How to destroy a working relationship: Ego

How to destroy a working relationship: Ego

I recently read Ryan Holiday's book 'Ego is the Enemy', which I found very thought-provoking. If you're like me, you'd expect to understand the content of the book just by hearing the title, however, according to Ryan, that would be your ego talking.

Listing to all the stories of clients over the past few years, and thinking back over my own personal career challenges, disagreements with colleagues and growth struggles, I was struck by how much of it can relate back to ego being a central component. 

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Anti-fragile

Anti-fragile

"What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.” Well, while that’s not quite true, we all get the idea. That’s also the premise of Nassim Taleb’s book ‘Antifragiel’ which talks about how various stress on different systems (from the human body to the financial markets) actually benefit from temporary stress because it allows them to develop great resilience and long-term strength. For example, going to the gym to put your body under temporary stress will ‘weaken’ your muscles for the day but strengthen them overall. Dealing with challenging new situations in work is often stressful, but prepares us for doing that in the future.

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Wait for the pushback

Wait for the pushback

Before I explain an interesting exercise, I have to say that it only makes sense if you actually do it as you're reading this. Otherwise, you know the outcome but not your outcome. Anyway, I'll leave it up to you...

Here's the exercise: Put your hands together in front of your body in a prayer position as seen below. Then start to push with your right hand for 3 seconds. What happens?

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Favourite quotes about money

Favourite quotes about money

Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like. – Will Rogers

Do not value money for any more nor any less than its worth; it is a good servant but a bad master. – Alexander Dumas

Money can’t buy happiness, but neither can poverty. – Leo Rosten

It's nonsense to say money doesn't buy happiness, but people exaggerate the extent to which more money can buy more happiness. - Daniel Kahneman

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Visualise one fine day in 10 years time

Visualise one fine day in 10 years time

Golfers, footballers and tennis players, amongst other professional sports stars have often talked about the benefits of visualisation. We’ve all heard the success stories, but how can visualisation really make a difference? Shouldn’t we just focus on learning, practising and working hard? These were some of the questions I had been pondering for years, until recently...

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The High Achiever's Achilles Heel

The High Achiever's Achilles Heel

You love goal-setting and are exhilarated by goal-achievement. You’ve probably read all the articles, blogs and books on how to work better, live better, feel better and think better. You’re not always sure what you want, except for two things: more growth and more success. Do you also feel little pleasure in winning but great pain in losing? Congratulations, you are a high achiever...

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Coping strategies for dealing with stress

Coping strategies for dealing with stress

Stress is part of everyone’s life at some stage or another. I think of dealing with it in three different ways: avoiding it if feasible; reducing it where possible; and finding better, more elegant ways of coping with it.

If you don’t know your favourite and most effective ways of dealing with stress before it happens, you’ll find it difficult to come up with them at short notice; that’s why it’s important to have them prepared in advance. Different situations will call for different responses, so we need to have flexible solutions. Here are some strategies that I find useful:

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Failing continually is crucial

Failing continually is crucial

Firstly, let’s distinguish between failed and failure. If a project doesn’t achieve the desired result - we could say that it failed, whereas if we believe that it hasn’t gone well and nothing could be improved, then it’s a failure. ‘Failure’ doesn’t leave much room for hope; it sounds so terminal. So let’s consider the alternative - never failing. 

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Passing thoughts on criticism

Passing thoughts on criticism

Criticism can be valuable occasionally, so it's good to derive any potentially useful information from it. If there’s nothing of worth in it, just let it pass. Remember that the more criticism you get, the more you’ll get used to it, which will help you to desensitise and deal with it in the future.

“There is only one way to avoid criticism: say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” - Aristotle

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To be brave, you have to show vulnerability; to be a leader, you have to go first

To be brave, you have to show vulnerability; to be a leader, you have to go first

“Men don’t talk” - that’s what I’ve been told. The statement is not just harsh and unfair; it’s untrue. I’ve met lots of men who talk, about their feelings too. Many of them love it. I’ve also met female clients who would prefer not to talk about anything. Generalisations are always wrong and there’s always an exception to the rule...

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Quit defending and experience freedom

Defending yourself is tough - so tough. But there is something so beautiful, so liberating, so empowering when you quit defending. It’s a moment when everything changes. Suddenly, you don’t have to pretend that everything is alright; that you’re perfect; that you did a good job; that you never made mistakes or that you never will again. And when that happens, you open up a whole new world of possibilities, and a lot less pain.

The fear is 'people will say …

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Forget resolutions - Focus on habits

Learning new skills is a challenge for many of us. The very first hurdle is our belief system: fixed mindset or growth mindset. If we have a fixed mindset, it suggests that we cannot learn new skills and have to make do with what we have naturally. On the other hand, there is a lot more room for hope if we have a growth mindset - this suggests that we believe skills can be learnt and we can learn them.

The second challenge is creating habits that make learning a consistent practice.

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Becoming Financially Responsible

Becoming Financially Responsible

  • Essential lessons for financial stability
  • Financial Lessons from Experts: Book Summaries
  • Financial Stability: Everything you need to know (almost)
  • The best philosophies for financial stability

NB *I am not qualified, nor am I authorised to give financial advice.*

Almost everyone is concerned with money at some stage of their career. However, there’s no point working harder, taking on more responsibility and earning more if you don’t actually feel the benefit of it at any stage. By the way, I’m not merely talking about getting richer, I’m talking about increasing your net worth and sustaining it into the future. Before I go any further, I have to mention that of course not everyone wants to be wealthy, which is fine, but everyone wants to be financially stable.

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An interview with Herfamily.ie

herfamily.ie

Are there any everyday methods or tricks you could share with us? Do you ever use any of them yourself?

Yes, absolutely! I like to focus on 3 things everyday that I’ve done well and write them down, if possible. This helps me stay in a positive frame of mind and remind me of all things that are going well. The reason is that so often it’s easy to be concerned about challenges at work or what’s going badly, we also have to focus on what is going well. This isn’t about saying it’s better than it is, and it’s certainly not about saying it’s worse than it is - it’s about saying it as it is.

I also like to journal about things that are on my mind to relieve stress and to stop ideas/thoughts flying around my head, especially at a time they’re not useful - like last thing at night! I have a blank notebook that I use, which is ideal for writing, mind maps, lists, drawings or any other type of scribbling. 

I love learning. I endeavour to learn something new everyday - even if that simply means skimming a blog online, reading a quote or discovering a new function of a software package.

Any tips for someone trying to impress at work following a period of maternity leave?

I think if you can come back to work having learned some new skills, done some online courses or read some relevant books, it would be really beneficial. There are lots of mums who have used the time off work to progress their careers. This is now more feasible than ever with the rise of ebooks and online learning. 

Also, the typical suggestion is to be as organised as possible for reentering the company so that you can really focus on your work from day one. This may mean getting other members of the immediate family, extended family, or professionals to help with child care or other household tasks (where possible). 

What is the key to achieving work/life balance?

I believe it’s important to work hard while your at work and actively recover once you’re finished work. This doesn’t mean that you sit on the couch and watch TV (while still thinking about the office) - this means planning your social calendar so that you can properly disengage from work in the evenings and get a mental break. Actives that  engage the body, mind (and spirit) are an excellent example of this (sport, music, meeting friends, shows etc).

Also, being productive is obviously key. It’s important to be aware that just because you’re in work a long time - doesn’t mean you’re productive. Being productive at work means having a to-do list and also a not-to-do list. In other words, prioritise what you need to do and what is nice to do. Then, focus on getting results, not just on putting in the hours!

I hope this helps and thanks for reading!