If we were to think of a word that can aptly describe how current events unfold day by day, we would be using ‘uncertain’ quite often. We live in uncertain times. While the global economy takes a dip and retrenchment becomes a trend, many individuals and organizations get affected by and infected with the demotivation sickness which for some can be accompanied with symptoms signifying high levels of stress, fear and anxiety.
We can assume that the processes involved in dealing with uncertainty may require a little more work and effort solely because of the fact that we are dealing with the unknown.
However, we have held on to a wrong misconception that uncertainty is something bad or negative, when in fact it is not. It is neutral; and the experience only tends to be stressful when an individual is unprepared and rigid. The signs of a tough time ahead are not created for those who have poor intellectual resistance and emotional fortitude to see. Challenges are only for individuals who are courageous, adaptable, and capable of seeing an opportunity through the painstaking experience.
Whether you are the CEO of a successful MNC or a entrepreneur, you are bound to encounter the daily challenges arising from the workplace. You may have gained awareness and possession of the ideal mindset; yet, without taking the necessary steps towards the execution of the idea, you will remain only a passive bystander. Jumpstart a successful life and year ahead by taking the habits of a SMART executive into action.
Search for great opportunities for you and your organization.
Take a close look at where and who you are as a professional. Spend some time doing reflection and inward analysis, after that, write down all the strengths and weaknesses you can think of. Next, recall all the successful moments you had and list them down including the skills and competencies that came at play. To address the areas for improvement, engage in a lot of practice and learning sessions that can be facilitated by a mentor or a coach.
Get out of your comfort zone and take on more responsibilities that can widen your experience. Invest time in performance improvement as well as professional advancement. Veer away from getting complacent as current skills and knowledge can go out-of-date and irrelevant. Learning is a continuous process. Knowledge is power; and that treasure will keep you and your company ahead of the challenges and competition.
Maintain professionalism. To be professional goes far beyond wearing the most elegant suit or signing the million-dollar contract with that expensive pen. Definitely, it is more than that. Always keep in mind that every word and action you take determines the kind of character you have. It is always beneficial to think before you speak, to think before you act. Some words cannot be taken back and for tarnished reputation, it can be but may require you to undergo a painful process. As first impression could last, get it right the first time. When dealing with your staff, higher management or customers, ensure that you are guided with the right code of ethics, manners and cross-cultural intelligence – to avoid miscommunication and conflict. Keep in mind to always present a smart image; and one way to achieve that is attending client meetings on time, clad in clean and well-pressed suitable attire. At the very least, keep your desk neat and clutter-free.
Arouse creativity. It is true that a crisis or challenge sparks innovation. True enough that when an organization is into retrenchment or cost-reduction measures, management comes up with plans that help to manage the negative effects. However, that solution may become irrelevant when the next retrenchment phase kicks in, because even old problems need new solutions. Treat every problem as new one and be on the lookout for unusual and out-of-the-box alternatives and solutions. Besides, the ideas that our powerful mind can think of is countless. In addition, engage in conversations or immerse yourself in readings that can assist to stimulate your mind.
Retain your staff. Focus on the type of employees who are adding value to the organization. They are the ones who need employee care and boss’s attention. As a corporate professional with years of experience, you are qualified to share your best practices and to pass on that knowledge. Make sure that you have a regular chat with your subordinates to keep yourself updated of their issues and challenges at work, or even at home, if necessary. You can consider hiring an expert to facilitate and assist you in building teams and improving team performance. You may opt to level up your coaching or mentoring skills which will benefit not only your staff, organization but also yourself. It is learning by helping.
Train, train and train. Ensure that your people development initiatives are in place. During the economic downtime, actually now is the best time to roll out these programs Engage and encourage them to participate in relevant learning and development programs to equip them with the new skills and knowledge that will help them with their roles. Keep their roles dynamic as possible, by providing them with opportunities to learn new things. To reiterate, ensure that you are able to provide them with the relevant coaching and programs to assist them in improving on their efficiency and effectiveness levels and in achieving work life balance.
There are programs like the Personal Efficiency Program, which was designed and developed in Sweden by Kerry Gleeson, is aimed at providing today’s professionals with the tools and skills that can match today’s and tomorrow’s challenges – increasing workload and looming demotivation sickness. Get ahead of the crisis, the challenges and the tough competition. Create your own niche as today’s greatest executive.
Angeline V Teo is an internationally-renowned inspirational speaker, award-winning life and executive coach, and the President of PEPworldwide (Asia) PL. Angeline’s books: Extreme Excellence, Stepping Stones to Success and Discover Your Inner Strength were published in the US and co-authored with eminent leadership gurus such as Stephen Covey and Jack Canfield. Angeline is brimming with excitement to launch this month her fourth book “Where do I begin?” – an autobiography and a personal favourite. Angeline is conferred the Best Personal Brand Award 2017 from Marketing Institute of Singapore (Executive Coach category).