s day. Let it warm up and watch it roll!

 

2. Time: Give yourself ample time in which to be creative. When you start down a creative path,  you need time to separate yourself from the rigors and stresses of daily life. Creativity won’t come immediately, but the longer you allow yourself to be in this stress-free state, the higher the chances for creativity.

Creativity won’t come immediately, but the longer you allow yourself to be in this stress-free state, the higher the chances for creativity.

A good rule of thumb is that if you wish to yield 60 minutes of creativity, give yourself 90 minutes of total time so you have time to transition from a closed to an open mind where creativity flourishes.

When it comes to creativity, the goal is to try to resolve a situation; to find a solution to something. These situations can be anything from writing a song, creating a story or painting a picture. Creative endeavors often do not have a definitive start and ending point. Wanting to reconcile the “problem at hand,” the brain may produce something rather quickly. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the first thing you come up with will be all that great. Give yourself enough time to think beyond those initial thoughts that come to mind, and you’ll likely get to something better.

 

3. Confidence: In the realm of creativity, there is no “wrong” or “bad.” There is no room for judgment. During brainstorming of ideas, it’s all about creating as many ideas as possible, then focusing on the strongest of those ideas.

Those creating in solitude need to reserve judgment about their own ideas and keep moving forward. Those creating with others need to employ a “yes, and” approach, rather than “no, but” response. Any form of negative feedback can easily derail, if not outright sabotage, a brainstorming session. There is no “bad” creativity; keep it positive.

 

4. Humor: Injecting humor into your world is the fastest way to go from a closed to an open state. Humor relieves stress and puts people in a playful mood. Watching a funny movie or TV show or listening to your favorite comedian can transport a mind from “stern and serious” to “loose and playful” in minutes.

When we understand the concept of creativity being a way of operating, we can better work toward channeling our inner creativity and be creative more often.

Final thoughts

When we understand the concept of creativity as a way of operating, we can better work toward channeling our inner creativity and be creative more often. The best part about creativity is that it is irrespective of intellect; absolutely anyone can be creative if they know how to put themselves into the proper state.

All you have to do is make the time, enjoy the ride and have some fun along the way.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

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How to Use Core Values to Craft Your Perfect Job

G iven that we spend about a quarter of our lives at work – maybe more – it’s kind of a travesty to say we’re going to spend most of our waking hours doing something that we don’t think matters that much. So it’s not a surprise that people are searching for meaning in work.” These are the words of organizational psychologist Adam Grant, who specializes in improving the work lives of employees.

For those who want to change their fortunes at their place of employment, the key may lie in the ability to identify what you are passionate about and work those passions into your job.

 

Discovering core values

“Make a list of the biggest sources of meaning in your life,” says Grant, and then ask yourself a one-word question about each: Why? The goal of the exercise is to eventually reach a core value. These values are at the heart of who we are as individuals. Incorporating core values into your daily activities will provide a much happier and satisfying work life.

Make a list of the biggest source of meaning in your life.

Grant says that once you identify your core values, two actions need to be taken. First, connect parts of your job that don’t feel meaningful to a core value. Second, find ways to work core values into your job.

To illustrate the first action, I will use a first-person perspective. As our company’s staff writer, I craft all types of content from blogs to website copy to emails. Without a doubt, there are some things I enjoy writing more than others. Email composition resides pretty low on my list of preferred tasks.

However, an important core value I live by is to be a great communicator. I strive to communicate in a way that is easy to understand, and leaves little room for misinterpretation. While emails may not be terribly inspiring, doing so gives me a chance to connect with my core value of being a good communicator. When I think of it in those terms, I view the task much more positively.

 

Job crafting

Grant referenced an article from the Harvard Business Review when he discussed the concept of job crafting.

Job crafting is this idea of saying, I have unique interests, values and skills that I could bring to the table that would allow me to be more effective and find more meaning in my work. So, I’m going to become an active architect of my job and I’m going to change the way that I do it, or I’m going to change what I work on.”

Job crafting does not advocate turning your job into a free-for-all, but it does mean incorporating elements that will inspire you and help you maintain a high level of energy and engagement. One idea is to come up with a side project from your day-to-day duties that really speaks to a passion you possess. Even if you spend just 10% of your work time on that project, it will help put you in a better place mentally to take on the rest of your tasks with a clearer mind.

Depending on your interests, this idea might come to fruition in the form of a social group that meets outside of work, such as a book club that furthers learning, or a charitable activity that can benefit your workplace.

Job crafting involves serious introspection about your job with the purpose of redefining it to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions. Going through this process helps you to have influence on your daily activities, creating a job that will feel more meaningful and fulfilling. It serves the additional benefit of giving you more control over what you do on a day-to-day basis. You are the one that ultimately controls your outcome, not your boss or the leadership team.

Job crafting involves serious introspection about your job with the purpose of redefining it to incorporate your motives, strengths, and passions.

Why would an organization support job crafting?

Most people have more to do than time in which to do it. Having the ability to delegate tasks can free up time to address other important job tasks. Typically, leaders are the ones that determine what a worker does on a regular basis. By delegating job crafting to the employee, it frees up the manager to accomplish other things.

Not only does job crafting empower employees, it can serve the additional bonus of being a company benefit in lieu of cash bonuses or time off.

 

How to job craft

Begin by identifying motives, strengths, and passions, three vital components that will lead to higher engagement, better performance and overall happiness. Then look at how those things apply to work-related tasks, relationships and perceptions. Considering each of these three factors will ensure a thoroughly devised plan and greatly increase its chances for success.

Make sure that you are shaping your job, not letting your job shape you.

Conclusion

According to a survey of 5,000 U.S. households by The Conference Board, only 45% of those polled say they are satisfied with their jobs, certainly a downward trend from the 60% who were satisfied in 1987, the first year the survey was conducted. More recent studies from Gallup about job engagement show numbers even more disheartening.

Much of that dissatisfaction may lie in whether or not individuals control their own workplace destiny or are simply following orders and completing tasks on a daily basis. Make sure that you are shaping your job, not letting your job shape you.

Article written by Dave Clark, Staff Writer and Editor at TTI Success Insights.

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When It Comes to Developing Your Organization, Do Your Numbers Add Up? [Infographic]

W hen it comes to training your current workforce, including your next generation of leaders, having a first-rate training plan that employs assessment solutions is key. Assessments can be used to uncover the how and why behind behaviors, soft skills, and EQ, producing results and increasing engagement.

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In this guide, you’ll get access to the seven most important questions to ask when hiring someone. And yes, they go way beyond a basic job description.