Identify if there are activities in your day that, instead of helping you achieve your goals, are blocking your path.
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Humans love routine . When it comes to achieving measurable goals, this means that we tend to do the same, as we always have, and in the same order. This also happens with our habits when working in teams. You’ve probably been working with your team long enough to feel like you know what to expect from them and have developed habitual patterns in the way they interact. And, most likely, the feeling is mutual. Maybe it’s time to change those impressions.
To be a better manager, it is important to take risks and make necessary improvements. This often requires identifying what is working and what needs to be improved. Sometimes finding out is as easy as asking yourself these three questions:
1. What habits have gotten you to where you are today?
2. What habits could be holding you back from reaching your next big goals?
3. Is it time to ask for feedback?
Taking a close look at your habits gives you a powerful picture of what has worked so far, and it also allows you to make conscious changes. My friend and mentor, Marshall Goldsmith, wrote a book whose title says it all: What Got You Here Won’t Get You There (What brought you here won’t get you anywhere). So what habits do you currently have that could be hindering you from reaching the next level?
Some questions you could start with are: Do you start the meetings on time? Do you listen to the comments without interrupting? Do you ask clarifying questions? Do you see the person you are talking to or do you keep your eyes on your digital device? Do you recognize a job well done and new ideas? What habits have worked well for you? And which ones do you think you would need to change to move forward?
The next thing to do is ask yourself what you are doing that is sabotaging your path to achieve your goals. I know of an entrepreneur who recently noticed that he was using the first hour of his workday to check his email and social media accounts. As a five-day experiment, he focused that same morning hour on finding new suppliers for his business. That simple change allowed it to advance its release date by three weeks.
One way to find out what’s working and what’s not working for your habits is to ask the people around you for feedback. Feedback will not necessarily point out that something is wrong; it could simply show that you are open to new ideas and strategies.
Asking for feedback can also speed up and increase the effectiveness of your efforts. Feedback can maximize your focus, energy, and time so that you can get things done right and get them done. Over and over again I have seen entrepreneurs who are doing well managing their productivity and getting more out of their efforts because they have asked for feedback from the right people.
To find out if your habits are working or not, clearly define the results you want. When you fully understand what you want to achieve, then you will be able to reflect how your actions in the last hours, days or weeks have allowed you to get closer (or not) to your goals.