A recent article in The New Yorker reveals that when we remember the past, we do not remember it in the way we think we do. The images that come to mind aren’t like old films being replayed in our heads. In fact, every time we remember something, the memory changes based on the way we remember it.
The more you replay negative thoughts in your mind, the more you are practicing feeling that emotion--which means the more you believe it. Soon you’ll start to believe you aren’t good enough or talented enough, and you’ll never become successful.
The key is to recall memories or mistakes you’ve made in the past, and see them through a lens of learning. Reframe them as moments of growth.
2. Construct a positive environment for yourself.
So much of success depends on our environment. Rarely do we give this enough credit. Where you work and where you spend the majority of your time has a huge impact on what you accomplish and how you feel about it. The right environment will help you feel more engaged in and enthusiastic about your work. A negative environment will suck the joy and inspiration out of you.
The same goes for your home, and perhaps even more so because home is where you go to recharge your batteries at the end of the day. Find ways of making your home feel like the retreat it should be. For example, get a little feng shui in your life by clearing the clutter and creating an environment in which you can truly relax and feel comfortable.
3. Get clear on your why.
As Simon Sinek would say, “Start with Why.” You have to know whyyou want to do something in order to succeed over the long term. Sometimes the why isn’t immediately obvious, and you have to follow your curiosity in order to find it. That’s okay. But if you’re merely following the money, or are chasing validation or the idea of “being seen as successful,” you’ll never find your why. Those motives simply aren’t sustainable enough.
Your why is your inspiration and your bigger purpose. It’s what drives you, even when everything seems to be falling apart. Sinek tell us that “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Identifying your why is key to knowing how to hook your audience or would-be clients and customers.
It takes time to find your why in everything you do. But start looking, and soon it will make itself known.
4. Listen to your gut, but double-check with your mind.
Most of the time we know the right answer long before our logical mind does. We can just feel it. That doesn’t mean you should make decisions based solely on your emotions. What it does mean, however, is that you should also give that emotional part of you a say in the matter.
As it turns out, your rational mind also plays into your gut instinct. Your intuition is built on your firsthand experiences. It’s your brain’s ability to project how something will play out based on past experiences and practices.
The best thing you can do is to trust your gut--but then double-check with your logical mind. Run the numbers. Play devil’s advocate. Make sure you’re being rational, but still let intuition drive decisions.
5. Visualize your success.
Visualization principles have been proven to work in everything from professional sports to business and beyond. Those at the top of their professions have long been using this technique to help them perform their best. The more clearly you can picture doing something in your mind, the easier it will be to pick up a new skill or instill a new habit.
Visualizing yourself living the life you desire and doing the things you want to be doing is a key to your overall life journey and success. That’s not to say you should spend all your time sitting at home hoping and wishing. It just means you need to hold your vision firmly in your mind’s eye and then go for it!
6. Practice more than you preach.
Anyone can talk about success. What’s hard is putting your nose to the grindstone day after day. In order to become successful, you’ll need to master skills worthy of that title in the first place. And you also need to fundamentally believe in what you’re doing.
You need to know your purpose and follow through on your core beliefs and values. After all, nothing will destroy your credibility like a lack of connection between what you say and what you do.
So say what you’re going to do, follow through with it and, above all, believe it. Keep walking the walk and you’ll achieve your goals while inspiring others to do the same.
7. Communicate effectively.
Soft skills are often the biggest differentiators between those perennially aspiring to be successful and those who achieve success.
Effective communication is a skill. It’s something that takes practice, and requires that you invest heavily in not only understanding others, but also yourself. You have to be the master of your own ship before you can instruct others on how they should be sailing.
Recognize when you get frustrated, and know how to manage your negative emotions. At the same time, it’s important to understand when it’s appropriate to give constructive feedback and when it’s best to save words for later. Communication is an art, and it takes time to learn how to perform well.
8. Commit to your goals.
Once you make a commitment to yourself, it’s on you to follow through to the end.
There is a difference between being involved in something and being wholly committed to making it happen. To succeed, you must fully invest yourself in your goals and be determined to see them through. Consider this: if you don’t want to commit to your dreams, someone else will. And nothing is more agonizing than watching someone else achieve your dream.
It may take years to fully learn how to commit to something. But learning to commit is key because it is the one skill most easily transferred from goal to goal. If you can prove to yourself that you can be persistent in one domain, chances are that you can be persistent in any area of your choosing.
But you have to do it once, and really see it through to the end, in order to fully understand what it means to commit and accomplish a goal.
9. Never stop optimizing.
Part of the “success process” is continuing to optimize and learning to make the best use of your resources over time. As soon as you stop trying to improve, you’re no longer working toward success. At best, you will remain stagnant.
The process of developing, constructing and reconstructing is part of a journey that never ends. It’s a skill to be able to constantly look for ways to improve. But just like anything else, the more you practice it, the better you’ll get. Keep testing new strategies and collaborating on different methodologies. Pioneers are those who push the boundaries and carve their own path in life.
10. Ask questions, constantly.
You should never stop learning. Ever.
We learn by asking questions, not telling people the answers we think we know. Therefore, the more we question, the better answers we get.
Part of becoming successful is taking the time to ask others for guidance. Those people are usually those older than you who have already achieved what you’re looking to accomplish. There is so much value in asking questions. For starters, asking questions makes your brain more open to forming new patterns and considering different possibilities.
The deeper your questions, the wiser you will become. And in the process, you will learn to understand yourself better. That self-knowledge will ultimately give you a sense of peace and happiness.
11. End each day in reflection.
It’s easy to get stuck on the treadmill of life, running from one thing to the next without considering how everything you do is interconnected. But if you want to have sustained success, you need to make time to reflect at the end of each day.
Setting aside even five minutes to consider what went well and what didn’t will give you an awareness of the issues and flaws that you need to address. Reflection, whether it’s daily, weekly, monthly or yearly, is a key part of continuing to improve and refine over time.
Without reflection, you might as well have blinders on. Take a step back. See the bigger picture. That will allow you to make more astute decisions about where you want to go.
Good leaders are hard to come by. Almost half of the companies that participated in the Workplace Trends’ Global Workforce Leadership Survey in February and March 2015 chose leadership as the hardest skill to find in employees. What’s more, among the 1,000 employee participants, only 36 percent called leadership a strength in their organizations.
One of the problems here is that when they analyze their leadership-development issues, most organizations put the responsibility on employees to improve, or on current leaders to train their teams. Employers expect their employees to attend leadership training events, take a development course or find a mentor to advance their skills and careers.
Alternately, the pressure is on managers to identify leaders in their teams and train them to follow in their footsteps in addition to their regular responsibilities.
But in this way, employers miss a big piece of the puzzle: human resources. HR needs to get involved in leadership development; otherwise organizations will be stuck in the same pattern.
Here’s how HR can help boost leadership development:
1. Define leadership.
What does great leadership look like? And what traits are the most important for a leader to have?
The answers of course vary from person to person and company to company. For some, a great leader may be someone who focuses on communication and transparency, while others may see a "leader" as someone who helps pick up the slack when the team is in need.
Everyone has an individual dea of what great leadership means, and each company needs something different depending on its culture and goals.
That’s where HR comes in. It’s HR’s job to get everyone onto the same page and define what leadership means within that particular company. HR has the power to define what the individual organizational brand of leadership is.
2. Identify potential.
Once the organization has a clear idea of what leadership looks like, HR can help identify which employees possess the right qualities for the job.
After all, a study conducted by Gallup found that just 18 percent of current managers had the talent required for the role. But HR is uniquely positioned to pick out employees with the leadership skills employers need. HR professionals have a larger view of talent, performance and skills. Where managers and coworkers likely have a limited view of employees, HR gets the whole picture.
From its vantage point, HR can review and compare feedback from managers, peers and clients. It can see skills and strengths, and identify those who exude the leadership qualities the organization needs. HR has a deep understanding of the skills needed and the best view of where those skills lie among employees across the organization.
3. Develop skills.
Having the right skills isn't enough to be a great leader -- professionals need training and development. And many employers fall short in this area. In fact, 39 percent of companies surveyed by Workplace Trends said they offered leadership development programs, but just 15 percent of their employees felt these programs effectively prepared them for their next role.
It’s not just new leaders who are missing out. Veterans feel that they aren't growing in their positions, either. Among those surveyed by Gallup, only 40 percent strongly agreed that they had opportunities to learn and grow at work in the past year.
So, the training and development programs already available may be ineffective because HR isn't involved and that needs to change. The reason is that HR can "see it all" the gaps in skills, the ways in which leadership development programs can be created to fit their organizations' definition of leadership and the preferences of those already in leadership positions for what's needed to foster growth.
4. Offer support.
Better training isn't the only way HR can contribute to leadership development. HR can build support for leaders into the processes and policies of the company. In other words, HR can set up recruitment and promotion processes, plus performance reviews to support and reinforce positive leadership.
For example, HR can make sure the organization recruits for the leadership skills needed. These skills can be requirements for positions that involve leading others right now or developing talent for future leadership roles.
In addition, HR can add leadership considerations into the promotion and performance-review process. That way, those who deserve a promotion but may not be suited for leadership can still get the recognition they deserve without being placed in a role they’re not right for. And that benefits everyone.
Performance reviews and management can not only screen for leadership qualities, but also reinforce what good leadership looks like in a organization.
That way, leaders will be recognized for their hard work as they continue to improve and develop. With HR’s support, leadership development can be built into every level of the company.
Human resources occupies a unique role in any company. Unlike other departments, HR has a strong connection to every department, from seeing how each team contributes to overall business strategy to zeroing in on individual employee needs. The modern HR professional goes beyond the administrative call of duty and embraces a relationship to everyone in an organization.
It’s that very connection and understanding that affords HR professionals the unique ability to act as a “chameleon” of sorts kindly borrowing certain strategies they see working across the org. Because HR chats with everyone, any employee can serve as a valuable mentor.
The best HR leaders now enact multiple business strategies to take their companies to the next level. Here are four roles that will serve them well to emulate in their day-to-day:
Marketing plays an essential role in the overall success of a business and, although it may not seem like it at first, it plays an equally important role in human resources. Think about it: at its core, recruiting is based on marketing the company and its open positions to job seekers. And the rise of digital marketing has made it easier than ever for HR to play the part of the marketing professional.
How it applies to HR:The global competition for talent has required HR to take on marketing. When it comes to attracting applicants to the company, it’s partly up to human resources to market the company’s employer brand and its reputation as an employer.
One extremely effective way to do this is by helping job seekers visualize what it might be like to work at the company through culture or recruitment videos like this one by Shopify. Featuring corporate culture videos, employee testimonials and photos on social media is an effective way for human resources to market open positions and attract top-tier talent.
To go from administrative expert to strategic business partner, HR professionals need to be financially intelligent. They need to understand the universal business language: accounting.
How it applies to HR:Being well-versed in accounting can help with a number of business practices, from developing budgets to creating proposals. Most importantly, however, accounting helps HR professionals manage performance and identify return on investment (ROI).
A knowledge of accounting makes it easier to crunch numbers and measure employee performance based on inventory, sales, customer satisfaction and more. Accounting can also help HR professionals calculate ROI to demonstrate the cost-effectiveness of various HR-related initiatives, such as employee development, team-building and wellness programs.
When it comes to talent, human resources and sales go hand-in-hand. Just as recruiting comes down to marketing to job seekers, recruiting also comes down to direct sales. HR professionals need to understand sales strategy before they can make informed decisions about talent requirements.
How it applies to HR:To figure out what type of talent is needed, where to find it and how to secure it, HR needs to have a deep understanding of the company’s products and/or services, as well as various market conditions. Understanding sales strategy helps human resources professionals identify where talent or skills gaps exist within the company and how to best fill those gaps.
4. Customer Service
Last, but certainly not least, human resources professionals need to take a page out of customer service’s book. While human resources is increasingly becoming a strategic field, it is a service department, first and foremost. For the HR professional, the customer is the employee and customer service is the HR brand.
How it applies to HR:Just as customer service employees strive to meet the needs of customers, human resources professionals focus on the needs of employees (both current and prospective). HR is typically the first interaction a person has with a company, so understanding job seeker and employee needs and how to cater to them is essential. Adopting a customer service state of mind is good practice for today’s HR.
The head of HR is frequently, at least in the CEO’s eyes, seen as the low man (or woman) on the executive totem pole. This occurs despite the fact that people are the biggest item on almost every company’s budget, and that CEO's consistently list talent as a top concern.
Yet, rather than being seen as a strategically valuable, business-oriented leader, the head of HR is often regarded instead as administration- and compliance-focused.
How can HR leaders reverse this image and make themselves invaluable to the CEO and the business?
Here are four ways:
1. Match talent resources with company strategy.
The ability to counsel the CEO in strategic planning and resource allocation is critical to HR’s role in modern business. CEO's want an HR executive who understands where the company wants to go and what talent resources are required to get there quickly. And every group wants as many people as they can get to do the work.
The CEO needs help to determine the right number of resources in every area to execute on the strategy and maintain balance across the organization. Small changes in the number of people in an organization can change a loss into a profit, or vice versa. The head of HR can provide the data and counsel to make the organization as efficient as possible.
2. Help attract the best and brightest.
CEO's want the HR department to proactively help find and hire industry stars not just put up job posts when a vacancy occurs. Filling empty positions is not enough to be successful. A true HR leader must help market the company in a way that attracts the best talent in the industry. Recruiting is a continues sales process, and top-notch HR leaders will embrace it and add tremendous value.
3. Deliver excellence in the on boarding process.
HR leaders should drive good management practices by applying the mantra, “Don’t micromanage, but do micro-train.” Too many companies hire good people only to let them flounder once they come on board. Then they’re disappointed when the new employee doesn't contribute quickly.
HR can end this harmful dynamic by owning the on boarding process. Quality on boarding includes making the new hire aware of company history and general industry knowledge and having him or her attend meetings with key executives, in addition to the obvious job-specific training.
These actions have multiple benefits such as driving high performance, creating a common language across the company and building a strong culture through shared experiences.
4. Focus on employee engagement.
Most companies don't measure employee engagement, much less manage it. This is yet another area where the HR executive can and should take the lead. He or she can:
Measure engagement through tools such as Gallup's Q 12 Survey.
Take action on issues surfaced.
Support the entire management chain in efforts to engage employees.
It’s especially critical for HR to coach and give feedback to first-line managers, many of whom aren't well trained and lack skills that are critical to keeping employees engaged and motivated.
These are just four of many areas where a strong HR leader can provide real business value and reclaim his or her rightful position as a vital adviser to the CEO. Of course, the CEO should also be a champion of the HR function and willing to take an active role in all these areas.
Choosing to work for this type of CEO is the first step toward success for an HR leader.
Neeti Sharma, the co-founder of Team Lease Services, - India's recruitment consultancy, human resource outsourcing and staffing company - says there are abundant jobs in India right now that can be tapped by keeping some simple points in mind.
If you have additional skills along with a degree, you will definitely clock a job in 2017, says Sharma.
Sharma believes employers are now not looking for manual laborers but for people who understand a bit of technology and can use high-end tools.
She calls IT, retail, telecom, finance, electronics and eCommerce the hottest sectors that are hiring and will continue hiring in 2017.
In a candid chat with Entrepreneur India, Sharma spoke of the top #8 recruitment trends that job-seekers must keep in mind to ensure a job in the coming year.
Cognitive Skills Crucial
“When employers are hiring, you need to prepare for the kind of jobs you are looking for. You need to know the subject, you need to know the industry and you should be able to do the job-role specific interview,”.
Analyze the Job Role Well
“If you give in your CV and say you have done 10 case studies and you cannot talk about a single case study, then obviously you won’t get employed,”.
Identify the Sector You Want to Get a Job in
Let’s say you are a 12th standard pass out, eCommerce has dime a dozen jobs right now. If you are a graduate, you need to identify what sort of employment you must take. At the post graduate level, choosing the sector becomes most important.
Being Multi-skilled Top Priority
“Employers are looking for skill sets more than a degree. So you don’t have to think ‘oh, I don’t have a graduation degree, what must I do,”.
You can get into back office operations or you can get into delivery services, which involves not just delivery people delivering goods. Delivery services is now no more about supply chain and logistics, but it is about understanding technology, it is about processes and understanding customer service.
Know Your Subject Well
Employers are looking for multi-skilled employees and their risk-taking ability along with decision-taking ability are keenly seen by employers according to Sharma.
Attend 1-3 Months Internship Programmes
If you have done civil engineering course, work for two three years before deciding what you want to do next. If you jump from an engineering degree to a management degree for better salaries, I don’t think you can meet the purpose,”.
Get an Experience Before Clocking a Job
Sharma urges all prospective employees to understand ground reality with employers to avoid disappointments. She believes if employees get an experience before going ahead with a job, they know what they are getting into and seldom face any distress.
Look for Growth Companies
There are many MSMEs that are looking to become big companies. There are many companies that have grown in the last 2-3 years, so when you look at startups, it is for you to decide if you should go ahead for something that has started a month ago or has been growing since the last 2-3 years and has the potential to grow.
HR usually isn’t lumped into this "right-hand" category, and that's a shame because HR leaders are critical to the success of every organization. They do much more behind the scenes than many people realize. Without them, businesses wouldn’t have dedicated teams of talented people, and without people, there is no business.
Here are just a few of the ways HR staff are critical to the success of every organization -- and to every CEO:
They work to hire the best:
It sounds simple, but hiring is a deeply complex process. In fact, 48 percent of CEOs surveyed by CareerBuilder in 2015 said their companies had lost money due to inefficient recruiting. And that process isn’t getting any easier.
Among recruiters surveyed by Jobvite this year, 95 percent expected recruiting to be as or more challenging in 2017. But that’s where HR departments come in. They’re not trying to hire people as fast and cheaply as possible -- they’re looking for the best people for the job, and that saves money in the long run.
An HR department is more concerned with post-hire metrics like performance and retention of new hires than metrics that measure the hiring process, like cost and time-to-hire. This focus on the success of new employees is critical to the overall health of the organization as a whole.
According to a report published by Gallup in May, turnover involving millennials alone costs the U.S. economy $30.5 billion annually. But when HR takes the time to find the best talent for the job, and then finds ways to keep these individuals satisfied, talent sticks around. Retention keeps companies moving forward while saving both time and money.
They’re focused on employee engagement:
Employee engagement is seen as one of the biggest workplace problems. Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace survey of more than 350,000 respondents nationwide estimated that disengaged employees cost U.S. businesses between $450 billion and $550 billion each year in lost productivity.
But HR is on the case, leading the charge to make sure employees are engaged. Engagement, in fact, can be boiled down to just a few factors, including employee recognition, feedback, learning and development, plus compensation, benefits and work-life balance.
So, whether an HR department is finding new learning and development opportunities, collecting employee feedback with regular engagement surveys or developing recognition programs and incentives, the HR staff is always looking for the best engagement strategies to fit their employees and company culture.
And motivating, recognizing and engaging employees has a huge impact. Among employees surveyed by Globoforce in 2016, 82 percent said that when they feel appreciated and recognized, they feel more engaged, and 78 percent feel more productive.
Their insights improve the business:
HR has a unique view of the company and the people behind it, putting them in the perfect position to help make important business decisions. While the HR department isn’t traditionally thought of as a part of the strategy team, 65 percent of CEOs in the CareerBuilder survey said that, post-recession, HR opinions carry greater weight with senior management. What’s more, 73 percent said their HR leader had provided data that they had incorporated into their business strategy.
If things are working as they should, a company's HR department has a deep understanding of talent and how employees work, and tracks the data to back up their suggestions. More than half (57 percent) of CEOs in the CareerBuilder survey said HR executives can show ways to increase efficiencies and cut costs by better using the company’s human capital.
When the HR department and C-suite work together, the results are powerful. A 2014 survey by EY found that when companies boasted strong collaboration between HR and finance, they also reported higher earnings and stronger improvement across a range of HR metrics, such as employee engagement.
Effective HR departments, then, help organizations get the most from their people, while also keeping those people happy. With HR's insights, employers can make smarter decisions on where and how to invest in their talent to benefit everyone.
Every workplace has negative people who erode morale. They’re not always easy to pick out of a crowd, but they can do an amazing amount of damage over time.Most of the time, these folks don’t make the big mistakes that call attention to themselves. They’re frequently pretty good at their jobs, so they’re not called on the carpet too often.
But like a virus running in the background of a computer program, their acidic personalities eat away at the goals – and ultimately the bottom line – of the company week after week, year after year.
Who are these people? They’re the employees who:
continually find things to complain about and exaggerate the seriousness of co-workers’ mistakes
spread gossip and start rumors that pit employees against each other
talk behind co-workers’ backs, and
undermine supervisors’ authority with a never-ending flow of criticism that stays under-the-radar so it’s rarely recognized and corrected.
Looking for answers – 4 key questions
So what’s to be done? The experts say managers should move away from the vague “bad attitude” discussion to the hard facts of employee behavior.
The key questions:
What’s the impact of the employee’s behavior?
How do the person’s actions differ from the standards set for overall employee behavior?
What’s the effect of this individual’s behavior on the people who work with him/her?
If this person acted according to our accepted standards, could it make a difference in morale and productivity?
Managers should identify the actions of negative people – and make it clear those actions will no longer be tolerated.
Handling tough conversations with acidic employees
Establishing policy is a solid first step; it creates a good framework. But managers need practical advice that gets results day to day on the front lines.
Managers need one-on-one coaching sessions to cover these points:
Acknowledge the awkwardness. Managers can let employees know they’re providing feedback that’s difficult to discuss. It’s only human to feel that way.
Keep it results-oriented. A phrase like “I’m bringing this up because it’s important you address this issue to be successful in your job” is helpful.
Accentuate the positive. It’s a good idea to highlight the good things that are likely to happen when the person changes the disruptive behavior. On the other hand, if the person remains defiant, stressing the negative outcome if the person’s attitude doesn’t change can be effective, too.
Suggestions for handling the confrontation:
Be specific about what you want. It’s a mistake to use general terms in a discussion about a specific behavior problem. For example, a manager says “I don’t like your attitude. I want you to change it.” That’s pretty safe, but it could mean anything.
Instead, the manager should say “It’s not helpful the way you talk about our customers behind their backs. It poisons the attitude of the others in customer service. From now on, if you can’t say something supportive of a customer, please don’t say anything at all.”
Managers should try to gather specific examples of negative things the employee has said in the past, and use those in the discussion for clarity.
Let people rant … a little. Once a manager has gotten through discussing the specific behaviors, it’s likely the other person is going to feel the need to blow off steam and maybe even mount a defense. To avoiding having people feel like they are on the witness stand, let them rant a bit. It’ll help them feel like they are being heard – because they are. Then steer the conversation back to the results you want.
Try to use “we.” Work to get across the notion that the issue is a problem for everyone concerned. A manager can start by saying “We have a problem” or “We need to change.”
The helps the person realize the behavior is important, without finger-pointing.
Avoid overusing “you.” Putting all the responsibility on the employee is a conversational black hole that’s impossible to escape. The constant use of the word you, as in “You have a bad attitude and everyone knows it” is an invitation for a fight.
Instead, try “We need to talk about your attitude.”
The point here is, while it is OK to use the word “you,” using it continually in a negative way kills the conversation.
Avoid “however” and “but.” Some managers believe that if they lead with a compliment, it’s easier to wade into the problem. That conversation looks something like this: “You’ve done a pretty good job, but …” and then the manager lowers the boom.
That often angers people and leaves them thinking, “Why can’t he ever just say something positive and leave it at that?”
Consider substituting “and” for “but” and “however,” and the conversation is likely to go smoother, as in: “You’re doing a pretty good job and we need to talk about how to get you to show more respect for customers.”
Don’t feel as if you have to fill the silence. In a tense situation a manager may be tempted to fill every gap in the conversation. Don’t. Stay silent when there’s a lull. Obligate the other person to fill in the silence.
It’s surprising the amount of information a manager can get without ever asking a question … just by remaining silent.