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We do find creative ways to solve difficult problems at work. Work-related difficult problems that I am thinking about could be scientific, research oriented, business/stakeholder driven, and customer-centric. We are all well trained to be able to perform high-quality work by adequately using our knowledge, skills, and expertise. However, are we are well trained to do impactful work? Or are these survival street-smart skills that we need to pick on our own? In either case, the point of this article is that some of us do wonder if the work we do is truly impactful. …


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Suppose you Google “autonomy at work”, it would likely pull up the following from www.rallybright.com:Autonomy means allowing employees to shape their work environment so they can perform to the best of their ability. Autonomy is not working in isolation, doing what you want whenever you want, or lack of guidance. An autonomous workplace is based on trust, respect, dependability and integrity”. There are several other related definitions. There are also explicit directions of how as a leader one could create opportunities for employees to experience autonomy at work. …


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This year (2021) marks 50 years since the first email was sent. Yeah it is that old! However, wide usage of email in the general workplace has perhaps been only in the last 25 or so years. There are many effective ways to communicate in the workplace such as face-to-face meeting, video conference, phone call, audio conference, paper letter or memo, text, social media, various messaging platforms, and good old email. We all know that email has a special place. The biggest benefits are that email is asynchronous, nearly instantaneous, easy to access, searchable, and has potential to be personal…


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Just to confirm, “ticked off” does NOT mean “checked out” (in many countries the check symbol is referred to as a tick). Although interestingly, one could check out after prolonged periods of being ticked off too often. Being ticked off is feeling upset, annoyed, frustrated, or irritated. Many of us may have noticed that these days we tend to easily get ticked off at work. A large portion of it can be directly or indirectly attributed to the pandemic. Some of our co-workers get on our nerves by saying things that are insensitive or just downright opposite to our beliefs…


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A highly sensitive person (HSP) is someone who easily gets overwhelmed by intensity of flows like tasks, information, light, sound, smell, etc. They need time to process and can get over-stimulated easily. This may be because an HSP is already taking in a lot of cues from the surroundings and processing them. However, because of constantly feeling the pulse, an HSP tends to show empathy and compassion. The term HSP was coined by Elaine Aron in the mid-1990s and she also has a website on the topic. Her book came out 25 years ago titled “The Highly Sensitive Person: How…


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As the idiom goes, many of us feel like we are drinking from a firehose at work or at school. In other words, we feel so overwhelmed with tasks that keep getting assigned back-to-back to us and we struggle to keep up. As a coping mechanism, it is tempting to create more time by sleeping less, reducing leisure, and multitasking. However, it has been well documented that such tactics actually reduce creativity, productivity, and objectivity. That results in further exacerbating the situation which amounts to more overwhelm and possibly burnout. …


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The word trust has so many meanings. Depending on the context, saying “I trust so-and-so” could indicate so-and-so’s capability, intention, objective, competence, or reliability, to name a few. However, there is a common theme when we do not trust someone or a group of people, we feel the need to fend for ourselves (or our group). There is so much “us versus them” in the world, and oftentimes the “them” are not trusted, whether it is politics, sports, race, religion, or anything else. The people we refer to as “them” are seen as not going to consider the best interests…


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Many well-meaning and articulate authors have said that choosing a job ought to be like choosing a romantic partner. We need to have a set of non-negotiable criteria that must be met, personal and organizational goals must align, and the workplace must be collegial and fun. The same things apply to the romantic partner situation, of course, the words “organizational” and “workplace” need to be suitably replaced (agreed, for some of us that may not be needed as the families sound more like an organization with the hierarchy and the drama; much worse if it is a family-business, huh?). …


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Those of us that are sensitive sometimes feel we need to display a thick skin at work. According to Merriam-Webster, thick skin is “an ability to keep from getting upset or offended by the things other people say and do”. The question posed in this blog is whether we need to display a thick skin. This is especially for some of us that identify as being highly sensitive persons (or HSP which will be a topic for another blog in the near future). How about the quintessential pachyderms such as elephants, rhinos, and hippos? It is well known that elephants…


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I recently came across the term “individualization” when I took the Clifton Strengths test. It is one of the natural talents identified by Gallup. The test is at https://www.gallup.com/cliftonstrengths/en/253868/popular-cliftonstrengths-assessment-products.aspx (it is not free, but well worth the cost). Having given credit where it is due, for the remainder of this post, I wish to give it my twist. The second definition of “individualize” in Merriam-Webster is particularly appealing to me: to adapt to the needs or special circumstances of an individual. On one hand, we all would like to have someone adapt to our needs or special circumstances. …

N Gautam

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