Holiday Cheers to Embracing Potential

Glowing lights in the dark.

In order to evolve — we need believe that we can continue to learn new things. That we remain a work in progress. That who we are (and might become) is neither fixed or predetermined.

The book below focuses on this very topic. It hasn’t yet appeared on my Books! page. Yet it should be there, as 2018 is just around the corner.

Moving forward we should embrace a healthy perspective. One that would help us expand our horizons. (This extends to the organizations in which we work as well). One that allows us to move beyond where we find ourselves.

To take risks and value learning. To learn from each other.

A realization that our minds are not stagnant, but ready to blossom (again).

So, leave the lights on.

Our potential is unknown.

Cheers to that.

Please note: I’m sharing more during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Looking Failure in the Eye

Horserace

Failure lingers.

Much like a fading scar or a clearing bruise.

Whether it is a failed conversation, interview, project, presentation or relationship — it bites. It clenches. It hangs on.

It is easy to stew there and toy with the idea that there is nothing else. That trying again is fruitless. Embarrassing. Masochistic.

However, to move forward and possibly fulfill a destiny (whatever that may be) we have to meet it head on. Push away the monster sitting on your chest.

Rediscover you passion for people and work.

Look it in the eye and say,

“You do not matter.”

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

 

Picking a Lane

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Life and work are all about exploration. Dabbling. Being a newbie. Learning something new. But at some point, if you’d like to make a name for yourself — you should pick a lane. Whether it is an interest at work or a personal style.

Dig deep under the surface and make a commitment.

Ensure it is a lane that reflects you. Is you.

It should meander, so it doesn’t limit you — yet still offers direction.

Make a statement. Make it memorable.

Then go and make a difference.

Please note: I’m sharing more frequently during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Praising Stability

Jenga

I’m not sure it is the turkey or the dressing that we crave during the holidays. It’s more likely the promise of it. The continuity. The foundation.

It can all be “less than” (carry out is fine), no matter the delivery (paper plates work) or setting (dining rooms are not required). It still works.

The important bits — the people, the conversation, the support — must be there.

In workplaces, we laud disruption at work. However, we rarely emphasize this same type of stability. For example, the promise that hard work will be recognized and rewarded.

This might explain why we see lower levels of satisfaction and engagement. In this domain as well — it not the delivery that matters or the setting.

Simply say “thank you” does matter. Noticing the hard work. Spreading the word about a job well done.

It doesn’t need to be a grand gesture.

It is just keeping the promise.

More on recognizing employees:

Please note: I’m sharing more frequently during the holiday season — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Granting the Freedom to Create

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Most organizations would like to innovate or disrupt. However, it is the culture that needs to be re-aligned, not the employees.

If you unleash competent individuals on a new task, you must offer more than a timeline to foster creativity. Few people will take a risk (and waste your time and theirs) if they aren’t first offered the freedom to explore that proverbial limb.

Instead, they will likely transfer what has worked successfully for other tasks to your project. If real change is desired — offer a reprieve from the fear of risk and/or possible failure. Be upfront. Communicate that the risks have been acknowledged.

Lend them the freedom to create.

If you truly want to see something new, take of the handcuffs and offer permission to explore.

When you say “Give it your best shot.” — mean it.

Read more about it:

Please note: I’m sharing more frequently — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

A Few Thoughts on Talent Spotting

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In terms of accomplishments — we can all be a bit “star struck”.

We gravitate toward proven winners. This is for good reason. (Success isn’t optional.) But, while proven competence is one way to discern talent, we fail to consider that opportunity also plays a crucial role. If an individual isn’t afforded the opportunity to shine, their potential will be left undiscovered.

Enter this HBR post, discussing the importance of potential when hiring team members.

However, while we may under-estimate new hires — we also routinely overlook individuals already in place. People right under our noses that have what it takes. Curious and flexible. Ambitious and resourceful.

I like to call them “explorers”.

You must first focus intently and identify them. Consider behaviors that might signal potential. Is an individual always ready for new experiences? Adept at handling unforeseen circumstances? Particularly open to feedback? Able to write a “script” when one does not previously exist? After reflection, offer them opportunity — sponsor stretch assignments for example, so “explorers” on your team can be discovered.

Let’s start out 2018, with a campaign to find and challenge them.

Dare to look beyond your established high potential program.

They could be right there, at the ready.

Please note: I’m sharing more frequently — 30 Thoughts for 30 Days!

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.

Considering Happiness at Work

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When a construct becomes culturally significant — words naturally arise to describe it. The language of that culture expands to accommodate its importance.

In this country, the term “engagement” has finally gained a certain level of notoriety — helping us move beyond the 9 to 5 definition of our jobs. With that recognition, we are beginning to acknowledge that work isn’t “just work” for many of us. But, ask yourself this question: Why is engagement so vital?

Within other cultures —  the words have already been developed to answer that question and represent its importance. In Japan, for example, the storied concept of Ikigai, represents our “reason for being”. (See the Venn diagram below, with intersecting circles representing what you love to do, your strengths, what the world needs and what you can be paid for.) In Scandinavian cultures, the word was “Arbejdsglæde” captures this. Translated into English this means “happiness at work” or “work joy”.

Igaki

These are more than compound words — slinging together “work” and “happiness”. Ultimately, they capture the multi-faceted construct that to feel worthy, we all need to contribute in a way that we deem meaningful.

This conversation elevates the entire realm of work.

I’d say we need 100 words to capture that and engagement is just a start.

Read more about it:

Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.