Time for your holiday gifts from yours truly. Since I was recently asked to write about development & growth for an upcoming Tips for Succeeding in 2019 publication, this year’s gift has two parts: planning tools for 2019 and top professional development tips.
Happy Planning and Happy Success in 2019!
Gift of 3 Planning Tools for 2019
Gift 1: Top 10 Productivity Tips (PDF)
Successful professionals often attempt too much and then burn-out. These Top 10 Productivity Tips will help 2019 be successful and satisfying.
Future planning is important, but predicting what you will execute a year ahead is a challenge. Instead of trying to predict a whole year, focus on 90 Day planning. You can realistically visualize and adapt to situational changes in 3 month segments. Definitely have a long term vision and then plan the strategy with the 90 Day Planning Worksheet.
After completing the 90 day goal planning use the Results & Actions Worksheet to record your bi-weekly progress and next actions. This will help you stay on track weekly.
Your feedback is desired:
Many planning systems are complex. They tend to work for people who are naturally structured, but overwhelm people who are not. Ironically, you have to already be organized to use the system to help you organize!
Hence, I designed these tools to be functional and simple. Please let me know how they work, and what would make them even better (and still simple).
3 Tips for Growth & Development in 2019
Tip 1: Use the Power of Weak (& Strong) Connections
The familiar adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” assumed well-known associates are the key to advancing professional success. However, psychologists have been debating the success of networking with people you don’t know (weak connections) versus people you do know (strong connections) for the last four decades. So what works? Let me summarize the research. Weak connections multiply your chances of success because of their extended reach. At the same time, your immediate colleagues are individually more powerful because your close relationship. As a result, weak connections provide more opportunities and close connections provide more advocacy. The smart strategy is to use the combined power of both weak and strong connections to advance your professional growth in 2019.
If psychological journals thrill you, read The Paradox of Weak Ties in 55 Countries, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.
Tip 2: Ask & Listen
Psychologists are trained to ask strategic questions and listen perceptively. This sounds simple, but most of us are trained to be experts in talking, not experts in asking and listening. Asking powerful questions and listening is an ideal strategy with both weak and strong connections. Here’s how:
Ask Open-Ended Questions: Open-ended questions prompt the most information. Short questions asking what, how, when and who are ideal.
Listen Reflectively: Ask, listen, then follow-up with a summary statement. The speaker will confirm (or correct) your perception. Then go further with more open-ended questions.
In addition to uncovering information, there are psychological and strategic benefits of asking and listening:
You make a good impression. We automatically like those who are interested and listen attentively.
You boost their self-esteem. People like feeling knowledgeable and important.
You increase motivation to help you. Human beings get an endorphin boost from altruism and we value helpfulness. They will want to be helpful.
You protect your image. We are less likely to make a mistake, if we listen first.
For more communication tips, download the PDF Speak Success: 7 Communication Tips to Achieve the Goal
Tip 3: Kill your Brain ANTs
Even the most successful professionals struggle with confidence. Brain ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts) are very common, especially during times of professional growth.
Check out the very successful cognitive psychology technique that I explained earlier this year: How to Kill Brain ANT’s (Yes, I’m repeating the ANT’s technique again. It’s really important and powerfully effective)