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9 Ways to Make 2022 Even Better at Work

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 — January 27th, 2022

9 Ways to Make 2022 Even Better at Work

Much of what is accepted about succeeding in leadership, in business, and in life, is simpler than you may think.

We assume you’re already good at many things. We assume you’re eager to be even better. 

But what if you could unlock the ‘if’ – the secret sauce that, if you did a few specific things differently, you’d be even better?

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The following tips are from the best-selling book Even Better If: Building Better Businesses, Better Leaders, and Better Selves – co-written by myself, business leader and co-founder of scarlettabbott Rachel Thornton, and noted executive coach Charlie Sampson.

# 1 Reconnect to your purpose

The Great Resignation tops the headlines, and with good reason. We’ve had a collective moment of reflection about what really matters to us in and out of work, with many realizing their work isn’t as purposeful as they’d like.

It’s also why many companies are re-examining their purpose, too. To do that, ask your people some soul-searching questions.

Have them describe a time when they’ve seen the company at its best. You can ask them to articulate what your company does better than anyone else in the marketplace. Most importantly, you need to identify what to protect, too.

# 2. Lean in to change.

The word ‘change’ sometimes gets a bad reputation, but change is easier than you think – especially when you understand what might be getting in your way. 

Common barriers to change include lack of motivation, lack of clarity, uncertainty and resistance to tackling difficult tasks.

When attempting change either at work or in life, first identify which of these barriers are in your way. Once you know, you can create a more realistic plan for achieving your goals.

# 3 Be more inclusive.

Belonging is a top priority for many organizations, and we all have a part to play in creating workplaces where we can be our true selves. That’s why now is the perfect time for individuals and companies to broaden their focus on inclusion.
Start by asking yourself what you can do differently to be more inclusive. Then, work outwards: ask your immediate team the same question and ask what your organisation can influence.

Don’t forget to look further – think about how you can be an ally in your wider community, too. 

# 4. Increase your appetite for growth.

The beginning of the year is a natural time to reflect on how you want to grow and evolve. Adopting a growth mindset starts by fine-tuning our focus around what it is we want to improve and then being clear about what that improvement looks like. 

Consider whether you have more potential to grow, what skills and qualities you wish you had that you see elsewhere, or how you’d like to be perceived by others.

Once you’ve done some introspection, identify who you need to help you on the path to success.

# 5. Put a smile on your face.

Optimism is primarily a mindset – a pattern of thinking that focuses on opportunity and proactivity. One habit to build optimism focuses on creating objectivity on your worst days.

The next time you find yourself in a frustrating or anger-inducing situation at work, film yourself sharing what’s happened and how you’re thinking. Then, do anything else for an hour.

After that, go back and watch the video with an objective lens. What advice would you give the person you just watched?

What should they immediately do? That distance can help put you in a more proactive and optimistic mindset.

# 6. Shake things up.

Disruption for disruption’s sake is often unhelpful. But when you disrupt to help cultivate growth, magical things can happen – though it requires courage and tenacity.

When advocating for new ideas or processes, ask yourself: how does this help us better serve our future customers? What is the consequence of not doing this – and can we accept that?

# 7. Hit that health goal.

We can’t be our best at work if we don’t feel good. But making good choices in the moment is difficult for a variety of reasons – the main one being that we prefer to take the instant hit of gratification. 

One way to make progress on your health goals without too much of a sacrifice is using a technique called temptation bundling.

The idea is to pair together an activity you don’t want to do with one that you do. For example: ‘I will only have a glass of wine if I’m also working on my next book at the same time’.

# 8. Put safety first.

The need for psychologically safe workplaces is paramount – especially as we continue to navigate what a hybrid working environment looks like. You can be a leader in modeling the behaviors that contribute to a psychologically safe workplace. 

For example, show what healthy conflict looks like when you have a disagreement. Advocate for a zero-tolerance policy for bullying and harassment if one isn’t already in place. Acknowledge – rather than punish – failure so employees feel free and safe to speak up.

# 9. Get that change in the bank.

There is a misconception that there is a direct link between someone’s salary and their level of financial wellness.

There are lots of reasons why saving more and spending less is hard, but there is one quick tip from behavioral science that can make this easier. Try it yourself, then share it with your colleagues. 

Let’s call it the earmark challenge. This uses the power of mental accounting, which explains how people treat money differently if it’s earmarked for different purposes. Have a big savings goal on the horizon?

Create a savings pot – in your bank, on your phone, or even in an envelope under your mattress. Label it with your intended savings goal.

Research shows people who do this tend to reach their savings goals more quickly.

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