Reflecting on your business ABCs can be an interesting exercise and a great way to be reminded of all the different factors that come together to support an effective work environment. You may agree or disagree with these points, but enjoy the read and feel free to add your own!
Ability is an important consideration in our work, especially if we’re new to a situation, eager to impress clients, bosses, or colleagues. We need to be careful about feigning competency; it’s far better to ask for help, be honest or say ‘I’ll come back to you about that. Sometimes, if we’re lacking a little expertise, it can be mutually advantageous to form alliances with other complementary businesses and so extend the range of goods or services we’re both able to offer.
Application. Was it Martin Luther King who said that if you’re a road sweeper aim to be the very best road sweeper you can be, no matter if seconds later someone throws rubbish onto those clean surfaces? Being proud of our work and doing the best job we can, whatever that is, rewards us with daily satisfaction. Take pride in making a round of drinks, doing routine admin, as well as signing that fantastic new contract.
Appraisals are important for everyone, whether conducted officially as part of a career progression or on a smaller scale. Set aside time for personal reflection, goal setting, and recognition. Give yourself credit for successes along the way – they can all too easily be forgotten or dismissed. But also take time to identify areas of weakness that may benefit from some training or attention. Determine your next tier of goals and set motivational plans in place.
Busyness can be seductive. We all want to look busy, successful, and in demand, but being continually busy and rushed off your feet can appear disorganized and chaotic. Use time management strategies like lists, designated times to check online, and a commitment to dedicating less time to endless meetings. Share your workload and let others help.
Breaks are a valuable way to manage stress, which in turn benefits your health, wellbeing, and clearer thinking. Often, upon your return, you’ll be rewarded with new ideas or a different perspective on your situation.
Boundaries. Be clear as to why you work so hard. Yes, it’s great to be occupied with meaningful work, but remember that supporting your home, children, and lifestyle were often major factors in your desire for success. Allow sufficient time to enjoy those areas; your home, family, friends, hobbies, and interests. Sometimes you may need to be firm and say ‘no’, if too much is being asked or expected of you.
Credit. Give credit where it’s due, to others as well as to yourself. Unconditional praise and credit are important as in, ‘well done, great job’, without adding a demotivational, ‘remember to do it like that every time’, ‘wish you were always that good! Don’t be excessively shy about highlighting your own achievements and let others appreciate your skills and accomplishments.
Courtesy and good manners cost nothing, yet can make such a difference to your relationships, reputation, and how others perceive you. Being polite and appreciative of another person’s viewpoint matters, especially intense or fraught situations; people won’t remember how they behaved, that they were perhaps angry, rude, or offensive, but they will remember how you responded and handled their issues.
Communicate well, in every area of your life. Keep clients and customers happy by providing networking opportunities, training sessions that reference your goods or services, and newsletters. All these are ways to keep your business at the forefront of their minds and be viewed as a helpful supporter of their success.
Cherish your family and friends. Stay in touch. It’s all too easy to end up exchanging information updates rather than really talking about your feelings or the things that are on your mind. Make quality time for family and friends. Mutual support comes from nurturing good relationships.
Compromise and be prepared to meet halfway. Remember, you may win a battle but lose the war! Standing firm until the other person capitulates isn’t necessarily worth the ensuing hurt or damage to the relationship. A compromise can allow everyone to come away feeling that something positive has been achieved.
It’s always valuable to invest in the various parts of your life. That way you support your overall health, happiness, and quality of life.
Susan Leigh is a long-established counselor, hypnotherapist, writer, and media contributor who works with clients to help with relationship conflict, stress management, assertiveness, and confidence issues. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support.
She’s the author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips, and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life.