Work Life Balance

 

 

 

Work–life balance is a concept including proper prioritizing between “work” (career and ambition) and “lifestyle” (health, pleasure, leisure, family and spiritual development/meditation). This is related to the idea of “lifestyle choice.”

Whether you work to live or live to work, too much of one and not enough of the other is never good. We know people work long hours and no one ever got promoted by spending less time at the office, but work/life balance is becoming more important than it’s ever been. We’ve got tips and expert advice on how to create and sustain that balance so you’ll be happy both at home and at work.

 

5 TIPS FOR BETTER WORK-LIFE BALANCE

 

 

1. BUILD DOWNTIME INTO YOUR SCHEDULE.

 

 

When you plan your week, make it a point to schedule time with your family and friends, and activities that help you recharge.
This way you’ll have something to look forward to and an extra incentive to manage your time well so you don’t have to cancel your appointments with family and friends. Keep in mind that it helps to be proactive about scheduling.
When you go out with your friends, remember to switch off your phone or keep it on silent mode. Also plan an activity with your family, like going to a movie or the park, every Sunday afternoon.

 

 

2. DROP ACTIVITIES THAT SAP YOUR TIME OR ENERGY.

 

Many people waste their time on activities or people that add no value — for example, spending too much time at work with a colleague who is constantly venting and gossiping. Take stock of activities that don’t enhance your career or personal life, and minimize the time you spend on them.
You may even be able to leave work earlier if you make a conscious effort to limit the time you spend on the web and social media sites, making personal calls, or checking your bank balance

 

 

3. RETHINK YOUR ERRANDS.

 

 

Consider whether you can outsource any of your time-consuming household chores or errands.
Even if you’re on a tight budget, you may discover that the time you’ll save will make it worth it.

 

 

4. GET MOVING.

 

 

It’s hard to make time for exercise when you have a jam-packed schedule, but it may ultimately help you get more done by boosting your energy level and ability to concentrate.
Research shows exercise can help you to be more alert

 

 

 

5. REMEMBER THAT A LITTLE RELAXATION GOES A LONG WAY.

 

Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. Slowly build more activities into your schedule that are important to you
Maybe you can start by spending an hour a week on your hobby of carpentry, or planning a weekend getaway with your spouse once a year.
Even during a hectic day, you can take 10 or 15 minutes to do something that will recharge your batteries. Take a bath, read a novel, go for a walk, or listen to music. You have to make a little time for the things that ignite your joy.

 

 

 

Getting Respect from Bullies to Bosses

 

 

1. INFLUENCE WITH BULLIES

 

Whether you work for one, have one on your team, or live with one, bullies can make life miserable, and cause lasting psychological damage to victims of such harassment.
Some causes for bullying have been identified as poor problem solving skills, low self-esteem, as well as the drive for power, status and even affection.
While you don’t want to respond to a bully’s aggressive behavior in lashing out in the same way — it can be effective to call the bully on unacceptable behavior and let it be known you are documenting each incident of the harassment you experience. Keep your emotions in check and respond calmly and with reason to bullies. Seek feedback from your professional and social network so that when it comes to a showdown you have solid support, not to mention witnesses on your side. Bullies often display poor emotional intelligence and a lack of effective problem-solving in interpersonal conflicts and relationships in general. Improving your own emotional intelligence by better managing your emotions in response to bullying and approaching relationship strife in creative ways will help you become a less attractive victim to the bully.
If you’re in a supervisory situation, make clear that you will not tolerate bullying from anyone, and that you will set and enforce a standard of respectful behavior in the workplace. Incorporate emotional intelligence components when training new hires and new leaders, and intervene immediately to disrupt any bullying behaviors.
Finally, lead by example. Treat colleagues with respect, and model the behavior for others to follow.

 

 

2. INFLUENCE IN MEETINGS

 

 

Meetings — from online to in-person gatherings — are a necessary byproduct of business and the professions. And whatever the objective for the meeting, one critical aspect whether you lead or participate is that you want others to pay attention to what you have to say. Here’s an influencing strategy that’ll help increase your chances of that happening in your next meeting.
Scientists call it the ‘recency’ effect which means that we are wired to pay particular attention to the most recent information, minimizing in importance any information received earlier. Imagine the scenario of your manager going around the table asking for input and your idea gets heard somewhere half-way around the group; the best way to take advantage of the recency effect then is to take the opportunity at the end when everyone was heard, to reiterate your point by restating it in a different way — leaving the group to hear your idea as the most recent and most focused on.
Whether it’s a decision you want others to make, an important feature you want to highlight or a call to action you want others to heed, to be most influential it pays to have the last word.

 

 

 3. INFLUENCE IN TEAMS

 

 

The old cliché “there is no I in team” might be correct in literal terms, but as anyone who’s ever been a part of team knows, teams are always made up of individuals; each with their own style, cultural background, experience, and preference for how to work. One way to exert influence in teams is to make sure attendant differences and diversity serve as sources of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking and where various perspectives are highly valued.

 

 

4. INFLUENCE WITH PEERS

 

 

We all know and criticize those who talk too much, but how often are people criticized for listening too much? It’s unheard of, because most of us lean towards talking rather than listening.
A rarely employed skill then, active listening, and one you can employ with ease to influence your peers. Start by paying attention to their body language, the attitude in the tone of their voice, and listen for meaning as you concentrate on what they’re saying. Respond with appropriate comments, as questions and confirm with the speaker that you understand what he/she is saying. Skip jumping to conclusions in favor of hearing the speaker’s conclusions, but feel empowered to reflect on what the speaker is saying and, again, ask for clarification when needed.
Keep in mind, too, that everyone comes to work with their own set of experiences and perceptual filters, and don’t assume in haste that everyone else shares your worldview. Be conscientious in respecting the individuality of your peers and don’t let your personal differences turn into professional disagreements. Attention and respect are some of the most influential communication strategies you can employ with your peers.

 

 

5. INFLUENCE WITH PEERS

 

 

Workers tend to be both happier and more productive the more autonomy they’re given — but what counts as autonomy may vary across organizational and national cultures.
In this context a manager could give a group autonomy to organize themselves in order to meet important objectives; one could also discuss with an individual contributor what standards should be set and how the contributor expects to meet them. Another scenario would look at how teams might work with supervisors both in defining goals and determining how to meet them. The overall goal should be to give people a sense of freedom and control in their contributions, so you need to devise ways that fit your organizational culture and objectives.
Autonomy can work hand-in-hand with accountability, mainly by empowering people to meet and report on their own progress toward set standards. Your interactions with employees and colleagues will be far more productive if you treat them as partners in achieving goals and give them the resources to do so

 

 

6. INFLUENCE WITH BOSSES

 

 

Engage your boss. Come out from that far cubicle and demonstrate that your work is connected to her goals. Whether you’re a new hire or a veteran employee, ask to meet with him/her to discuss what he/she wants the organization to achieve, and suggest ways in which you can aid in that achievement.
We often go to bosses for feedback on our behavior — and it’s important to do so, on an ongoing basis — but instead of asking him/her to review you, offer to review yourself. In other words, don’t wait for her to notice you, but put yourself forward and make yourself known.
This isn’t about “kissing up,” but about recognizing and respecting her leadership. He/She’ll have his/her own agenda (everybody does!) within the organization, so your ability to work with him/her in carrying that agenda forth will mark you as a reliable colleague. Furthermore, by working with your boss in an ongoing fashion, if you do err he/she is likely to see that in context of all the good work you’ve done — rather than noticing you only when you make a mistake.
Make yourself visible, offer yourself as reliable, and when an important project or promotional opportunity arises, he/she’ll think of you.

 

 

Office Politics

 

 

Office politics” are the strategies that people play to gain advantage in their place of work or employment, personally or for a cause they support. The term often implies a negative meaning, in that it refers to strategies people use to seek advantage at the expense of others or the greater good. In this context, it often adversely affects the working environment and relationships within it. Good “office politics”, on the other hand, help you fairly promote yourself and your cause, and is more often called networking and stakeholder management.Due to the negative image many people see office politics as something to be avoided. The fact of the matter is that to ensure your own success and that of your projects people must learn to face office politics. If you deny the ‘bad politics’ that may be going on around you, and avoid dealing with them, you may needlessly suffer whilst others take unfair advantage. And if you avoid practising ‘good politics’, you miss the opportunities to properly further your own interests, and those of your team and your cause.

 

 

WHY WORK POLITICS ARE INEVITABLE:

 

 

• Some people have more power than others, either through hierarchy or some other basis of influence.
• For many people, gaining promotion is important, and this can createcompetition between individuals, or misalignment between the team’s objectives and those of individuals within it.
• Most people care passionately about decisions at work and this encourages political behavior as they seek to get their way.
• Decisions at work are impacted by both work-related goals and personal factors, so there is further scope for goal conflict.
• People and teams within organizations often have to compete for limited resources; this can lead to a kind of “tribal conflict” where teams compete to satisfy their needs and objectives, even when this is against the greater good.

 

 

MAKING POLITICS WORK FOR YOU :

 

 

To deal effectively with office politics and use it yourself in a positive way, you must first accept the reality of it. Once you’ve done this, you then need to develop strategies to deal with the political behavior that is going on around you. The best way to do this is to be a good observer and then use the information you gather to build yourself a strong network to operate in. Here are some tips :

Re-Map the Organization Chart
Office Politics often circumvent the formal organization chart. Sit back and watch for a while and then re-map the organization chart in terms of political power.

 

 

• Who are the real influencers?
• Who has authority but doesn’t exercise it?
• Who is respected?
• Who champions or mentors others?
• Who is “the brains behind the organization”?

 

 

MAKING POLITICS WORK FOR YOU

 

 

To deal effectively with office politics and use it yourself in a positive way, you must first accept the reality of it. Once you’ve done this, you then need to develop strategies to deal with the political behavior that is going on around you. The best way to do this is to be a good observer and then use the information you gather to build yourself a strong network to operate in. Here are some tips:

 

 

RE-MAP THE ORGANIZATION CHART

 

 

Office Politics often circumvent the formal organization chart. Sit back and watch for a while and then re-map the organization chart in terms of political power.

 

 

• Who are the real influencers?
• Who has authority but doesn’t exercise it?
• Who is respected?
• Who champions or mentors others?
• Who is “the brains behind the organization”?

 

 

UNDERSTAND THE INFORMAL NETWORK

 

 

Once you know who’s who in the organization, you have a good idea of where the power and influence lay. Now you have to understand the social networks.

 

 

• Who gets along with whom?
• Are there groups or cliques that have formed?
• Who is involved in interpersonal conflict?
• Who has the most trouble getting along with others?
• What is the basis for the interrelationship? Friendship, respect, manipulation?
• How does the influence flow between the parties?

 

 

BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

 

 

Now that you know how the existing relationships work, you need to build your own social network accordingly.

• Do not be afraid of politically powerful people in the organization. Get to know them.
• Ensure you have relationships that cross the formal hierarchy in all directions (peers, bosses, executives).
• Start to build relationships with those who have the informal power.
• Build your relationships on trust and respect – avoid empty flattery.
• Be friendly with everyone but don’t align yourself with one group or another.
• Be a part of multiple networks – this way you can keep your finger on the pulse of the organization.

 

 

LISTEN CAREFULLY

 

 

When you spend more time listening, you are less likely to say something that will come back to bite you later. Also, people like people who listen to them.

 

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR NETWORK

 

 

As you build your relationships, you need to learn to use them to stay clear of negative politicking, and also to promote yourself and your team positively. It is up to you to communicate your own and your team’s abilities and successes to the right people, and you do this through positive political action. Use your network to:

 

 

• Gain access to information.
• Build visibility of your achievements.
• Improve difficult relationships.
• Attract opportunities where you can to shine.
• Seek out ways to make yourself, your team and your boss look good.
The expression, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” applies perfectly to office politics.

• Get to know these people better and be courteous to them, but always be very careful what you say to them.
• Understand what motivates these people and what their goals are, and so learn how to avoid or counter the impact of their negative politicking.
• Be aware that these people typically don’t think much of their talents (that’s why they rely on aggressive politicking to get ahead).

 

 

BEST WAY TO HANDLE BAD OFFICE POLITICS

 

 

Through observation you’ll learn what works in your organization’s culture and what doesn’t. Watch other people at work and identify successful behaviors that you can model. There are also some general standards to observe that will stop negative politics from spreading.

 

 

• Don’t pass on gossip, questionable judgments, spread rumors – when you hear something, take a day to consider how much credibility it has.
• Rise above interpersonal conflicts – do not get sucked into arguments.
• Maintain your integrity at all times – always remain professional, and always remember the organization’s interests.
• Be positive – avoid whining and complaining.
• Be confident and assertive but not aggressive.
• When voicing objections or criticism, make sure you take an organizational perspective not a personal one.
• Don’t rely on confidentiality – assume things will be disclosed and so decide what you should reveal accordingly.
• Be a model of integrity to your team, and discourage politics within it.

 

 

Negotiations for Job Interviews

 

 

Negotiation at a job interview takes place when the interviewer and interviewee, with differing views, come together to attempt to reach agreement on a job offer. It involves persuasive communication or bargaining. Negotiation for a job interview is about getting the best possible deal in a job position or opening in the best possible way.

 

 

For you, job interviews can seem challenging, especially when you do not hone the proper skills to handle such a situation. Following are 9 Commandments that will help you to successfully face your next job interview;

 

 

  • KNOW HOW TO INTRODUCE YOURSELF…

 

Begin by stating your full name and the current position or the last position that you worked at. Follow it up with your experience and educational background. Remember to mention your strengths and weaknesses at the end of the introduction.

 

 

  • KNOW YOUR RESUME VERY WELL…

 

It cannot be stressed enough that knowing your own resume is vital, especially if you are going for an interview. Many people tend to forget certain period of times or educational/professional qualifications that are included in their resumes. This is one of the peeves of any interviewer, and something that should be avoided by interviewee, especially if the resume has been customized according to a specific position

Tip: memorize your CV for a more enabling interview, than tying up bits and pieces of your resume when the interviewer asks you.

 

  • REFRAIN FROM SAYING “I DON’T KNOW”

 

You may have come across a situation where the interviewer asks you hard-hitting questions which seems unanswerable in the spur of the moment, and so you may resort to answering this question with a simple “I don’t know”. Many interview experts considers this “answer” as a negative, therefore building the answer by repeating the question and walking through your thought process out loud for the interviewer shows more effort than simply answering “I don’t know”.

 

  • CLARIFY INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

 

It may seem as a bold move to clarify on what the interviewer asked about because it may seem as if you are not paying enough attention to them. However, it is considered as a good practice to do so than to respond to the interviewer by giving vacant, irrelevant responses.

 

 

Paraphrasing the question and clarifying the question is one way to do this.

 

 

For example; “Are you referring to my tertiary- level educational qualification?”

 

 

  • PAY ATTENTION TO NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION

 

 

Despite your efforts of practicing your verbal responses to the possible questions the interviewer asks, what many overlook are the nonverbal cues that you communicate during an interview. Constant fidgeting, avoiding eye contact seem as harmless reactions to nerves, however their impact is catatonic during the interview as they tend to resonate a lack of confidence and helps certain recruiters to refrain from hiring you.

 

Practicing in front of a mirror, mock interviews with friends or family are few ways that help to groom these cues in to markers of confidence during an interview.

 

  • HAVE KNOWLEDGE ON THE COMPANY AND THE INTERVIEWER

 

 

Simply knowing facts and figures about the company and the job role is not sufficient, understanding the role of these in the environment it functions in, helps too. This will be advantageous for the interviewee as it will help you to show the interviewer why you are the best fit for the organization.

Apart from this, if you are given prior details on who the hiring manager or interviewer will be, researching on LinkedIn provides you with an idea on what to say and also have the potential to create a common ground between each other.

 

 

  • SALARY BACKGROUND…

 

 

Do the research on the industry average when it comes to the remuneration package that you expect from your would-be employer. Question the interviewer or panel about the other benefits that you will receive as a future employee. Be discreet and find out from the interviewer the budget that is kept for the relevant position. By saying that you are not interested in the money or the salary offered you are more likely to make them open up regarding their offer. If you are not satisfied with the salary they mention then tell them that you will go home and think about it before confirming and giving them a final word.

 

  • MENTION THE WORK ACHIEVEMENTS

 

 

Include your short term, mid term and long term plans in your answer. Be confident on your service and the achievements that you have gained.

 

 

  • FUTURE AMBITION

 

 

Finally end by mentioning your future ambition which would strengthen your hold on the interview panel and want them to employ you in the position that you have applied.

 

 

 

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