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Dealing With Failure

Dealing With Failure

At some point in our lives we have all experienced a sense of failure. Failure on getting a call for that interview, securing a job that will provide a much needed income, exams, performance targets, diet and fitness goals etc. It can be extremely painful and take us a long time to recover. It can be like somebody whips off a really stuck plaster on a wound, which can hurt even more than the first wound.

We all know that there are many bumps in the road, mountains to climb and hurdles to overcome. Sometimes life just doesn’t seem fair. We may even think; why me? We may look at our friends or neighbours and think they are so lucky, but remember ‘the grass is always greener on the other side’. Nobody gets away scot-free!

So, is there a secret cure to recovery quickly after failure? There are many ways to handle the feeling better and seeking out approaches that work is a good start to help with moving on or re-frame an experience beyond calling it or ourselves a failure.  There are many approaches and as we are all different and recover at different paces finding one that fits is a process of self-discovery.  We all handle setbacks or failures differently. We must remember that we have survived many failures in the past, and rebounded from them, and we will deal with and recover from this one too. All that is needed is a little time to reflect and a chance to lick our wounds. Some tips to soothe the soul and restore our faith could include:

  • –  The key is to be gentle with ourselves.
  • –  Don’t take it personally. The incident/result did not pan out the way we thought it would.
  • –  Seek supportive networks to help heal the mental and emotional pain, to restore our spirit. Take any valuable insights during this phase to help in future endeavours.
  • –  If needed, get mad and release any frustrations – in a safe way. Workout the pain through physical exercise, such as walking, running, boxing, etc.
  • –  Accept the situation, and then move forward one step at a time.
  • –  Push outside the ‘safety-blanket’ in gradual steps at first, until life once again springs a step back in our walk to leap again.
  • –  Count the blessings that we currently behold, and be appreciative of them.
  • –  Acknowledge that there are plenty of other opportunities, when we are ready to get up and try again.

Sometimes our failures can teach us a lesson. (Though at the time we may just have wanted the results) They can also show us that maybe this opportunity just wasn’t for us. Although, it is only when we are much further down the road in life that we recognise this insight, and then we are thankful. Our personal failures can also be instrumental in helping others on their journey too. Sharing our story and experience, at a later date, with others who face a similar dilemma of failure can help them to overcome their hurdles and climb their mountains.

For more tips, click here.

#failure #motivation #career

The Benefit of Applying the Pomodoro Technique in Your Career

The Benefit of Applying the Pomodoro Technique in Your Career

If time-management isn’t your forte, then this simple method can help to achieve a more effective output in shorter time, in almost any career. Developed in the 1980’s by Francesco Cirillo, the Pomodoro Technique was designed to break tasks into 25 minute intervals (known as Pomodoro’s), with short interludes in between each Pomodoro.

Courtesy of Yummymoon

The technique facilitates with realising increased completion of jobs, ahead of deadlines. It also eliminates any potential for procrastination, panic, stress and optimises daily pre-scheduled work flows.   

Follow these simple 5 steps, to accomplish more jobs and success in the work day:

  1. 1.  Select the first task, from the pre-scheduled list of jobs. Choose the biggest task at the start of the day, when energy levels are higher.
  2. 2.  Set a manual timer for 25 minutes. It is important to eliminate any distractions during this time. The use of the timer on a mobile phone may cause us to become distracted with checking emails, etc.
  3. 3.  When the timer finishes, assess if the job is completed or if there is further work needed. If completed, tick the list.
  4. 4.  Take a 5 minute break, which is not work related. Stand up and get the body moving; take a brisk walk, do some squats followed by deep breathing or simply look out the window and reflect or day-dream for this time. Solutions for other jobs can become apparent during this time.
  5. 5.  Following the completion of 4 Pomodoro’s, take a 15-30 minute break.

Time-management is an important concept to apply in almost any work related environment. Additionally, scheduling daily jobs, with the biggest tasks at the start of the day, is vital to ensure staying on track. If it is an initial struggle to start with the 25 minute method, then adding an extra 5 or 10 minutes may help until the suggested time can be attained. Set a goal to try it for 4 weeks. It may take a while for the brain to adjust and accept the new routine, which can radically transform the working week and career.

Further resources on this approach are available on-line if the approach interests you, including this link

How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace

Motivate EmployeesYou, as a business owner, can hire the most talented, educated, and experienced employees in the industry to grow your business. But, if they’re not motivated to bring their best selves to work every day and to work together for the good of the company, all of that talent will be wasted.

 

The hiring process is just the beginning. Once you’ve onboarded your team, it’s time to get them motivated and keep them motivated. The future of your business is at stake.

How to Motivate Employees in the Workplace

There are many tactics you can utilize to inspire your employees’ best work. Understanding how these will affect your team members is the first step to improving workplace satisfaction and ultimately your bottom line.

 

1. Competitive Pay

It seems fairly obvious. If you don’t pay your employees what they are worth (and more), they will underperform. They’ll always have one foot out the door from the moment they start.

 

Underpaying your staff sends the message that you don’t value their hard work and their talents. If you don’t value their hard work, they won’t either.

 

Here’s how to make competitive pay work for you:

 

  • Before you float a position, research the general pay scale and then go above it. You will attract brighter talent and foster more loyalty.

 

  • Stay abreast of how raises are being handled in your industry and do even better. Institute performance based raises in addition to cost-of-living raises.
  • Make sure that your brand new employees are not coming in at a higher salary than your seasoned employees. No, you don’t want your employees discussing salary. And yes, they do it anyway. Nothing tells your experienced employees that they are expendable like bringing in a newbie at a higher pay rate.

 

Pay your employees well and they will return more rewards.

2. Benefits

While health insurance is the first thought that springs to mind during the benefits discussion, it shouldn’t be the only one. Employees expect health insurance, so offering that doesn’t set you apart from the crowd or motivate your staff.

 

It’s time to think outside the box:

 

  • Wellness programs – this can include gym memberships, massages, weight loss or smoking cessation support, You can offer monetary rewards for participation and completion. This not only motivates employees, but also decreases sick days and may lower your health insurance costs.
  • Tuition reimbursement – Students are graduating with more and more student loans every year. In addition, some employees may want to go back to school so they can move up in your company.

    Offering money for tuition or towards student loans can help motivate your employees to grow and improve. It also sends the message that you appreciate personal development and want your employees to have upward mobility.

  • Telecommuting – People love to work from home and to make their own schedule. Whenever possible, give your trusted employees the option to skip the office and work from the comfort of their homes.

    Creating their own schedule can be appealing to many employees and you will likely find that they work more efficiently when given this freedom. This will also keep them from feeling like they are being micro-managed, a situation which will ensure that your employees do the bare minimum and harbor resentment towards management.

 

Get creative with your use of benefits and your employees will thank you in improved performance.

 

2. Ensuring managers have leadership qualities

Your employee is doing a fantastic job in their current role so you reward them with a promotion. This seems good in theory, but what if that employee isn’t management material? The Peter principle states that “managers rise to the level of their incompetence”.
Managers need to possess leadership qualities. If you plan to promote for a job well done, make sure that:

  1. a) the employee already shows these qualities, or
  2. b) you give them sufficient training to succeed in their new position.

 

When you promote (or even worse, hire) a leader without leadership qualities, the employee will suffer, the team will suffer, and your business will suffer.

 

3. Performance reviews

It may seem counterintuitive for anyone who has ever had the dreaded “review”, however checking in with your employees on a regular basis and discussing their performance can be a win-win situation.

Here’s how:

  • Review expectations: Here’s what’s expected of you.
  • Offer positive feedback: Here’s what you did well.
  • Provide constructive suggestions: Here are the areas in which you need to improve, and how to do it. (be specific!).
  • Utilize financial rewards and incentives: Bonuses, raises, promotions, etc.
  • Create a safe space: Allow your employee to review the leadership and motivation they are receiving. And don’t forget to listen.

 

4. Engage with them personally through staff meetings

No one wants to work for the Wizard of Oz, a giant talking head who can’t be bothered speaking to his team. The best bosses are the ones who know their employees on a professional level, yet also care about them on a personal level.

 

Take the time to speak to your employees through one on one meetings and staff meetings, and most importantly, listen to your employees when they speak to you. The greatest ideas, breakthroughs, and solutions will come from the employees that are in the thick of it.

 

Front line, middle management; these are the people who understand how your business is run. Take advantage of this wealth of knowledge and show your appreciation for their hard work.
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No matter what type of building you occupy, how much you’ve spent in equipment or inventory, and how much you love your customers, your employees are your biggest investment and your best assets. Treat them with respect and provide them with constant sources of motivation, and your business will boom.

Written by: Brad Mishlove, CEO and founder of Catapult Groups, an executive coaching organization is committed to inspiring business owners and entrepreneurs by keeping them accountable for their own success through peer advisory groups and one-on-one executive coaching.

 

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