Author Archives: Louise Longhurst

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

3 things to do now to finish 2018 ready to relax

The end of the year is approaching fast.

You’ve booked your holiday, planned well-earned time off with family and friends, but well before you activate the out-of-office message you need to complete your end of year deadlines.

Budget targets, key performance indicators and employee reviews need finalising, your clients have last-minute work. The office stress levels are on the rise making it even more difficult to successfully navigate towards your break.

In the back of your mind, you know this has happened before and you’re starting to dread the likelihood of work intruding on your holidays – again.

Does all this sound familiar?

Pre-holiday stress does not have to be the norm!

You can reach the end of the year ready to relax by using these simple strategies.

  1. Take some time out

Go for a walk, find a quiet place, avoid any distractions. Give yourself the time and space to reflect and plan. It is also important to eat well and have a good night sleep. The best-laid plans can fail if you fall ill. Remember the last time you spent the first week of your holiday sick in bed?

  1. Decide what can wait

Those deadlines aren’t bad. They help you organise your time and set priorities. And meeting deadlines successfully can be highly motivating.

Check your To Do list and ask yourself, “What happens if this doesn’t get done?” and “Is this a priority for this year or can it wait?”.

Be realistic at this point and discuss with your manager or key stakeholders your considered solutions and more reasonable timeframes.

A word of warning. Becoming stressed by short-term thinking can be a risk to your mental health.

Consider your long-term goals for the year ahead and prepare you for your return to work. Work out what you want to achieve, when it can be completed and how this will help you keep your long-term goals in sight.

  1. Get help

This one is critical. If you need help don’t be shy. Ask for it now!

Creating a culture where it is OK for people to ask for help is a positive step that can remove roadblocks and potential full-blown crises.

Knowing what you will delegate and to whom is a skill well worth developing. Giving a team member a high-level task can be rewarding for all if you get it right.

Maybe it’s time to get a coach?

Time spent with another professional who can help you map out your most important goals and priorities may be just the help you need to finish this year ready for a well-earned relaxing break.

Balance at Work offers coaching and mentoring services for mid-career professionals, senior leaders and executives.

Talk to us about how we can help you arrive at your break ready to relax.

BALANCE AT WORK BLOG

Find Your Joy at Work – Relate to Your Boss

Relate to your boss

You know the saying, you can choose your friends but not your family. The same can be said for business, where you meet and interact with all types of people. Being able to work effectively with them is important to getting on with the job and creating a positive work environment. You don’t have to be Richard Branson to know the secrets to career success and job satisfaction are significantly related to the quality of your work relationships. Particularly how you relate to your boss.

[Tweet “Get the relationship with your boss right and it’ll be easier to jump out of bed every day”]

It’s a bit like dealing with your significant other or maybe even the kids. It depends on trust, respect, support, guidance and you really need to pick your battles wisely. Keep in mind, however, your boss is in a position of power, influence and status. This is regardless of your own assessment of their experience and wisdom.

Your boss may be brand new, all knowing, micromanaging, a buddy, intimidating, indecisive, apathetic, a workaholic, she may even be working in another location. Whatever characteristics or situations are in play, it is in your best interest to make the relationship work for you and the business. I have experienced a number of bosses and have had an interesting time navigating the personalities with some successes and career limiting failures.

Seek mutual support, trust and respect to relate to your boss

‘Managing up’ is a technique commonly bandied round online and was advice given to me for a new and inexperienced manager. In theory, it sounds OK. In practice, however, it can appear manipulative and self-promoting, and might even label you as a ‘crawler’, or ‘groveler’, if you spend too much time managing only your boss. Instead try focusing on mutual support, trust and respect with a communication strategy that skilfully ensures these are achieved.

A number of years ago I recall getting quite frustrated with my boss, I felt we were having some communication problems. By the way, he is male and I am female. I did wonder if the Mars and Venus cliche was operating at work. If I mentioned an issue he had to fix it when all I was doing was just getting it off my chest. Then there were times I wanted to run a couple of things by him and was keen to get his opinion.

We decided we needed help to clarify our needs so we devised the jelly bean strategy. If I wanted to just chat I grabbed the green jelly bean. If I needed some advice I grabbed the red. It was a bit of fun but just discussing the problem and deciding on a mutual fix improved our respect and reduced misunderstanding.

[Tweet “Would you use this jelly bean strategy for communicating with your boss?”]

There will always be differences at work in the ways men and women, manager and team member communicate, solve problems, react to stress, earn respect, and ask for what they want.

Understanding yourself and what makes you different can help you to relate to your boss constructively to reduce conflict and frustration. Then you can develop a working relationship that will be good for the business, but more importantly healthy for you.*

We help our clients work better together with a range of tools and resources. Call us today on 1300 785 150 to find out how!

*Provided you don’t eat too many jelly beans!

"The last couple of years at batyr has seen incredible growth and the Balance at Work team has supported us along the way. They have helped us improve leadership skills across the team by helping us source and manage mentors, and even engaging as mentors themselves. As a young and fresh CEO Susan has also supported me personally with genuine feedback and fearless advice to achieve great things. "
By Sam Refshauge, CEO, batyr
"We used the Harrison Assessment tools followed by a debrief with Susan, for career development with staff, which then allowed us to work with Susan to create a customised 360 degree review process. Susan has a wealth of knowledge and is able to offer suggestions and solutions for our company. She is always ready to get involved and takes the time to show her clients the capability of Harrison Assessments. "
By Jessica Hill, Head of People and Culture, Choice
"Balance at Work are the ideal external partners for us as they completely get what we are trying achieve in the People and Culture space. Their flexibility and responsiveness to our needs has seen the entire 360 approach being a complete success. The online tool and the follow up coaching sessions have been game changers for our business. The buzz in the organisation is outstanding. Love it! Thanks again for being such a great support crew on this key project."
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By Benoit Ribe, HR Solutions Manager, Polyglot Group
"The leadership team at Insurance Advisernet engaged Susan from Balance at Work to run our leadership development survey and learning sessions. Susan was very professional in delivering the team and individual strengths and opportunities for growth. Susan's approach was very "non corporate" in style which was refreshing to see. I can't recommend Balance at Work more highly to lead employee and team development sessions."
By Shaun Stanfield, Managing Director, Insurance Advisernet

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