Originally published on November 30, 2017 on Forbes.com
As one of the most respected employment agencies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Monroe Personnel Service knows that healthy professional relationships are the backbone of a business. This time of year people tend to be a bit more emotionally sensitive. This is a good time to review some basic relationship skills so that, weather interacting with coworkers or clients, we can bring our best to the table and support others to be the best they can be as well.
Alexandra Levit has written a brief article that reminds us of the basics of tending to healthy work relationships. It appears in lifehack.org.
When it Comes to Work Relationships, Let it Be
Allow me to be straight about something. I have fought against certain professional relationships my entire life. Why? Because I’ve continually wished that some people were different, and I’ve been convinced that others were out to get me. I have turned away potentially fruitful relationships because I was afraid of getting hurt or I questioned a person’s motives. It’s a shame, and if I can, I’d like to prevent you all from doing the same. Here are some lessons I’ve now tried to incorporate:
Don’t Dwell on the Negative
If you like and respect a colleague, let it be. Look for the best in that person. Focus on the traits that prompted you to want to work with them in the first place. Remember that no one is perfect, and one person can be all things to all people. Accept the things you don’t like and don’t try to change them because that will only result in frustration and friction that could be perceptible to your team.
If you basically like and respect someone at work, believe that they mean well and will do right by you. Don’t over-analyze why they behave a certain way, and don’t assume the worst if something happens between the two of you that you don’t understand. Always address issues proactively through open communication, and don’t expect them to read your mind.
Cut Them Slack
If they make a mistake or a decision with which you don’t agree, forgive them. Trust that they will learn and do things differently next time. Beware of sky-high expectations. If you’re annoyed that they are not as talented or as articulate or as consistent as you are, recognize that they are probably better than you are in some ways so it evens out in the end.
Go out of your way to spend quality time with the important people on your team, especially if you usually work virtually. Don’t rely on email or social media – it’s not the same as calling someone or seeing them in person. The more you’re in one another’s presence, the easier it will be to ensure you’re on the same page.
Examine Your Role
If you find yourself having the same problems with co-workers over and over again, the time has come to look at yourself and what you may be doing to cause roadblocks. Taking responsibility for your own behavior will open the door to improve your workplace relationships in immeasurable ways.
Alexandra Levit is a career and workplace expert at the Fast Track blog, a daily source for advice on how to be exceptional at your job. You can follow her on Twitter at @alevit.
We’re always wanting to get more done at Monroe Personnel Service, LLC and Temptime so we read this article about productivity with interest. We have a couple natural multi-taskers here. That means we interact with the world and process information on several levels at the same time. Our minds work like holograms, the same proportions and patterns are being repeated over and over again on the microscopic level as well macroscopic and every level in between.
This means our interactions with the world on one level informs and generates energy for other interactions on other levels. That’s why multi-taskers find it so useful to do “low-level thinking” activities when the mind is occupied with higher level thinking demands. It can be tricky though. As Jason Womack says in the following article, it can be addicting to do those things which don’t need much effort but feel good to do. When too much of that happens the day feels wasted. So how to keep a balance?
To find my productivity hot spot I set my intention and then keep a soft focus throughout the day. I am most productive when I can cushion high priority tasks that need a lot of energy and attention with low priority, “no-brainer” tasks that give me space to decompress and feel productive at the same time. My aim is to keep myself flowing with activity and interactions that are serving my co-workers, our clients, as well as myself throughout the day.
How do you find your productivity “hot spot”?
Find Your Productivity Hot Spotby John McDermott
Productivity expert Jason Womack says the secret to getting more done is to create a distraction-free zone. Here’s what it should look like.
Jason Womack dedicated his book, Your Best Just Got Better: Work Smarter, Think Bigger, Make More, to you. That’s because Womack believes that you are almost certainly wasting your time and not accomplishing your full potential. The executive coach and entrepreneur in residence at tech business incubator Ventura Ventures, based in Ventura, California, has a strategy for making anyone be more productive. He spoke with Inc. reporter John McDermott about time management, how exercise can improve your work life, and what Little League can teach you about business.
Long before you became an expert on productivity, you were a baseball umpire. What did umpiring baseball teach you about business?
To be completely transparent, it was T-ball. That job paid for about half a year of college tuition, so it was actually a big deal for me. Here’s what I learned: The most important part of that job was building community on the diamond, and the community I was building was often between parents on opposing teams. When it comes to growing a business, it really comes down to how you interact with people with opposing ideas and getting those people to come together in some way.
So what’s really keeping people from being more productive?
I always thought the problem was time. But what I’ve realized over the past three years is that there are three other resources, the most important being energy and focus. If I don’t have the mental or physical energy, it doesn’t matter how much time I have. The next factor would be focus. When a CEO sits down at his or her desk, what is pulling on his or her focus that’s a distraction? An email can come in that’s a distraction but it feels good to work on that versus an invite that comes in but there might be too much work involved in that for the time being.
So, sometimes people busy themselves with low-level thinking tasks just to make themselves feel productive?
We’re starved for wins. People are looking for something to check off the list. It’s the idea that I can stay busy cleaning things up versus turning everything off and focusing solely on a problem, a situation, or an opportunity. Most of my clients can’t read a document or book for 15 minutes without being distracted.
How do you rewire a person’s behavior then?
That’s the fourth resource: ecosystem. I’m not going to be able to change what I do if I go to the same place where I was doing the incorrect behavior before. For instance, this phone call. There’s a room in my house where I take phone calls that is not at my desk. If I’m sitting at my desk, I can look at the book that I’m reading, my email; I can organize my desk. When I pop into this room, it’s my thinking space. Ask yourself: What can I shift in my environment so that my focus is enhanced so that my energy can be used most appropriately in that limited time that I have?
What is the most common time management mistake business owners make?
Not being conscious about where time went. If I could give one piece of advice to someone at the executive level it would be to minimize the number of times he or she is distracted while working.
How does someone become conscious of his or her distractions?
It goes back to the ecosystem. Recognize which ecosystem is the most distraction-free. Also, a CEO should have some kind of assessment or checklist. That will raise a person’s awareness of what he or she just did.
How does fitness play into productivity?
I believe that if people were a little bit more aware, their focus will increase. Every meal is a conscious experience. Do I need to finish those last four ounces of steak? Do I need to order an appetizer and a dessert? Do I need to drink that extra glass of alcohol? When the alarm goes off, do I need to walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes? Should I get out one subway stop early and walk six blocks? All of these micro decisions add up. CEOs are so used to going big, that if they’re not training for an Ironman, they’re likely to go in the opposite direction and not take care of themselves.
John McDermott is a business and culture reporter whose work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Playboy and on AOL.com. He recently moved from Chicago to Brooklyn, New York, to work for Inc.com. @J_M_McDermott
We love working with Rachelle Ayuyang. She has been doing contract work with Monroe Personnel Service & Temptime for a few years. Rachelle is also a writer and has a blog where she shares her musings about working and living a creative life in San Francisco. It’s called “Bookends”, here is the most recent chapter which you can find at http://bookendsrqa.wordpress.com
I got sick at the end of May on my birthday no less, and it wasn’t a tragedy, with the exception of how awful I felt. Nevertheless, I had no choice but to stay at home all weekend and park in front of my TV and recuperate. I was a captive audience, and, well, here are just some highlights:
Gloria Steinem on Oprah’s OWN: I’ve had conflicted feelings with both women, but perhaps as I get older, I’m more forgiving and perceive them more as women of wisdom. In the broadcast, they both appeared at the all-women Barnard College in New York City to discuss their successes, trials and hopes for the younger generation of women. In the 1990s when Oprah was peaking, the catch phrase was finding one’s own voice. Twenty years later, mine is still a work in progress that is shifting with every experience and my own longevity. Steinem later regrets forgetting to tell the students how their expectations may have to change over time and encourages having more than one career, among others things, in a lifetime. I could certainly vouch for that advice, since my thirties were largely an exploration of where I want to eventually land.
Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee: By contrast, here’s a woman so steadfast that she has stuck around one workplace for 60 years. But the most fascinating thing about this was Sunday on the Thames with 1,000 flotillas, where revelers, the queen included, braved the deluge and cold gray London weather to fete the ruling monarch. It was pretty much a display of deliriously happy Londoners who no doubt would eventually succumb to an illness worse than mine. I felt complete simpatico. The best part was the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s serenade alongside the Queen’s royal barge. Such British anthems as “Land of Hope and Glory” and “Rule Britannia” known throughout the UK, which I was only familiar by ear, were played and sung by an intrepid thoroughly drenched choir, who probably won’t get out of bed for weeks. The queen hung tough, standing for about two hours throughout the celebration.
It’s said your body has a way of telling you something, perhaps to hold up and have a listen, this is important. I’m rationalizing now, but I guess being sick was a way of getting me to slow down, look at the lay of the land, and assess where I am, especially if I’m going on a less-than-desirable path. Maybe I’m taking my work situation too seriously, and maybe I don’t have to do everything that I want to do in a week, like I’m stuffing a sausage. At this point, the valuable lesson I learned is the quality of life supersedes most things, and it’s nice to be reminded of it in the company of this sisterhood.