It supposed to be only a comment on a post on LinkedIn, instead it made me think of what’s going on with ‘how’ we communicate with each other. The content of that post was about the type of questions should been asked for new candidates when they are applying for a job. The old “What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses?” type of inquiry should be put in a drawer from all recruiters like all the other questions that actually just take time from the interview and doesn’t bring any news. Nobody would say something that would refrain their hiring after all. Nonetheless, the interviewers should focus on the whole person in front of them and more importantly listening to what they say accurately. Thereby, are we really listening to the person in front of us or are we only reproducing our self-talk and filling out our own expectations?
The world today is full of so called Leaders or Motivational Speakers who talk and act las if they are actual leaders. Apparently talking about leadership or acting like one is trendy right now, but just by walking and talking like a leader don’t actually make you as one. In fact, where are the leaders in our organizations? Who are they? Is the owner of the company you work a good leader? How about your boss? What are her qualities that you admire, if there’s one? What are the weaknesses they could improve to become better leaders? Are they actively listening to you?
Before digging in the last question, let’s go backwards and analyze how we normally think. Regardless of our social status our salary or the work we do, we all tend to complain. And why is that? Usually we tend to address our complaints to the society, the politics, the economy or something abstract or intangible. We complain to get that feeling of “doing something right”, so we blame on whatever it is, or we make other people feel guilty to exempt our accountability on taking action towards something we should be doing. By complaining we have the feeling that we’re doing something real when in fact nothing has changed. At least until now I have never seen nobody getting reacher by complaining about the economy or how low is their salary.
When it comes to our leaders their first role supposed to be guiding the team. Instead of throwing a pile of work on each member and ask them to complete the job for “yesterday”, it would be very helpful to know what is the main goal of the company and how the team could contribute with it. With that in mind it would be easier to understand the steps you’d have to take to be more productive and even measure your efforts. By knowing your strengths and your weaknesses in that matter for instance you could either correct your route or ask for help if necessary, and do the same if a colleague on your team needed you.
But let’s take a look at that scenario in particular: You got your boss’s directions and you felt uncomfortable with the task she gave you or you need more informations and resources to get it done. Before moving forward to the next step, the environment should have been opened for eventual questions, ideas, explanations, in other words – the leader (your boss) should be the first to promote a healthy conversation among the team to share the opportunity to clarify the actions to be taken (the strategy) inviting each member of the team to contribute with their own ideas being part of a safe place. Wouldn’t it be beautiful and simple if that happen? But why in the world this is not happening and in fact our “leaders” are firing people? Why nowadays people are more stressed than ever before with no time to listen to each other?
We need to talk, or better saying: we should’ve been able to express ourselves and communicate with each other on the same level of understanding in a respectful way. If you’re working for a company you don’t like, or for a boss that doesn’t listen to you and she is also a bad example of behavior, first, start making a list of the companies you would like to work for. Second, write down why would you like to work for these companies. Are their values similar to yours?. Third, how would you contribute to each company described on your list; and what are your core skills that could be applied to that job.
In other words be the first to stop complaining and take actions towards your goals. Don’t wait for the ordinary questions to get you to the position you wish to have, now it’s your turn to unleash the confidence and strength your have to become the leader you’ve been waiting for. We can always improve our skills, learn something new and break that negative cycle of thinking negatively and be seen.
To start changing your thoughts and rewiring your brain to a new and positive reality give yourself some time to:
2- Cry on occasion;
3- Workout differently;
5- Make exercise fun.¹
By doing that for 45 days you will lower your cortisol (hormone of stress) and increase your endorphin. That itself will release the pain, the discomfort or any other feeling that is refraining your confidence and creative power to flourish. Instead of focusing on what’s wrong or expecting your boss to change², you can start focusing on creating new solutions. In case you’re feeling unmotivated:
1- Apply to a new job;
2- Go for a trip;
3- Buy the shoes;
4- Eat the cake;
5- Develop new skills;
6- Call an old friend:
7- Hug someone;
8- Love yourself.
It’s the right time for you to have a healthy conversation with YOURSELF and realize what YOU can do TODAY to get to YOUR goal.
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¹ BREUNING, Loretta – Habits of a Happy Brain, 2016, Chapter 6 – page 148.
² BRAIKER B., Harriet – Who’s Pulling Your Strings?, 2004, Chapter 5 – page 56.