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Showing posts from October, 2018

Personal Development is Professional Development

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We like to put up barriers between our lives and our working lives as if we somehow become someone different when we are at work. We hope this is true when we become someone we don't like very much at work, someone who is unsafe and unhappy and unable to believe that the work they are doing matters. At the end of the day, we think, our real life begins.

Now turn it around. Do you want to work with people who are unsafe and unhappy and unable to believe that the work they are doing matters? Do you expect those people to rise to the top of your organization and keep your job safe during rapid change in the world and the competition?
I recently had the opportunity to do some work with people who work for an organization that does really important work. They told me that they liked working there. But when I asked them what they wanted to improve in their own skills, they drew a blank.

They looked to me like people who were insecure about what they were doing and the results they were …

A simple approach to defining what you want

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There are lots of experts who will tell you what to do once you know what you want. They will give you motivational tips (which means they are not based on emotion, not evidence) and they will give you evidence-based tips (often the result of social science research). What they don't do is tell you what to do when you don't know what you want.

After all, if you don't know what you want, what's the point? People think that you must know what you want. And that's probably accurate on some level, but your conscious awareness might be out of the loop.

I spent a large part of this week asking people to grow their influence by knowing what they want other people to do. I kept asking people what they wanted. The answer that no one wanted to give out loud was something like "I would like people to be impressed by me just as I am, and I'd like them to figure how to use the information I give them. I don't want to have to think it through, because I'm not re…