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7 Surefire Ways to Make Sure Your Ideas Don’t Take Off

7 Surefire Ways to Make Sure Your Ideas Don’t Take Off

So you’ve thought of this idea you think will change the way the world works. You go about creating a business plan, detailing it with bits and pieces of data to build up your point of view, and you even create a vision board to help you stay focussed on your end goal. You get a second opinion from someone you look up to and even they buy into your idea. You’re all set to roll, but there is something that’s holding you back, for some reason.

You think you need to think it over and you do that. And then you think some more. You finally convince yourself that maybe this idea is not the one and you fool yourself into believing that this idea will not work.

What went wrong? One day you think you have an earth-shattering brilliant idea and the next day you just give up. Did you fall into the bottomless pit from where fresh ideas never make it out? Maybe you just did one of these things.

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You gave in to self doubt

Most of us who come up with new ideas or new ways of thinking; question and then question some more. It’s not because we are not sure but because we want to make sure what we have is flawless, but we fail to understand that nothing that was ever created was without fault. Everything has its glitches or things we haven’t even thought of ,or just things that we missed. This can often lead us to believe that our idea will never work, without even giving it a fair shot.

You waited for someone to take the first step

Very often people who work in teams or are in partnerships wait for the other person to take the first step or to make the first move. This doesn’t ever work. Here’s a piece of advice: never ever wait for someone else. Your idea is your baby, it’s you and only you who has to make sure it comes alive. Don’t depend on someone else—they will never have the same feelings towards another person’s baby.

Lead from the front

This is an extension of the earlier point. Never wait for someone in your team to take the first step. It’s your brainchild—you have to do it. You start and lead from the front. You lead by example, the rest will look at your enthusiasm and will be automatically inspired to move, and once the ball is rolling, there is no turning back. You just have to make sure the ball stays rolling and you can do this by making sure you don’t stop.

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You over-complicated it

People who are analytical by nature have a tendency to back their ideas with loads of data and even more truckloads of statistics. This complicates things: ideas should be broken down to their simplest and purest form. Data and statistics can come in later, once the idea has come out in the real world. Not before.

There are ample cribs on forums where people have admitted to making this classic mistake of over-analyzing things. This habit, if not kept in check at the right time, will definitely make sure your idea stays where it is: on paper.

You involved too many experts

This again may sound like a good thing, but in essence and true to the quote, “Too many cooks spoil the broth”. Adding too many experts right in the beginning is never a good idea.

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Everyone comes with their own point of view and expertise and in the muddle to get their voice heard, the idea can often get lost or get too complicated. And just in case, you have to add people or have to work with many people, make sure you have the reins firmly in your hands. You be the one who guides and directs, if ever people stray off course.

You waited for the money

Often ideas or businesses don’t make money right from the word go. Some take time to mature and become part of everyday routine. A classic example would be Facebook: it took them many years to finally start making money, but that didn’t stop them—they knew that when the idea matured and the number of fans reached critical mass, the money would come. And it did.

Point is, don’t let money or the lack of it in the beginning, stop you. Invest some of your own money in your idea and nurture it. Just don’t let it die prematurely in your idea book.

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You gave up too soon

Again, not all ideas become overnight successes. Many take time to reach critical mass. All you have to do is keep at it and not give up. Remember the only way, your idea will make it big is if you keep working at it. Stop and it’ll die a premature death.

These are the top 7 things that make sure novel ideas never realise their true potential. Keep them in mind the next time you come up with an idea that you think will make the world a better place.

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Last Updated on July 16, 2019

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

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2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

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Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

4. Don’t Take Sides

In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

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5. Don’t Get Personal

In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

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Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

7. Think Win-Win

As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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