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  • Fun Way to Be More Successful, Backed by Research

    09/25/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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    You could be chosen for a high-profile project.

    You could land a promotion.

    You could find a better job.

    …and then you’d be happy, right?

    Not necessarily, according to research by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage. While living, researching and lecturing at Harvard University, Achor spent over a decade studying the link between happiness and success. What he found from profiling thousands of Fortune 500 executives boils down to this one simple – and pretty profound – truth:

    Success Doesn’t Bring Happiness; Happiness brings Success

    In other words, if you want to be more successful, work on being happier. It’s easy to say, but tough to put into practice. So, if you need a little help with the process, here are a few of the tactics Achor recommends:

    Stop Equating Future Success with Happiness

    Many people think that if they’re more successful (i.e., if they just get a raise, just land a promotion, just find a better job) they’ll be happier. Research, however, doesn’t support that notion – so neither should you.

    Think of Happiness as a Work Ethic

    Just as you must be disciplined with physical exercise to improve your body, you must be disciplined about your mindset to be happier. Integrate these proven “happiness habits” to build a work ethic that supports success:

    • Be grateful. Each day, write down three new things you’re thankful for.
    • Write down positive experiences. Spend just two minutes daily journaling a single, uplifting experience. This simple task helps you find more meaning in your work over time.
    • Exercise. Every day! Even 10 minutes can train your brain that your actions make a difference.
    • Meditate for two minutes. Press the pause button and just focus on your breathing to combat stress and – you guessed it – boost your happiness.
    • Start each work day by sending a positive email. Sharing good news and praising others creates a cycle of positivity that improves connections and feelings of support.

    Looking for more habits that promote happiness? Read our earlier post, Happy People Have These Habits.

     View Problems as Challenges – Not Threats

    When changes in your department, company, industry occur; when the economic or political climate shifts; when unexpected bottlenecks, glitches or competitors crop up, the way you perceive them greatly impacts your ability to handle them. By framing problems constructively (i.e., as challenges and opportunities), you can increase your effectiveness in meeting them.

    Want to Build a Happier (and Ultimately More Successful) Organization?

    Exact Staff’s experts can refer talented, experienced people with the personality traits and soft skills to help you build a more positive workplace. Whether your needs are short- or long-term, temporary or direct, our national employment agency can build the solution you need.

     

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Dramatically Improve Your Performance: Drop These Habits!

09/21/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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Ever wonder why:

  • You’re being passed over for promotions?
  • Your team members aren’t more receptive to your ideas?
  • You’re not asked to join special project teams or to spearhead new initiatives at work?

Maybe your bad habits are holding you back.

Nobody’s perfect, and we all have idiosyncrasies that occasionally make us challenging to work with. But if you feel like something is holding you back in your career – and you can’t quite put your finger on what it is – make sure you’re not sabotaging your success with bad habits like these:

Negative Talk

When faced with a challenge at work, what’s your default response? Phrases like “That’s not going to work because,” and “We can’t do that,” are inherently negative, focusing exclusively on the problem – instead of potential solutions.

Your direct reports, coworkers and higher-ups all pay close attention to how you approach work situations. So, if you habitually complain or exhibit a defeatist attitude, you’re undermining your career. Need proof? Results from this survey show that more than 6 in 10 (62%) of employers are less likely to promote employees who have a negative attitude.

Portraying Yourself as an Expert – at Everything

You are undoubtedly talented at what you do, but no one is great at everything. And quite frankly, acting like an expert when others can clearly tell you’re not just irritates them – and makes you look foolish.

Contribute when you have something valuable to share, but don’t be afraid to admit when you don’t have all the answers. Owning your weaknesses builds authenticity, strengthens relationships and sets the stage for joint problem-solving – all of which are great for your career.

Being Condescending

When attempting to establish your authority, do you wind up sounding judgmental or patronizing? Even if your language is neutral, signals like crossed arms, heavy sighs and eye rolls can eclipse your ostensible desire to be an effective leader. If you want others to follow your direction and take your advice at work, don’t talk down to them. Make sure your tone, posture and word choices are consistently respectful, and that your criticism is always constructive.

Related Posts:

Prevent Negativity from Creeping into Your Workplace

Habits to Dramatically Improve Your Life

Habits of Happy People

Another Habit Which Could be Holding You Back? Trying to Do it All Yourself.

Successful professionals start each day by examining their “to dos,” prioritizing their responsibilities, and then delegating non-critical activities. If you want to make delegation a habit, but don’t have the internal resources, give Exact Staff a call. We’ll help you get non-critical activities off your plate – and dramatically improve your performance.

 

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Great Leadership Starts with Listening Skills

09/14/17 9:15 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Employers | Leave a Comment
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As a leader, what happens when you develop better listening skills?

  • Your employees become more motivated, engaged and productive.
  • You retain more information and make fewer mistakes.
  • You foster mutual trust with your team.
  • You develop 6-pack abs.

Okay; maybe not that last answer – but you get where today’s post is going, right?

Strong listening skills are an essential component of great leadership. It takes more than a functioning set of ears, however, to develop those skills. Crunches and a low-fat diet won’t help, either.

What does work? “Exercising” these behaviors, each day:

Put Away that Shiny Rectangle

Phubbing,” or phone-snubbing, is the practice of checking your phone in a social situation instead of giving the speaker your full attention. If you’re phubbing your employees, you’re sending a clear message that you’re not interested in them or what they have to say – which results in diminished trust, lower levels of job satisfaction and damaged work relationships.

Unless you’re managing a crisis, put away your smartphone when engaging with your employees.

Be Fully Present

Banishing your phone is a good start. Once it’s put away, make a conscious effort to be in the moment when someone is speaking to you, focusing your eyes and ears on them. Ask questions, and encourage them to elaborate on their ideas. Give them a safe space in which to share their views and concerns. When you engage yourself fully in a conversation, employees will instantly realize that you’re paying attention – and truly attempting to understand what’s important to them.

Practice Active Listening

Tend to finish your employees’ sentences? Formulate your responses while the speaker is still talking? Developing better active listening skills will make you a more patient and empathetic listener. Here are a few simple habits to practice:

  • Don’t interrupt. It’s more than rude; it’s antithetical to effective listening. You simply cannot speak and understand someone else’s message at the same time.
  • Resist the urge to plan how you’ll respond while the other person is speaking. Devote your full attention to comprehension.
  • Monitor the speaker’s words, tone of voice and body language (you’ll get important information from all three sources).
  • Pay attention to what the speaker doesn’t say as much as what they do say (read between the lines).
  • Make friendly, not intimidating, contact.
  • Summarize and repeat what the other person has said, to make sure you understand them fully.
  • Clarify or probe for more information, when necessary.
  • Respond only once you’re sure you grasp what the speaker has communicated.

Related posts:

3 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

3 Important Things Great Leaders Do Every Day

What to Do if a Conversation Becomes Loud and Aggressive

Choose a Staffing Partner that Truly Listens to You

At Exact Staff, we know that developing effective staffing solutions requires an in-depth understanding of your needs. We’ll listen, ask the right questions, and then create a solution that offers the workforce flexibility, support and access to talent your team needs.

What can we do for you? Contact a staffing expert at your local Exact Staff office today.

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Hypercritical of Yourself? How to Be More Accepting

09/7/17 10:00 AM | By :Exact Staff | Categories : Job Seekers | Leave a Comment
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“She’s so intelligent; I’ll never be as smart as her.”

“He’s so creative; why can’t I think that way?”

“She’s so disciplined; I wish I could exhibit that kind of control and perseverance.”

Are you great at finding amazing qualities in your colleagues, family and friends – but incredibly tough on yourself?

It’s human nature. According to The Happiness Trapp by Dr. Russ Harris, our minds have evolved to think negatively, and research shows that up to 80% of our thoughts contain some negative content.

Negative thinking may be human nature, but that doesn’t mean it’s inevitable – especially when it comes to how you view yourself. If you’re one of the millions of professionals who struggle with self-doubt and negative self-talk, here’s how to effectively manage those hypercritical thoughts and be more accepting of yourself:

Monitor Your Thoughts and Feelings

For one week, keep a journal of the negative thoughts that pop into your head. Recognizing mental sabotage is the first step to stopping it.

Interrupt the Cycle

When you have a critical thought or feeling about yourself, immediately ask: “Am I being reasonable?” Often, you’ll find that the answer is: “No.” Break your mental cycle of negativity by recalling your strengths and accomplishments.

Leave Failures Where They Belong

In the past! When you dwell on mistakes you’ve made, you prevent yourself from moving forward. Rather than repeating a phrase like: “I’m an idiot for leaving that important detail out of my presentation,” try one that allows you to learn and move on: “Everyone makes mistakes. I will improve my review process, to ensure I don’t make the same error again.”

Strive for Progress, not Perfection

You are a work in progress, so you shouldn’t expect to achieve instant success, 100% of the time. Setting unrealistic expectations only breeds negative thoughts! A better option? Strive for small, incremental, sustainable improvements. Praise yourself for taking baby steps toward your goals, and enjoy the journey (not just the destination).

Adopt the Habits of Happy People

Happiness isn’t automatic; it must be cultivated and actively pursued. In this earlier post, we share simple ways to make your life (and your perception of yourself) more positive – by modeling the behaviors of happy people.

Related Post: Prevent Negativity from Creeping Into Your Workplace

Promote Positive Self-Talk by Accomplishing More, Every Day

Checking off more “to dos” each day will put you in a more positive frame of mind. As a national employment agency, Exact Staff provides the support and solutions you need to:

  • Offload repetitive and low-level work that distracts you and your staff;
  • Improve focus, productivity and effectiveness;
  • Confidently tackle new or pressing projects.

Ready to accomplish more? Contact your local Exact Staff office today.

 

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