8 Things to Judge if you are Empowered

The Empowerment definition that I love is “the process of becoming stronger and more confident, especially in controlling one’s life and claiming one’s rights”.  As this would indicate, empowerment is a continuing process.  As we work on becoming stronger and more confident, we become more in control of our destiny. The dream to be in control of one’s destiny is within all of us.  The ability to make it a reality differs from individual to individual.  I have had the pleasure of interacting with such empowered people. Some young and some not so young. What is the secret of these empowered individuals? Knew their core values They knew their core values and used them as a foundation to make choices.  As their choices  were in harmony with their values, they were at peace with themselves.  At times, the decisions they made did not yield material well being.  But they were comfortable that they had not compromised themselves in any way. Do you know your core values?  What are they? Knew themselves They knew their strengths, skills, personality and talents very well. They were very conscious of any development needs that they had. They knew their passions and aspirations.  They were clear on their internal and external motivators. They were also clear on the environments that made them flourish.   Do you know your strengths, skills and talents?  What are your passions and aspirations?  Do you know what you would sacrifice to pursue your goals? Do you know how others perceive you? Had open minds They were prepared to try new things or hear and consider new ideas.  They did...

11 Types of Challenging Staff Members and How to handle them

Over the past few months I have written about challenging bosses and colleagues. To complete this picture, I am now writing about the other part to this puzzle – challenging staff members. There is no prescriptive way to bring out the best in people. The foundation for inspiring employees is trust, a safe environment and good intent. Only with such a sound foundation will a leader be able to use practical tactics to address these challenging staff members.   Who are these challenging Staff members? High Maintenance In most cases, these employees are very good at what they do. They need validation, acknowledgement or a sounding board.  This can mean many hours of conversation which can be tiring for managers, who have many other issues on their plate. Setting up regular time slots for meetings is a good way to limit the time spent with these individuals. Bring in the routine to nudge them into the allotted time slot if they ambush you at other times. Ask them if it is a critical issue. If not, push them back to the agreed meeting time.  Make sure that you are present and mindful in the time allotted for them. They are smart enough to know when you are not engaged.  This will certainly turn them off you and you will lose them. Disorganised These individuals cannot prioritise or manage their work.  They are notorious for missing deadlines and delaying projects.  Many of these individuals attend time management courses as a remedy.  Unless there is some follow through in their jobs, these courses will make barely any difference in these individuals...

How to bring out the best in your Employees?

Time and time again we see leaders on conference platforms and town hall sessions urging their employees to strive for excellence and to outperform their goals.  Some of these speeches are inspiring. Others fall way short of the mark.   The better ones set out a clear vision and inspires employees to strive towards these goals.  Depending on the leader, the culture and employee motivation the organisation sees differing levels of success. There are so many articles on leadership and culture on the web and platforms such as LinkedIn.  I don’t wish to bore you with just another sermon on sound leadership and the right culture. I would like to give you an insight into employees perspective of what makes them strive for success.  I hope this is a catalyst to get you thinking differently and ultimately acting differently.   What do employees need? Feel the connection and care Some leaders talk only about the the company’s or their own achievements and what their expectations are for the coming year.   “We have achieved the stretch sales targets for the last three years.  I have come to expect this, year on year double digit growth.  Make sure you don’t let me down” “We have to keep our operating expenses stable for this year.  Looking at the last few years I am sure this is not going to be a problem for us” While the leader is feeling the top of the world, the employees are thinking: “We have been killing ourselves to achieve these results.  You want to make us work harder!” “What else will they find to automate or...

Have you found Balance in your Career?

  “I am the pack horse of the office.  They just give me the hard projects knowing that I will get it done.” “I am the anchor for our department.  My boss relies on me to make sure things get done and we weather any storm that comes at us.  He has no interest in promoting me as he likes me where I am” These are some of the comments that I have heard over the years. If we are saying things like this to ourselves, it is time to reflect on where we are in our career.    If we don’t have the awareness of what we are doing, we will not realise that we are falling into set patterns.  These patterns then become the norm.  It is important to achieve the right balance in key areas of our life. This way we will be empowered and in control of our life and our career.  After some  thought I have come up with the following topics that we need to strike the right balance.  I would love to hear of others that you have encountered over the years. The balance between adding value and being taken for granted I am great believer in mastering our jobs and adding value to the organisation that we belong to. This will take us far in our career. However,  if we find ourselves in a situation that we constantly are fighting fires or doing thankless projects, it is time to evaluate our position. Ask yourself these questions Am I learning new skills or building on my strengths by doing these projects? Am I...

4 Things to Let Go as Job Hunting Migrants.

I recently published an article How to Get your First Job in Australia. This article was for migrants looking for that all important first job.  There was a great response for this article.  While as a writer I was overjoyed to get such a response, I was also conscious that this topic can be quite painful for many migrants.  I am writing this article to give you some further pointers to approach job hunting with a positive and resilient mindset. While helping a number of migrants on this rocky road, I have observed some things that could be approached with a different mindset.  As each individual is different, pick the suggestions that most resonate with you. Let go of the frustration that you have to prove yourself again You may have been a high performer in your home country.  You may have an outstanding academic record.  Others may have looked up to you as a leader or mentor.  You may have gone through a vigorous selection criteria to come to this country. You arrive here and find that the hard won respect you had previously is now history.  You need to sell yourself to get that first opportunity.  This can be very frustrating.  If you let this frustration creep into how you interact with recruitment agents or hiring managers,they will not take kindly to it.  You will lose the opportunity to connect with them and win them over. I know this can be hard.  Concentrate on those examples of your excellent work to showcase the value you can bring.  Nothing like powerful examples to bring out positivity, energy and...