Developing Your Critical Thinking

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Every day we need to make decisions as leaders. But this is often not easy. How can we improve our chances to make good decisions? There are many techniques for this, one of which is critical thinking. This technique is particularly effective, and it allows us to deconstruct the situation removing undesired bias and revealing hidden issues.

When you use critical thinking, rather than making a decision just because it feels right, you will scrutinise every available option and apply scepticism. Using the tools described below you will eliminate everything but the most useful and reliable information.

Improving Your Conversational Skills

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At work, great communicators have an advantage. They know how to have great conversations. Personality helps, but this is a skill that anyone can learn. Here I explore a few tips to improve your conversational skills.

Providing Purpose

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A job pays the bills. But if that is all it means to you, it will be hard to feel inspired. It is not unreasonable to expect a job to excite you and provide you with a higher sense of purpose.

Purpose is feeling that your time is being well spent and your work is adding value to something that matters. For some people it is easier to feel purpose, and also some vocations are simply more likely to help you feel purpose e.g. teachers and healthcare professionals are frequently included in this category.

But most people are not wired to feel purpose that easily and most jobs are not clearly fulfilling in that sense. You, as a manager, have to effectively lead those people. What can you do?

Avoiding Burnout at Work

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Even people that work in great high-performing teams can sometimes experience excessive stress and burnout. Burnout is about mental and physical exhaustion, caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

As you look at your team, check whether you have seen any of these signs.

Building Self-Awareness as a Manager

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For most people it is hard to objectively self-evaluate their work and behaviours. Great leaders learn to build strong self-awareness. There are two main sources of information that can help you with this.

My 7 Principles of Management

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As a manager I like to follow what I call “my 7 principles of management” when I work with my team. Sometimes we find ourselves overwhelmed and under pressure. Having a set of clear principles that are easy to remember can help us, managers, get back on track quickly. Mine are based on my own experience and have helped me in the past in numerous occasions.

The 7 principles are the following.