Lead a Good Life

Daily hints and tips to enhance your life

3 Invaluable Abilities

When you hear the word “work”, you probably imagine sitting in front of computer, or cutting grass in the front yard. In fact, there are three important aspects that lots of people don’t realize

1. Ability to Pay Attention

Paying a good attention requires a lot of efforts, To do it right, you have to listen, and maintain proper eye contact. That’s not all, you will also need to think and digest about those things you are hearing at that moment. On another note, even you have this urge to cut the conversation and speak, you may not. You have to wait your turn for giving comments or to ask something back.

2. Ability to Admit

Admitting that you don’t understand is a way to gain additional information or knowledge. We can have this by asking, but admitting that you need help to finish a job or project that you run is even more important.

Many people do not want to admit they have messed up. They worry that it will ruin their perfect images, result in more works for them, or being blamed by others. Nevertheless, keeping on pretending as the perfect one makes us incapable of learning and growing.

3. Ability to Show Gratitude

Thanking someone for helping us should not be something that has to be told. It should be spontaneous. They just helped us and they will know the sincere-ness in our gratitude. There’s been a lot of stories about decent people that return lost wallet, saving lives, didn’t get any gratitude at all.

Sometimes, however funny it sounds, people feel embarrassed that they need help or have just lost something, but that should not block their way to show their form of appreciation.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Career, Intra Personal Skill, Leadership | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Understanding Gray Areas

Using company’s resource for personal issues, especially during working hours, is a big fat NO for workers in many companies. However, supervisors often have to deal with what we always call the gray areas, while at the same time closing one eye on activities and behaviors that legitimately forbidden. They realize that to expel these activities is more harmful than to benefit from it, because many employees have interest, and mainly personal interest, to be within the gray areas.

In some factories, where tools and materials are available, we can find some workers making personal stuffs out of it. Kitchenware, toys for their children, or window frames – all within working hours. Managers often deliberately indifferent about this, because they need these people when jobs need to be completed as fast and as good as possible.

And let’s take a look within a publishing house where a competent junior editor and a productive one, completing his personal novels within working hours. His managers somehow tolerate him, hoping in return they can count on a hardworking, loyal, and motivated junior editor.

So why does even all these talented workers have the same urge to break the rule? Research showed that they have the need to play their “job identity”. An identity that describe self picture showing someone trained within a specific field and making them part of that profession. A profession, perhaps goes as far as “profession”; the most important thing is how colleagues assess someone in the job

Many senior executives fail to understand the needs of “job identity” (so they often think negatively about this gray areas), could be that they themselves haven’t got their own identities. Executives often see themselves pursuing their own personal challenge, and that’s why, when they enter a company, they don’t understand the importance of job identity for their people. For example, an executive in a fashion company might not be a designer, and because of that, he could probably ignore the needs of a designer within the company of recognition from colleagues.

Instead of considering that gray areas is a dangerous issues, leaders can always try to understand the cause of why the gray area appears. It doesn’t mean that they have to accept all the activities within the areas. They would probably spend their time monitoring misuse of working time and other resources – with proper understanding of course, that these gray areas show that there are higher aspirations within workers; one thing that soon will be considered by leaders as a character of employees they look for.

Finding the right person might not always possible, but workers will be more involved and productive when their capabilities is admitted by their boss.


Source: Michel Anteby, Harvard Business School Publishing

December 8, 2008 Posted by | Career, Workplace Improvement | , , , , , | Leave a comment