Do You Struggle Working for Your Boss?

We have all probably worked for good bosses and bad bosses. Working for a good boss is easy, while working for a bad boss makes each day a struggle. How can you improve your environment if you find yourself in this situation? I recommend reflecting on these key points.

1. What does my boss need from me? First off, he or she needs you to complete your assigned tasks on time and manage your assigned responsibilities. Beyond that, he or she is normally looking for loyalty, openness, tolerance, and focus. These are traits that a boss typically doesn’t ask for directly, but will appreciate when employees embrace.

2. What do I need from my boss? The basics are clear communication and guidance on assigned tasks. If we receive the basics, we are more productive when we receive support and feedback. This take more time on your boss’s agenda, so you may have to take the initiative. Schedule weekly time to get feedback, and ask for the support you need. Your boss may want to provide it, but may never allocate his time.

If you are struggling, reflect on the difference experiences you have had with different bosses. In your current role, what is missing? What is in your control to change? What action will help today?

Time to Move On?

I recently observed a situation where a person was promoted into a new role, but was struggling because they were stuck in their old role. Not that they needed to fulfill their old role, but because they didn’t want to give it up.

I have had many working assignments over my career, each one presented new challenges, and opportunities. Some of my success has come from determining the skills I needed at the particular moment and focusing on being better at them.

I started my career in an assignment writing software even though my degree was Industrial Engineering. I eventually moved to an Industrial Engineering role, and I took my software development skills with me. However, within a year, those skills were no longer relevant to my success. I had to learn new skills.

That pattern repeated itself over the next 30 years. I learned skills, moved, adapted, and repeated. The adaptation is what can be difficult if you are not aware of the need to adapt.

When you transitioned into your current role, what skills became more important? What skills became less important? Have you adapted? Are you continuing your learning?

We build experience and skills over a life time. You don’t have to give up what you learned to move to a new role, but you probably will benefit from shifting your focus to the new skills needed for success.

Why Is Self-Discipline Difficult?

Success requires self-discipline. It is the method by which you convert your time into action on a regular basis. People who are great at self-discipline enjoy the results. People that are poor at self-discipline fail to consistently achieve. Because self-discipline is difficult, most of us fall in the middle.

Here are three methods to improve your level of self-discipline:

1. Set your priorities and goals. When I decide it is time to make improvements in my life, I typically review how I spend my time, and then I make adjustments with new goals. Often I try to adjust too many things. It is more effective to define just one or two priorities and then focus link it with the top change you want to make. Your more likely to stick with it.

2. Create systems and routines that provide daily focus on your goals. Discipline is all about practice. The habit you want to create is easier to maintain if you think of it not as a daily task, but as practice with the intent to improve every day. Stop just checking the box, and challenge yourself. Set up a system for tracking progress and also a system for rewards.

3. Find someone to hold you accountable. For me, the simple answer is find a coach. But that won’t always fit in a person’s budget. An accountability partner is anyone that can provide the motivation for you to follow through on your commitments. It could be a friend, a spouse, or a co-worker. You can also connect with someone with a similar interest or goal and challenge each other to continue.

Self-discipline is difficult because success takes time and we often lack the patience success requires. How can these three processes help you build the foundation for your future success?

A Friend at Work?

Friendships at work can be difficult. But research also shows that having a friend at work can greatly enhance the work experience and results. So how can you be a better friend at work? If you want to make better work friendships, I suggest looking at Tom Roth’s book, Vital Friends.

Friendships fill many needs in our life. Our friendships at work are the same. But in a work environment, we are more effective in our strength zone. So if you learn how you can be a better friend at work, you can focus on your strengths as a friend.

Here are, according to Tom, the roles friends fulfill:

1. Builder. Builders motivate their friends.

2. Champion. Champions stand up for their friends and sing their praises to others.

3. Collaborator. Collaborators work closely together with their friends on shared interests and goals.

4. Companion. Companions are always there for their friends. They are there through the good and the bad.

5. Connector. Connectors are bridge builders for their friends. They help them achieve by connecting them to people and resources they need.

6. Energizer. Energizers are fun friends that always provide a boost. They can change their friends attitudes by walking in the room.

7. Mind Opener. Mind openers challenge their friends and open their minds to new ideas.

8. Navigator. Navigators are friends that provide their friends advice and guidance.

As a friend, you do not fill all eight of these roles. You are probably very good at a few of them, especially in a work environment. If you know the roles that provides the basis for your at work friendship, doesn’t it follow that, you can strengthen your friendships by strengthening yourself in the roles you play?