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Alexandra Sleator

The Top 5 Tips for Success at Work in 2012

By Alexandra Sleator

For many of us, 2011 was quite a bit of a roller coaster and it does not look like 2012 will be a piece of cake. Against a challenging and volatile background, how you manage your thoughts could make the difference between peace of mind and stress, achievement and drudgery,  and pleasure and pain. This article gives you tips so you can develop and cultivate a mindset for success

If you have ever wondered about someone’s success, let me assure you that there is no magic involved. Here are my top 5 tips to help you stay ahead of the game, whatever the game is. With these strategies, you will be making much of your own luck rather than leaving it to chance! And when you don’t immediately achieve your objectives, having the right mindset will inspire you to continue striving.

So let’s count down the top 5 tips for success:

At number 5, ‘know yourself‘. Let me encourage you to take an honest look at both your abilities and your areas of development. Be sure to identify dispassionately your strengths, your limitations and your personal motivations. In addition to understanding yourself, observe and reflect on the effect you have on others. Having a good sense of who and what you are will help you tackle every situation with a clear mind. It will also avoid you spreading yourself too thinly because you lack focus.

In fourth place, ‘play to your strengths’. When you do things in a way that maximises your unique abilities, two good things happen. First, there is a greater likelihood that you will perform well and achieve a positive result. Second, the process is enjoyable: it is less tiring to use one’s strengths and it may even be fun. Remember that when you have fun, when you laugh for instance, Dopamine is released into your system making you feel relaxed and contented.

This means that, at work, if you think you may be in a role which does not play to your strengths, I encourage you to contemplate whatever changes might make sense so you can obtain a position which will do more justice to your abilities and interests, for both your benefit and that of your employer.

At number 3, ‘challenge yourself’. Don’t put your head in the sand: use your self-knowledge to figure out what skills you need to develop. I’d like to suggest you really tackle your areas of development rather than try to avoid activities which seem more arduous. Have a ‘can do’ attitude and embrace learning opportunities. Many firms offer training so look for and attend training to build up those skills which you have less off.

In addition, I want to suggest to you that you ‘ask your way to success’: ask others for help so that you combine your strengths with theirs and together, collaboratively achieve a ‘win-win’ for all. In addition, I have observed that many people will be happy to share their knowledge so don’t hesitate to ask and learn from others.

In second place, ‘use your time well’. Did you know that there are 168 hours in a week? Assuming you sleep 8 hours per night, this leaves you with 112 hours to allocate to work and play time. Successful people use their time wisely. They plan their time and focus on tasks which have a strategic dimension. They know how to delegate and don’t micro-manage but rather appropriately review and supervise others and their work. Successful people also know how to spot really urgent matters. I am sure you have heard this: “work smart, not hard”. If you are spending your evenings at the office and often bring work home, your professional success may be at the expense of personal fulfilment and your health may be at risk further down the line.

And finally, the top tip for a successful 2012 is be positive’. Let me say upfront: I do not mean the kind of positive thinking which denies harsh realities. The ‘positivity’ I talk about is a combination of optimism, a sense of self-efficacy and the courage to persevere. Like me, I am sure that you have noted that successful people believe in themselves and their actions are imbued with a sense of purpose which others notice.

In addition, research shows that the more you focus on what went well every day, the more positive, healthier and happier you become. Positive people get more out of life and when you feel good about yourself, you deal more confidently with challenges. Have you noticed that the constructive person, who seeks solutions, invariably gains more support than the pessimist, the worrier who only talks of problems?

I hope these tips will be helpful to you in getting off to a great start to 2012!


© Coaching For Inspiration, 2012

If this article resonated with you, please leave a comment (see below). If you would like to write to Alexandra directly, click here. To see Alexandra’s bio on France in London, go there.


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