For most of us, the start of a new year is the time to create resolutions. There is a consistent desire to make things or experiences better. We aspire for better health or better friendships. Even a better diet, career, and a better routine. But what about being a better employee? It is a role we experience every day. What could we do to become better at how we show up as an employee or team member?

We have some ideas for you:

  1. Change the way you manage workplace conflict. Teams comprise members who bring in different ideas, approaches to work, communication styles, shifting personal needs, emotional fluctuations, etc. Sometimes these differences can escalate to become conflicts. How do you deal with them?

    According to Nate Regier, CEO of Next Element, “Conflict is a source of energy. The real problem is the casualties caused by misusing that energy – by failing to channel it into something productive.” And the best way you can mold the energy is to find out what is causing it, before trying to fix it. Avoid assumptions and start a genuine inquiry. Once you have the right information, bring into sight the common goal of the group, and suggest multiple ways of resolving conflict to achieve that. This approach is more conducive to group needs, as opposed to mere avoidance or tackling of conflict.

  1. Build more soft skills, not just technical ones. The surge in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) are certainly creating the need for sharper skills with technology. However, don’t let this trend distract you from the importance of soft skills. The World Economic Forum reports that emotional intelligence, decision-making, and service orientation, are some of the top 10 job skills for 2020. In a Career Builder Survey of more than 2,600 human resource professionals, 71% stated they valued emotional intelligence in an employee over IQ; 75% said they were more likely to promote an emotionally intelligent worker.

    A good starting place to build emotional intelligence – practice active listening. Whenever you see an opportunity, clarify and reflect upon what you hear from people.

  1. Develop workplace relationships and connections. A window into an employee’s impact within an organization is an understanding of how they collaborate and influence others within the enterprise. The latter trait, in particular, is highlighted by Korn Ferry research as an important way to assess employees with leadership potential. The best way to expand your leadership potential – build deeper workplace connections. Research by TinyPulse proves this.

    Experts recommend two ways of doing this. First, tell people when you do not know something. Pretending to know everything leaves little room for conversation. It is useful to ask a question, as it opens up doors for engagement. Second, endorse and promote a co-worker – write an appreciation, show gratitude. It’s all about giving people your time and attention.

Though these practices are journeys in themselves, they help contribute positively to the culture of your organization. And that, in turn, will help you have a better career! Ready to reign in the year?

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