What are your 2011 workplace resolutions?

2010 has come and gone.  December 31st brings the tradition for parties with friends and family to officially ring in the New Year.   And as the first day of a new year begins, countless resolutions are professed to focus on health, success and often some form of discipline in an area of life.

Personal resolutions are a wonderful reminder for the opportunity of second chances.  Fresh. New. A do over. Hope. Whether it is the desire to lose weight and focus on a healthy lifestyle or master a new craft or hobby, the practice of starting anew is healthy.

So, what about the workplace? Can this same practice and opportunity exist as we think about our relationships with co-workers or the team we lead?

I say yes.  Why not take this same approach in the workplace for a focus on fresh, new and perhaps even a do over in your workplace?

Deciding to make a workplace resolution and actually naming it are very different.  And as with our personal goals, it’s much easier to state a resolution than to actually keep it. So, to encourage your success, consider these three tips:

#1 What “one” thing would make a difference to your team?
One job of any leader is to remove the barriers that hinder our team from being able to effectively do their job.  Expectations may be clear and the team members may have the skills needed to be successful but workplace dynamics or policies hinder progress. For the coming year, consider focusing on removing at least one obstacle so your team (you and the organization) can move forward.

#2 Stop pushing “buttons”.
We’re human and let’s face it, everyone has pet peeves or “hot buttons” that drive us crazy. Want to improve relationships with your team? Stop pushing their buttons!  The truth is, everyone has at least one button.  Find out what that is and make an honest effort to be sensitive to those “little things” that drive the team crazy.  Some examples often include: micro-management, surprises, little interaction, no direction, and failed promises, etc. 

#3  Be a dependable team player yourself.
How would your peers describe you? Two categories often emerge: competence (what you know) and character (do what you say you will do).  How do you measure up?  When your name is mentioned, do others have confidence in your ability to get the job done?  If not, the coming year offers a great opportunity to change those perceptions.

Resolutions are much more than a sentence on a piece of paper. The real work begins in trying to accomplish them.  To ensure success, create a strategy that will keep you accountable.  Involve others in your process and keep track of your progress throughout the year.

The reality is most people make lofty resolutions on January 1st and by February 1st they are long forgotten.  Don’t become a statistic.  The time you invest in your career is too valuable.  Here’s to making 2011 count!

We want to hear from you!  What are you focusing on this year?  Please share your best practice with us and others.

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