Comment on Employee Engagement Bardzo by Career Zingers #8: Constructing Our Career — David Zinger – Employee Engagement Speaker

[…] I am not a fan of either positive thinking or negative thinking because they are both shallow and too one-sided. Sometimes good things are not as good as we thought or bad things turn out to be good in time. Good things happen for a variety of reasons and bad things will inevitably occur. Experiences involve more than our thinking yet thinking is a tremendous force in career development. That’s why I advocate constructive thinking. Regardless of what occurs determine what you can construct out of the experience. Our careers can be viewed as large and lengthy self-structures built over time. As you develop your career, hard hats are optional, but know that regardless of where you are on your career path, be it your first job or deep into retirement, your career is always “under construction.” I invite you to conclude this career zinger with a poem I wrote inspired by Warsaw. […]

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Career Zingers #26: What’s Your Currency?

Money often costs too much. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is Only Paper (David Zinger, 2018)

What’s your currency at work? Currency is a medium of exchange. We narrowly think of currency as being money. I am not saying money is unimportant, just that it is not as important as we think. Countless studies have demonstrated that on the list of important motivators and contributors to employee engagement money is lower on the list.

Pause right now, consider what do you truly exchange your time, effort, and self for at work?

Over the years, I have learned my personal currencies for work are:

  • curiosity,
  • connection,
  • creativity,
  • playfulness,
  • stories,
  • learning,
  • expression, and
  • contribution.

When work offers me these currencies I am engaged and motivated. I have said numerous times, “I can’t believe I get paid to do this work.” I forget I am getting paid in the currencies listed above. When you exchange your work for the right currencies, work will make you well.

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Career Zingers #25: Stop Clinging

Bounce free of career static

Cling Free Strip (David Zinger, 2018)

Too much static in your career? Hanging on to outdated perceptions of work, career, and yourself? When drying your clothes, I sometimes put a sheet of Bounce in the dryer to stop the static so my clothes don’t cling.

Here are 3 invitations to make your career cling free:

(1) as things tumble and change bounce with the change as opposed to being stuck.

(2) notice if the stories you tell yourself help you move forward or create static and regretful thinking as you desperately cling to the past.

(3) just as you need to keep doing laundry, you also need to keep working on your career – avoid mindlessly performing the tasks of your job without having the larger picture of who you are in mind.

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Boss Doesn’t Trust You? Here Are 4 Likely Reasons Why

We’ve all probably had an instance or two when our boss hasn’t shown trust in us. I recall one situation where I was bypassed for a critical project. I felt demoralized that I wasn’t trusted enough to get the assignment. I was ticked-off at my boss’ decision and I also felt disappointed in myself for not having done enough to earn the trust of my boss so that I was the natural first choice when this project came along.

There could be dozens of reasons why your boss doesn’t trust you in a particular situation, but they all can be traced back to the ABCD’s of trust: able, believable, connected, and dependable. Research has shown these four elements comprise trust in a relationship. A fundamental truth about trust is that it’s based on perceptions, and it’s our use of trustworthy or untrustworthy behaviors that cause others to form a perception about our trustworthiness. If your boss is showing a lack of trust in you, examine the behaviors you’re using, or not using, under each of these four elements of trust to determine which element of trust is lacking.

AbleDemonstrating Competence. Being able means you possess the skills, knowledge, and expertise appropriate for your role or job. You demonstrate your competence by establishing a track record of success, consistently achieving your goals, and effectively solving problems and making good decisions. Could it be there is an element of your competence that you boss doesn’t quite trust? If so, what could you do to build your competence in that particular area?

BelievableActing with Integrity. Integrity is at the heart of trustworthiness and it’s impossible to be fully trusted without it. High integrity people are honest, tell the truth, admit their mistakes, and act in alignment with their values and those of the organization. They walk the talk. If you’ve ever cut corners, taken the easy route instead of the harder but more ethical path, or refused to take ownership of your mistakes, it may be your boss has doubts about your believability.

ConnectedCaring about Others. Trustworthy people value relationships. They care about people and act in ways that nurture those relationships. Connected people establish rapport with others by finding common ground and mutual interests. They share information about themselves and the organization in a transparent fashion, trusting others to use information wisely. Most of all, connected people are others-focused. They place the needs of others ahead of their own. When you examine your relationship with your boss, do you need to strengthen your connectedness with him or her? People trust people they like and know, and you can’t underestimate the power of a personal connection in the workplace. If there is a lack of trust with your boss in this area, explore ways to build a deeper level of connection.

DependableHonoring Commitments. Fulfilling promises, maintaining reliability, and being accountable are critical aspects of being dependable. Trustworthy people do what they say they’re going to do. They don’t shirk responsibility or hold themselves to a different (i.e., lower) standard than others. In my experience, a lack of dependability is one of the chief causes for low trust in workplace relationships. As a leader myself, I need to be able to depend on my team members to do what they say they’re going to do, when they say they’re going to do it. Even if I have a high level of trust in a person’s ability, believability, and connectedness, if I can’t depend on them to come through in crunch time, I’m not going to trust them with critically important assignments.

Every language is built upon an alphabet, and the language of trust starts with the ABCD’s: able, believable, connected, and dependable. If your relationship with your boss is lacking in any of these elements, don’t worry, you can fix it. Building trust is a skill and you can learn how to become more trustworthy. But you need a game plan.

Consider attending our upcoming virtual training session on Building Trust on May 29th. In this four-hour training (two, 2-hour virtual sessions), you’ll not only learn the framework of the ABCD Trust Model and the associated behaviors that lead to high-trust relationships, you’ll take a self-assessment to understand your strengths and growth areas in relation to the ABCD’s of trust, gain practical skills in how to have trust-building conversations, and learn a three-step model for rebuilding broken trust. Seats are limited so register now!

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Career Zingers # 24: Beauty Is Not About How We Look, It Is About How We See

To find beauty, see with fresh eyes

Susan, my wife, received some lovely roses. After a number of days I was ready to throw them out as they were withering. Susan stopped me, she cut the stems and put the roses in a new vase. The next morning while I was eating yogurt and granola for breakfast, I found myself staring at the roses. They were not new, they were not fresh, but they were beautiful. After reading this post, I encourage you find beauty in yourself or in others even as you and others age and wither. Beauty is not about how we look, it is about how we see.

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Career Zingers #23: Build a Nuanced Career

Nuance Matters

The dictionary defines nuance as the ability to express delicate shadings (as of meaning, feeling, or value).

Own your subtle differences in meaning, feeling, and value. When you encounter career advice don’t trust it, test it. Does the advice fit for you? Is it helpful? How might you tweak or alter the suggestion or advice to make it your own.

You build a career not by assembling it like the 68 steps to assemble a piece of Ikea furniture — you assemble it by making up your own direction. You are not a beach – you are a grain of sand.

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