I work with clients every day and being “out of alignment” is a huge symptom that many articulate. Chances are you feel like this some of the time too. Here are 7 ways you can achieve alignment at work. (These work at home too) 😉
ALIGNMENT WITH SELF
#1: Take Ownership
How might your values, view of the world and perspectives of others be shaping the situation or outcome? If you are behaving in a way that isn’t in line with your own personal beliefs or values, stop now. I know what it’s like to be under-appreciated, not seen, etc. at work. You have a part in this too. Audit your behaviors – what you say, do, how you react – to ensure they align with who you want to be.
#2: Know your own talents.
What’s your natural state of awesomeness? What talents do you have, that when invested in will become strengths to be maximized? Be that. Do those.
Who doesn’t want that?
Stop focusing on your “weaknesses” and leverage the heck out of your talents. Make your talents strengths by spending your time, energy and development on those.
If you haven’t taken a StrengthsFinder assessment, email me to get moving on this. It’s been called “life-changing” by many who I’ve worked with.
#3: Consider What You Want
If what’s happening isn’t ideal, what is? Write a bullet list, tell a story to a partner or draw a picture about what it feels like and looks like.
What would be different? Who would be involved and how would they act? Why is your view of ideal important? How would it add value to your team or company?
Get ready to sell your solutions!
ALIGNMENT WITH OTHERS
#4: Speak Up
Life is too short not to speak your truth. If you’ve done the work above, you’ve laid great ground to start having conversations with your leaders and team-members. One key: the conversations HAVE to be solution-focused and forward-looking.
It’s ok to use an example of current state when illustrating how a potential change may add value. But, there’s a big difference in saying:
“Man…I just can’t take this anymore. What can we do about XYZ?
“I’m feeling frustrated with XYZ. I’ve been working to change by doing ABC. I was also thinking that we could consider shifting XYZ by doing solution one, solution two or solution three. What do you think would make the biggest impact for our team/the company?”
Feel the difference?
#5: Ask questions and listen.
Ask people for their opinions. Now, this is tricky as we already agreed we needed to be forward-looking and solution-focused. The good thing is it that you are now a pro. You’ve done the hard steps of 1-3 above. You can now guide them through the same journey.
Ask them how they believe they are impacting the situation positively or negatively. Careful here that you don’t come across as accusing them of being part of the problem. Explain the process that you’ve worked through. Be vulnerable and share any a-ha moments you had on your personal impact.
Point out where you view their natural talents. If they’ve taken a personality or some type of assessment at work, like StrengthsFinder, ask them to share that with you and ask where they could be leveraging their strengths more in this situation.
Share your solutions.
When talking to your leader, I believe the same conversations apply, but in reverse. Sell your solutions, talk about their strengths and where they can help and ask them what other ideas they have.
#6: Make new agreements.
Now is the fun part. If you’ve identified where you could do better, it’s time to make new agreements. Be specific. How will we interact differently? What will our outcomes need to look like? Will our time frames need to shift? How will we show each other appreciation?
#7: Set check-ins.
This is where you measure success and see if you are on the right track. How often will you meet and what questions will you ask to know if things are headed in the right direction? I would suggest including, “Are the outcomes different?” and “Am I engaged in the work in a more productive way?”
This is hard work. It takes months+ to change human behavior and group dynamics. Don’t accept mediocrity. You deserve an awesome work environment and your company needs your input and your effort to make it so. You’ve got this!
Peace and Progress,