Because you get out what you put in

A graphic showing a series of questions to ask when managing a high performer, and a quotation “Talent is the multiplier.”
A graphic showing a series of questions to ask when managing a high performer, and a quotation “Talent is the multiplier.”
Image credit: Author

High performers in any organisation aren’t easy to manage. With their uncanny ability to produce outstanding work and an appetite to solve tough problems, they demand even greater attention and engagement from their managers.

And these managers are so busy putting out fires, attending meetings, convincing stakeholders, and solving poor performance that they fail to prioritise the one thing that deserves their time and energy: their top performers.

With an excuse of a busy schedule, they fool themselves into believing that their high performers are already doing great and are invested to excel in their role, which is sufficient to keep them inspired and committed to the job. …


And what to do instead

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Image for post
Credit: Author

Do you feel exhausted, even frustrated, from working hard, putting in extra hours, sometimes even on weekends and late nights trying to catch up on work, but not being able to make progress on your own goals?

Is it the demands of the workplace that’s eating up into your time, or the fact that you don’t have control over your own schedule? Do you create value or are you simply working to satisfy the expectations of others?

Jumping in to solve every crisis at work, saying “yes” to new projects even when your plate is full, staying late to help others while missing the deadlines of your own deliverables, pushing your personal commitments aside to make time for another meeting, nodding your head in agreement even though you disagree, and answering every email and message as if your life depended on it. …


How to make better decisions

graphic showing four symptoms of decision fatigue
graphic showing four symptoms of decision fatigue
Credit: Author

As we get down to work, our mind is flooded with thoughts — should I respond to that email I got last night or a message from my boss, how about a cup of coffee, why not start the project I have been avoiding this entire week or maybe just a quick catch up on the meeting I missed yesterday…

A series of these small decisions scattered throughout our day may seem harmless in the moment as they seem to demand only a small fraction of our mental energy. …


Maintaining focus in a distracting world

graphic of boy with cloud of distractions over his head and a quote from book on maintaining focus
graphic of boy with cloud of distractions over his head and a quote from book on maintaining focus
Credit: Author

In a world that’s designed for interruptions, we are all vulnerable to distractions.

The sense of accomplishment that comes from producing great work rewards and energises us to strive for more, be better at our tasks, and generate higher quality output.

We have all the necessary information, the right tools, and resources at our disposal to achieve excellence, and yet we rarely see it in practice.

The feeling that most people describe at work is one of relief as opposed to accomplishment after finishing a task. …


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As a leader of an organisation, the question “what needs attention” was always top of my mind. I realised that without taking real inputs from people in the organisation, any decisions I make and the direction I provide will be nothing but my own biased view of what people want, not what they need.

Looking down from 10000 ft above the ground, you may see the greenery of the forests, ice-covered mountains, beautiful terrains, and vastness of the oceans. It’s only when you get to the ground, the rough patches start to surface. …


Know the difference between high- and low-context culture

Image of differences of cultures.
Image of differences of cultures.
Credit: Author

It was Monday morning and I was anxiously waiting in my cubicle for Bob to come to the office. I had made up my mind to tell him clearly that the new project timelines were very rigid, and there’s no way we could pull it off. I was at the client site in Massachusetts, and Bob was handling the entire program from the customer’s side.

At the first sign of his appearance, I marched to him hoping to convey my discomfort in signing up for the project. This is how our conversation went:

Me: Hey Bob. Hope you had a great weekend. …


Becoming a better leader

A drawing of a car. Under it, there’s a quote: Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” — Lao Tzu
A drawing of a car. Under it, there’s a quote: Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” — Lao Tzu
Credit: Author

Just like a tortoise hides inside its shell and a porcupine’s sharp quills leap to attention when they sense danger, we human beings also put on protective armour when we feel threatened. Risky situations, anxiety from the unknowns, and the danger of being exposed evoke the same emotional response as the fear of being chased by a predator.

We feel vulnerable. But instead of embracing vulnerability, accepting our fears, and leading with curiosity, we put on a shield of protection. …


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Image for post
Credit: Author

The end of December is the time to look forward to what’s coming up next, be curious about how the year will unfold, what will it have in store for you and how you can make it better than what it is right now, but it’s also a time to reflect back on the life you are living. It’s the time to be thoughtful about how you have grown this year.

Whatever dreams you have of the future cannot be fulfilled without reflecting on the lessons from the past. Experience by itself does not lead to learning. …


We’re constantly communicating at work, even when we’re not speaking

Graphic of four smiling people at work with caption stating that self-presentation supersedes verbal communication
Graphic of four smiling people at work with caption stating that self-presentation supersedes verbal communication
Image credit: Author

We speak more through our bodies than our words. The posture we assume, the expression on our face, our hand gestures, and our eye movements convey far more than we would like to expose.

A subtle smile in a meeting can indicate willingness to engage in a dialogue, while a stern look can instantly kill the conversation. Constantly checking the phone or looking at the watch can signal disengagement, while focusing on the other person signals interest.

Rolling our eyes expresses distrust or disgust in another person’s idea or behaviour, while our eyes light up when we are genuinely curious about others. Keeping our head down while walking in the hallway shows a lack of presence, while acknowledging people passing by through a simple nod creates warmth. …


And what kind of mindset drives you?

Comparing manager types
Comparing manager types
Photo by the author.

Signing up to be a manager is an act of great courage. Breaking our existing mold and getting ready to be cast into a new one is no easy feat. It presents many of the same challenges that we face when making a move from school to college, deciding between careers, or accepting a job.

While the change demands letting go of our existing identity and embracing a new one with openness and curiosity, it’s our mindset that determines what we make of it. …

About

Vinita

I write about ideas to sharpen your mind and keep you learning to be effective in your work and life. Writer. Techie. Thinker. More@ https://www.techtello.com/

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