What do you want at work?

WHAT do we all really want at work, apart from the income or the salary we derive?

In a nutshell, I reckon everyone expects to be treated with dignity and respect. And, we all want a successful career in whatever our chosen vocation is.  

But here's the thing. Our success or failure in this endeavour we call our career, is totally and utterly predicated on our "attitude" towards everything. This is what brings us success or leads us to failure at the workplace.  

Your attitude or way of thinking, is the most important asset you have at your disposal. If you do not recognise this, you are never going to achieve much in your career. 

Stive to become a constructive and optimistic member of your work team. If you can do this, you will become an invaluable asset to your line leaders. Because the reality is that your work-life is going to be laden with complications, frustrations, and a whole host of other complexities.  

Remind yourself daily that you need the people around you to function and perform well, in order for you get results. The relationships you need to cultivate have to be symbiotic in nature.  

Often our work colleagues might come from varying cultural backgrounds and will have differences in generational expectations. The key to your success depends on your willingness to be fair and good-tempered, especially with the people who are different from you. Learn to respect others, especially those who are dissimilar to you.

Next, all of us need to realise at some point in time, we will be led or work with people who don't share the same values as us.

Often, you will feel that your bosses are difficult, or you might think that you cannot stand some co-workers. The right way to deal with people are different from you is to be patient and continue with mindfulness.

Always learn how to peacefully co-exist with people, especially superiors, even if you do not subscribe to their way of thinking, or working. 

You cannot resolve a "problematic boss," by just being belligerent. Rather, you need to be able to manage your own reactions, and work at convincing your boss towards your way of thinking. You can only creatively workaround someone when you are able to control your own emotions. 

Bosses play a vital role in shaping your path to career success. So, don't alienate them.

The art of managing a difficult boss is based on your ability to keep all your interactions with them relevant, and by showcasing your value. Even if your boss does not reciprocate immediately, your role is to continue to persist while being civil and pleasant.

And, as you develop a stronger more connected relationship with the people you report to, you will find that things become easier. If you concentrate on gathering knowledge from your interactions with them, you will build the necessary skills to manage any future dealings, or to collaborate better. 

Next, focus on recognising that we are all employed to solve some problem. If not, the company that has hired us, does not actually need us. Really, this is our job. Even if it is not categorically stated in the employment contract, believe me, this is why we have a job. 

Many people surrender whenever they encounter difficulties. I often have to remind the participants in my executive leadership coaching sessions that without problems, they would be out of a job.

Most people avoid or ignore problems, or start looking for a new job, or become the "problem" themselves, when they are faced with complications at work.

If we condition our mind that it is actually a good thing to have problems at work, naturally, we will be better equipped to deal with them when they arise. Do not dwell on the pain of the problems. Instead, focus on solving them.

People fall broadly into two categories; they are either problem-oriented or solution-oriented. Who would you rather work with?

Keep your attitude in check, and have a learning approach to everything. Manage your emotions with your bosses, especially if they are highly driven individuals, because these are the best types to work for. And, focus on resolving problems, rather than contributing to them.

Nurturing the right attitude builds career success. In multigenerational workplaces there is a wide diversity of values, preferred communication styles, mental wellbeing issues, and ideal methods of working.

Differences even stretch to how employees dress for work. Again, be mindful. 

For those of you in leadership positions, ensure that you cultivate an environment that is conducive for your team to achieve success. This requires transformational leadership.

A transformational leadership style inspires employees to strive beyond required expectations to work toward a shared vision.

Finally, keeping your self-motivation buoyant is key to being successful at work. A positive attitude and mindset not only encourage a more pleasant and harmonious work environment, but it also has a profound impact on your growth.

*The writer is managing consultant and executive leadership coach at EQTD Consulting. He is also the author of the national bestseller 'So, You Want To Get Promoted?'

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