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The Surefire Way to Make This Your Best Year Ever

The Surefire Way to Make This Your Best Year Ever

    You read it right. I have a surefire way to make this your best year…ever.

    It does not have anything to do with how many more books you read or how much better your productivity becomes. Instead, it’s the addition of what I consider to be the missing element in many people’s personal or business success planning.

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    Too often, many folks try to educate themselves in the areas that they want to improve in. There’s nothing wrong with this, but where people often fall short is when they try to achieve their goals as solo efforts. For some reason, some think that the journey to success must be traveled on their own.

    The fact of the matter is that there is a much better approach to achieving success, which will guarantee a better year for you compared to all past years. In addition to education and acquiring knowledge, if you adopt the approach that you will no longer attempt to achieve all your goals in isolation, you will reach higher levels faster.

    Actively Being with Like Minded People

    The surefire way I’m referring to is to actively be with other like-minded people who are also interested and committed to achieving the same type of goals that you are. Some of these people may have more experience than you do in certain areas and therefore are in a position to help you.

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    They can share with you their experiences that made them successful so far and even point out any mistakes they have made or failures they had along the way. These can help prevent you from making the same type of mistakes — some of which can be costly.

    By having people share their direct and relevant experiences with you, your learning curve can be shortened which in turn will help you reach your own success faster. But having experienced people to talk about past successes is not the only benefit of being with like-minded individuals.

    Increased Motivation and Accountability

    Not all other like-minded people will necessarily have more experience than you. Some might even have less experience compared to you but that doesn’t make them useless to spend time with. Being with all types of like-minded people, whether they have more, less or the same level of experience compared to you, will have the ability to motivate and inspire you further in working towards your goals.

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    This is something that you definitely can’t get if you work on your goals alone. You miss out on the motivation that others can provide. This is something that I personally notice all the time in my own experience.

    For example, when I attend training sessions with other ski instructors, whether they are on the snow or indoor educational programs, I always feel more pumped up from the group motivation I feel with my colleagues. This helps me work towards being a better ski instructor myself.

    You also can get some accountability to ensure that you do the steps that you have to work on in order to progress. This is yet another huge benefit that you can get when you have other people to push you a bit. Quite often, you don’t have any accountability at all when you are solo and therefore can easily slack off on the things you must do to get better.

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    Look for the Right Groups of People

    In order to be with other like-minded people, look for the right groups of individuals in the form of special interest clubs in your area. You can also network with others at events like conferences, meetings and seminars. You can even form your own informal groups of like-minded people to meet on a regular basis to help each other.

    I will be using this very approach for an area that I am new to: real estate investing. I want to invest in real estate to help secure my own financial future but I’m a newbie in this area. So to help me, I will be checking out real estate investment clubs in my area as well as networking with other like-minded people I meet at seminars.

    I’m certain that this type of activity will help me make this year my best ever, and it will do the same for you just by adding like-minded people into your regular schedule.

    Feel free to share below how you would include other like-minded people into your life this year.

    (Photo credit: Shallow Depth of Field Shot via Shutterstock)

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    Published on November 12, 2020

    5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

    5 Signs You Work in a Toxic Environment (And What To Do)

    What’s the most draining, miserable job you’ve ever had? Maybe you had a supervisor with unrealistic demands about your work output and schedule. Or perhaps, you worked under a bullying boss who frequently lost his temper with you and your colleagues, creating a toxic work environment.

    Chances are, though, your terrible job experience was more all-encompassing than a negative experience with just one person. That’s because, in general, toxicity at work breeds an entire culture. Research shows abusive behavior by leaders can and often quickly spread through an entire organization.[1]

    Unfortunately, working in a toxic environment doesn’t just make it miserable to show up to the office (or a Zoom meeting). This type of culture can have lasting negative effects, taking a toll on mental and physical health and even affecting workers’ personal lives and relationships.[2]

    While it’s often all-encompassing, toxic culture isn’t always as blatant or clear-cut as abuse. Some of the evidence is more subtle—but it still warrants concern and action.

    Have a feeling that your workplace is a toxic environment? Here are 5 surefire signs to look for.

    1. People Often Say (or Imply) “That’s Not My Job”

    When I first launched my company, I had a very small team. And back then, we all wore a lot of hats, simply because we had to. My colleagues and I worked tirelessly together to build, troubleshoot, and market our product, and nobody complained (at least most of the time).

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    Because we were all in it together, with the same shared vision in mind, cooperation mattered so much more than job titles. Unfortunately, it’s not always that way.

    In some workplaces, people adhere to their job descriptions to a fault:

    • Need help with an accounting problem? Sorry, that’s not my job.
    • Oh, you spilled your coffee in the break room? Too bad, I’m working.
    • Can’t figure out the new software? Ask IT.

    While everyone has their own skillset—and time is often at a premium—cooperation is important in any workplace. An “it’s not my job” attitude is a sign of a toxic environment because it’s inherently selfish. It implies “I only care about me and what I have to get done” and that people aren’t concerned about the collective good or overall vision.[3] That type of perspective is not only bound to drain individual relationships; it also drains overall morale and productivity.

    2. There’s a Lack of Diversity

    Diversity is a vital part of a healthy work environment. We need the opinions and ideas of people who don’t see the world like us to move ahead. So, when leaders don’t prioritize diversity—or worse, they actively avoid it—I’m always suspicious about their character and values.

    Limiting your workforce to one type of person is bound to prevent organizations from growing healthily. But even if your work environment is diverse in general, the management might prevent diverse individuals from rising to leadership positions, which only misses the point of having a diverse work environment in the first place.

    Look around you. Who’s in leadership at your company? Who gets promotions and rewards most often? If the same type of people gets ahead while other individuals consistently get left behind, you might be working in a toxic environment.

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    However it manifests in your workplace, keep in mind that a lack of diversity is a tell-tale sign that “bias is rampant and the wrong things are valued.”[4]

    3. Feedback Isn’t Allowed

    Just as individual growth hinges on being open to criticism, an organization’s well-being depends on workers’ ability to air their concerns and ideas. If management actively stifles feedback from employees, you’re probably working in a toxic environment.

    But that definitely doesn’t mean nobody will air their feelings. One of the telltale signs of toxic leadership is when employees vent on the sidelines, out of management’s earshot. When I worked in a toxic environment, coworkers would often complain about higher-ups and company policies during work in private chats or after work hours.

    It’s normal to get frustrated at work. That’s just a part of having a job. What isn’t normal is when dissent isn’t a part of or discouraged in the workplace. A workplace culture that suppresses constructive feedback will not be successful in the long run. It’s a sign that leadership isn’t open to new ideas, and that they’re more concerned about their own well-being than the health of the organization as a whole.

    4. Quantifiable Measures Take Priority

    Sales numbers, timelines, bottom lines—these metrics are, of course, important signs of how things are going in any business. But great leaders know that true success isn’t always measurable or quantifiable. More meaningful factors like workplace satisfaction, teamwork, and personal growth all contribute to and sustain these metrics.

    Numbers don’t always tell the whole story, and they shouldn’t be the only concern. Measure-taking should always take a backseat to meaning-making—working together to contribute to a vision that improves people’s lives. If your workplace zones in on quantifiable measures of success, it’s probably not prioritizing what truly matters. And it’s probably also instilling a fear of failure among employees, which paralyzes employees instead of motivating them.

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    5. The Policies and Rules Are Inconsistent

    Every organization has its own set of unique policies and procedures. But often, unhealthy workplaces have inconsistent, unspoken “rules” that apply differently to different people. When one person gets in trouble for the same type of behavior that promotes another person, workers will feel like management plays favorites—which isn’t just unethical but also a quick way to drain morale and fuel tension in the office.[5] It only shows how incompetent the leadership is and indicates a toxic workplace.

    For example, maybe there’s no “set” rule about work hours, but your manager expects certain people or departments to show up at 8 am while other individuals tend to roll in at 9 or 10 am with no real consequences. If that’s the case, then it’s likely that your organization’s leadership is more concerned with controlling people and exerting power rather than the overall good of their employees.

    How to Deal With a Toxic Work Environment

    The first thing to know if you’re stuck in a toxic work environment is that you’re not stuck. While it’s ultimately the company’s responsibility to make positive changes that prevent harmful actions to employees, you also have an opportunity to speak up about your concerns—or, if necessary, depart the role altogether.

    If you suspect that you’re working in a toxic environment, think about how you can advocate for yourself. Start by raising your grievances about the culture in an appropriate setting, like a scheduled, one-on-one meeting with your supervisor.

    Can’t imagine sitting down with your supervisor to air those problems on your own? Form some solidarity with like-minded colleagues. Approaching management might feel less overwhelming when you have a “team” who shares your views.

    It doesn’t have to be an overtly confrontational discussion. Do your best to frame your concerns in a positive way by sharing with your supervisor that you want to be more productive at work, but certain problems sometimes get in the way.

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    Final Thoughts

    If your supervisor truly cares about the well-being of the organization, they will take your concerns seriously and actively take part in changing the toxic work environment into something more conducive to productivity.

    If not, then it might be time to consider the cost of the job on your well-being and personal life. Is it worth staying just for your resume’s sake? Or could you consider a “bridge” job that allows you to exhale for a bit, even if it doesn’t “move you ahead” the way you planned?

    It might not be the ideal situation, but your mental health and well-being are too important to ignore. And when you have the opportunity to refuel, you’ll be a far more valuable asset at whatever amazing job you land next.

    More Tips on Dealing With a Toxic Work Environment

    Featured photo credit: Campaign Creators via unsplash.com

    Reference

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