A new year represents a new beginning and an opportunity to re-evaluate your goals and progress. Executive Business Coach Pat Roberts suggests starting the year by analysing what went well in the previous year, what could have gone better and what lessons were learned in the process.
“You should do this individually and with your team,” she says. “By doing so leaders enable their team members to reflect and learn. It’s all very well having a strategy with action plans that will enable its delivery, but if we don’t learn from experience, we run the risk of tripping ourselves up with old behaviours.”
Roberts says it’s also important to analyse what impact your behaviour is having on the overall company and suggests considering the following:
Stop assuming that you know what others are thinking and feeling
You don’t have all the answers. People are complicated and many are very different to you. Always ask in order to sense-check your perceptions. One way of doing this is by asking for input and ensuring that others feel comfortable providing feedback.
Make the best possible use of your time
This means delegating effectively. If you find people do not perform well at the tasks you delegate, the problem lies with your delegation not with the person you delegated to. Never do the tasks yourself after they haven’t been well done, but rather allow employees to learn and grow from their mistakes.
Watch your words
Stop beginning sentences with “but”, “however” or “no” as this sends the message that you are right and others are wrong. Instead of using negative wording, incorporate words such as “yes”, “give”, “start”, “meeting” and “discuss”. Research shows that people who use these words end up with more accepted proposals in meetings
Let go of the past
Let go of negativity and focus on what’s possible in the future.
Let go of the need to win or to be the smartest person
By doing so you enable others to explore their own potential and you’ll be saved from becoming the office joke. Encourage employees to innovate and share their ideas. Success depends on everyone’s combined effort.
Acknowledge the good in the people you work with
Tell them what you appreciate about them and when you are grateful for their contributions. By spreading positivity we unlock brainpower in others and enable them to become the best versions of themselves.
Be clear with the people around you as to what acceptable behaviour looks like, what you’re comfortable with and what is not acceptable. In that way you will be free to perform better and your relationships with others will improve.
Look after yourself
This includes eating regularly and thoughtfully. Exercise daily – even if it’s just a walk around the office building – because our bodies were not designed for sitting. Sleep for at least seven hours a night and spend at least 15 minutes every day in silence as this allows time to reflect.