The Strategist

Bad Habits of Good People, or How to Work Comfortably

08/20/2015 - 14:32

Situations that cause estrangement between colleagues, provoke disagreement and are bad for productivity show up at work from time to time. It is not so important whether the reason for this in ourselves or others. What matters more, it can be prevented. The four-second rule says: "Take a break. Think about it. Do it".
Peter Bregman, an author of Wall Street Journal’s bestseller “18 minutes”, explains how to deal effectively with work and personal problems. The book “Four seconds” teaches to stop in time to make the right decisions.

How to tell colleagues that you do not like something

Giving critical review is difficult, but necessary - regardless of whether you are a head or an ordinary employee. We refuse to give feedback, beig afraid to hurt someone, but the best and most useful thing you can do for another person - to be open honest with them.
An critical opinion, expressed with respect, will only strengthen your relationship.
Some people are very kind and never allow themselves anything even remotely resembling a hostile or rude. The irony is that, no matter how we have been struggling to hide the truth, it will come to the surface - in the form of gossip, in a fit of anger, or in the form of sarcasm. This is the real hostility. Soo what do we do?

First, ask for permission. "I noticed something that I want to share. Are you interested? ". Second, do not shirk. This way, we only cut out the information content and confuse people - rather speak clearly, in short, giving simple examples.

Recognize what makes you special

Carlos is a brilliant leader. Any business, that he was leading, flourished. People, who work for him, were devoted and became strong leaders under his leadership. Carlos is extraordinarily good at what he does: he notices and persistently implements unique features that bring his company a big profit or strategic advantage.

We spend enough time at work in the sweet spot, do not deal with what is good and what gives us joy. Here it is, the massive waste of time and talent.

Waste of time without the use of special talent threatens to double damage Carlos. The first relates to what he does: wasting time on that he is not good in. The second relates to the fact that he does not look for new opportunities - in fact they can be missed. And when Carlos is distracted by extraneous things, he is afraid that the insight will pass.

Find what is your uniqueness, and send energy in that direction. If you notice that you are spending a lot of time to work, which is not a good deal and that does not bring you joy – make a halt and move the focus to the right projects.

How to deal with complainants

Everything is great: business grows, the work is interesting and this year awards are promising to please. But there is nothing but complaints arounds, either criticism of the customers, or grumble about the amount of work, which people have to deal with. How to overcome the negative mood that has engulfed the team?

If you are a leader who is trying to show optimism when everybody is pessimistic, things are going to grow even worse, because you appear detached from reality in their.
Do not try to be positive. Yes, you read it right. People do not like to deny their emotions. Another approach - to oppose your own negativity to another - does not work too because of the accumulative effect. You just add fuel to the fire. Therefore, it is necessary to take a pause and think a little - just 4 seconds.

It is much more productive experience to experience negativity together with everyone. First show the people that you understand and accept their feelings. Then, find out what they remain optimistic about, and try to strengthen this aspect - in the end, you will give real hope based on existing positive emotions.

Do not blame others

We begin to blame others when we are just children, and later this behavior moves into adulthood. In companies, this occurs at the level of units: if the sales department cannot cope, it blames the product, and the product creators group blames the sales department for inefficient sales or nod to the shortcomings of production.

Blaming others is not a really good approach. Not only because everyone can read between the lines. And not because it is not fair or spoils the relationship. There is a much more serious reason: if something happens by your fault and you do not recognize, it in the future you are going to make the same mistake. Vicious circle.

One CEO of investment company fired portfolio manager Bill - not for the weak results, but for the fact that he blamed anyone but himself in the failures. CEO made the right decision. If Bill does not recognize the mistakes today, what prevents him to avoid the same mistakes tomorrow? And, would you have entrusted your money to Bill?

When productivity is harmful

“I do not have time to think” - perhaps the most dreaded six words. We are no longer afraid of this phrase, because many people know how is it. Almost every one of us feels the lack of time for reflection and search for new ideas.

It is not that we are not productive. We are incredibly productive. We supply. Make decisions. Form budgets. Manage our teams. In a sense, it is this manic productivity that contains the problem: we are missing the most important - the ability to learn.

Remember your most comfortable place, and make it a habit to visit this place every day. And, talk to the chief about the redistribution of responsibilities, if you have too many of them.

Based on  “Four Seconds - All the Time You Need to Stop Counter-Productive Habits and Get the Results You Want” by Peter Bregman


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