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Last Updated on September 12, 2018

How to Get Motivated to Work and Start off Your Day with Positivity

How to Get Motivated to Work and Start off Your Day with Positivity

Mustering enough motivation to show up at work every day is a common problem…no matter if you love or hate your job. If you hate your job, it goes without saying that finding the motivation to show-up is not easy.  But you’ll also find that even if you love your job, there are mornings where you’re clawing at the walls to get out of bed.

So how to get motivated to work?

It’s easy to fall into a rut and get stuck in the same ho-hum routine. and inevitably, the excitement for work diminishes. However, if you consistently motivate yourself to show up at work every day, you’ll experience:

  • Increased energy levels to get the work done.
  • More enthusiasm to attack challenges as they arise.
  • Better sustained results over the long haul.

Motivation That Doesn’t Work

If showing up at work every day were easy, everyone would be doing it. And it wouldn’t be costing businesses $84 Billion a year.[1] Part of the issue though is that organizations attempt to motivate you with:

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  • bonuses
  • promotions
  • attendance awards
  • company luaus
  • virtual dog shows
  • pizza

Not to say it’s necessary to do away with these incentives entirely, but organizations are missing a massive opportunity to provide you with the tools to motivate yourself to show up at work.

What Really Works to Motivate You to Work

So, instead of depending on the organization to find motivation, here are 3 ways to motivate you to show up at work everyday.

1. Remind Yourself “Why” You Work

Too often, employees base their motivation on external sources like accolades, bonuses, and job promotion. Sure, these feel good but they’re just a “sugar high” and don’t last.

Consider your own motivation as something that’s internally sourced.  The simplest way to identify this internal sources of motivation is to find your own personal reason “why.”  Why motivates for the long haul. For example, maybe you’re heading to work on Monday to appease the boss, lay the groundwork for a raise,  or just get through a project that’s been hanging over your head for awhile.

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It’s a lot like losing weight for a class reunion or a beach trip.  While both are definitely motivating factors to lose weight, it’s usually not sustained over the the long term.

Consider how your work day motivation changes when you think about the example you want to set for your kids, how you want to help your your co-workers that you’ve been with for years or how you believe in  overall mission in your company.

Or simply, you believe that the job you’re doing helps you learn and prepare for the next step in your career. Those are deeper, more meaningful reasons to motivate to show up at work.

2. Use the Hemingway Technique

Nothing helps your work day motivation like momentum and Ernest Hemingway had a brilliant approach. His technique was to leave the last chapter or paragraph unfinished at the end of day especially when he knew exactly how it was going to end.

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Then when he sat down at his desk the following day, he could immediately start writing and build momentum for the rest of his day. He’d never find himself at his desk wondering what to do next.

You can apply this technique to your work day motivation. Instead of staying late on Friday or working over the weekend to wrap up your work, pick a stopping place strategically, so when you get to work on Monday, you know exactly what to do next. This type of momentum will carry you through your work day.

3. Take Control

It’s so easy to let your first few hours of your work fill-up with meetings. Take control by planning and scheduling your first few interactions of the day so you’re looking forward to them.

Set up a coffee meeting or a conference call with someone at the office who is typically upbeat and creative. This is a low stress way to motivate because it just involves showing up…and a little bit of planning.

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You can also gain motivation by connecting with your family at home. In my family, we often plan breakfast together and hold our own little breakfast party. It really helps us get our day started off right in every positive way and the motivational momentum we get carries over into work (and school).

Take one of the tips above and adopt it for your weekly routine.  Here’s to being motivated!

Featured photo credit: Berkeley Communications via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Ben Fanning

Ben is a Burnout Specialist. He helps frustrated executives and teams rekindle their passion for their careers.

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Last Updated on April 11, 2019

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in every phase of your life. This is especially true in the workplace.

I have personally worked with several leaders who were masters of communication. A few were wonderful speakers who could tell a great story and get everyone in the room engaged. Those of us in attendance would walk away feeling inspired and eager to help with what came next. Others were very skilled at sharing a clear direction and job expectations.

I knew exactly what was expected of me and how to achieve my goals. This was the foundation of an energized and vibrant role I was in. What I have found is strong communication skills are incredibly helpful and sometimes critical in how well we perform at work.

Here we will take a look at how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

How Communication Skills Help Your Success

Strong communication skills pave the way for success in many ways. Let’s look at a few of the big ones.

Create a Positive Experience

Here are two examples of how well developed communication skills helps create a positive experience:

When I first moved to the city I now live in, I began a job search. Prior to my first live interview, I was told an address to go to. Upon arriving at the address provided, I drove around and around attempting to find the location. After 15 minutes of circling and looking for the address, I finally grabbed a parking spot and set out on foot.

What I discovered was the address was actually down an alley and only had the number over the door. No sign for the actual company. The person that gave me those very unclear directions provided a bad experience for me.

Had they communicated the directions to get there in a clear manner, my experience would have been much better. Instead the entire experience started off poorly and colored the entire meeting.

As a recruiter, I frequently provide potential candidates with information about a job I’m speaking to them about. In order to do this, I also provide a picture of the overall company, the group they might be joining, and how their role fits in and impacts the entire company.

Time and time again I have been told by candidates that I have provided the clearest picture of a company and role they have ever heard. They have a positive experience when I clearly communicate to them. Even when the position does not work out for them, often times they will want to stay in touch with me due to the open communication and beneficial experience they had during the interviewing process.

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Strong communication skills will provide a positive experience in virtually any interaction you have with someone.

Help Leadership Skills

It’s certainly a skill all its own to be able to lead others.

Being a mentor and guiding others towards success is a major hallmark of great leaders. Another characteristic of effective leaders is the ability to communicate clearly.

As I referenced above, having a leader who can plainly articulate the company’s mission and direction goes a really long way towards being the Captain of the boat that others want to follow. It’s like saying “here’s our destination and this is how we are going to get there” in a way that everyone can get on board with.

Another critical component of everyone helping to sail the boat in the right direction is knowing what your portion is all about. How are you helping the boat move towards its destination in the manner than is consistent with the leaders’ vision?

If you have a boss or a manager that can show you what it takes for not only you to be successful, but also how your performance helps the company’s success then you’ve got a winner. A boss with superior communication skills.

Build Better Teams

Most of us work in teams of some sort or another. During the course of my career, I have led teams up to 80 and also been an individual contributor.

In my individual contributor roles, I have been part of a larger team. Even if you are in business for yourself, you have to interact with others in one manner or another.

If you have strong communication skills, it helps to build better teams. This is true whether you are in an IT department with 100 other fellow programmers or if you own your own business and have customers or vendors you communicate with.

When you showcase your robust ability to communicate well with others while interacting with them, you are building a better team.

Now let’s jump in to how to improve communication skills to help you pave the way for your workplace success.

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How to Improve Communication Skills for Workplace Success

There are many tips, tricks, and techniques to improve communication skills. I don’t want to overwhelm you with too much information, so let’s focus on the things that will provide the biggest return on your time investment.

Most of these tips will be fairly easy to become aware of but will take time and effort to implement. So let’s go!

1. Listen

Ever heard the saying you have two ears and one mouth for a reason? If you haven’t, then here’s the reason:

Being a good listener is half the equation to being a good communicator.

People who have the ability to really listen to someone can then actually answer questions in a meaningful way. If you don’t make the effort to actively listen, then you are really doing yourself and the other person a disservice in the communication department.

Know that person who is chomping at the bit to open his or her mouth the second you stop talking? Don’t be that person. They haven’t listened to at least 1/2 of what you’ve said. Therefore the words that spill out of their mouth are going to be about 1/2 relevant to what you just said.

Listen to someone completely and be comfortable with short periods of silence. Work on your listening skills first and foremost.

2. Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is another critical component to having strong communication skills. The way you interact with your manager should be different than how you interact with your kids. This isn’t to say you need to be a different person with everyone you interact with. Far from it.

Here is a good way to think about it:

Imagine using your the same choice of words and body language you use with your spouse while interacting with your boss. That puts things in a graphic light!

You want to ensure you are using the type of communication most relevant to your audience.

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3. Minimize

I have lunch with a business associate about 3 times a year. We’ve been talking for several years now about putting a business deal together.

He is one of those people that simply overwhelms others with a lot of words. Sometimes when I ask him a question, I get buried beneath such an avalanche of words that I’m more confused than when I asked the question. Needless to say this is most likely a large portion of why we never put the deal together.

Don’t be like my lunch business associate. The goal of talking to or communicating with someone is to share actual information. The goal is not to confuse someone, it’s to provide clarity in many cases.

State what needs to be stated as succinctly as possible. That doesn’t mean you can’t have some pleasant conversation about the weather too.

The point is to not create such an onslaught of words and information that the other person walks away more confused than when they started.

4. Over Communicate

So this probably sounds completely counter intuitive to what I just wrote about minimizing your communication. It seems like it might be but it’s not.

What I mean by over communicating is ensuring that the other person understands the important parts of what you are sharing with them. This can be done simply yet effectively. Here’s a good example:

Most companies have open enrollment for benefits for the employees in the fall. The company I work for has open enrollment from November 1 to 15. The benefits department will send out a communication to all employees around October 1st, letting them know open enrollment is right around the corner and any major changes that year. There’s also a phone number and email for people to contact them with any questions.

Two weeks later, we all get a follow up email with basically the same information. We get a 3rd communication the week before open enrollment and another one 1 day before it starts.

Finally we get 2 emails during enrollment reminding us when open enrollment ends.

There’s minimal information, it’s more of a reminder. This is effective over communication.

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5. Body Language

The final critical component to how to improve communication skills for workplace success is body language. This is something most of us have heard about before but, a reminder is probably a good idea.

When I am in a meeting with someone I am comfortable with, I tend to kind of slouch down in my chair and cross my arms. When I catch myself doing this, I sit up straight and uncross my arms. I remember that crossing arms can many times be interpreted as a sign of disagreement or conflict.

In general, the best rule of thumb is to work towards having open body language whenever possible at work. This means relaxing your posture, not crossing your arms, and looking people in the eye when speaking with them.

When you are speaking in front of others, stand up straight and speak in a clear voice. This will convey confidence in your words.

Conclusion

Possessing strong communication skills will help you in many facets of your life and most certainly in the workplace.

Good communication helps create better teams, positive experiences with those we interact with, and are critical for leadership.

There are numerous tactics and techniques to be used to improve communication skills. Here we’ve reviewed how to improve communication skills for workplace success.

Now go communicate your way to success.

More Resources About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: HIVAN ARVIZU via unsplash.com

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