I believe there's a fourth quality that's crucial: quality connections. Here's 12 ways you can build more of these 4 qualities into your work so that you can improve your motivation and do your best work.
- Think about who you most enjoy working with at work - your leaders, peers , team and clients (regardless of the formal hierarchies and structures). Consider how you could build more opportunities to connect and collaborate with these people into your work.
- Don't limit your connections to people that you "have" to connect with in your work. Who are the people outside of that circle who inspire you? How can you connect with them more?
- Tune into the organization's greater purpose. What's the organization's greater purpose beyond profitability? What's the big picture on how your organization seeks to serve and contribute?
- Connect with your greater purpose in your organization - what's the purpose of your role? How does what you do help the organization to achieve their purpose?
- Be clear on your personal values and who you want to be. This is your ultimate purpose - to live your values and be who you want to be. How can you bring more of your personal values and who you want to be into your work?
- Don't wait for your annual performance appraisal and for your boss to tell you how you're doing. Take responsibility for this. Conduct your own performance appraisal on a weekly basis. What are you doing well? Where do you want to improve?
- Set goals for yourself on a weekly basis. What are your learning goals for the next week? What are your performance goals for the next week?
- Keep upping the ante and pushing yourself to grow. The "sweet spot" where you'll perform your best is when you're working on goals that are just outside of your comfort zone, so as you achieve your goals, adjust them and increase their difficulty so you can take it to the next level.
- Take the initiative on projects rather than waiting for instructions. Chat with your boss and negotiate on gradually increasing your autonomy at work. How can you have more autonomy in how you get your results, who you work with, and where and when you work?
- Seek feedback from your leaders, peers, team and clients. Often people only give feedback when they're complaining or criticizing. Create systems to collect regular feedback and you'll be more likely to hear about the good stuff too. Use this good and bad feedback to design your weekly learning and performance goals and to track your progress, and your motivation will increase as you watch yourself improve.
- Get a mentor or coach and a mastermind group. Again, you don't have to restrict yourself to people in your organization - in fact it's probably better to look outside your organization so that you get the benefits of an outside perspective. Regular learning-focused conversations with other people will help you to increase your autonomy, mastery, purpose and quality connections.
- Create a self-directed learning plan. It doesn't have to be expensive formal education. Decide what you want to learn more about, detail your specific questions that you'd like to answer on that topic, create a reading list of books and blogs on that topic, schedule a weekly learning appointment in your calendar and get committed to your life-long learning.
Author: Cath Duncan
Cath Duncan is a life and leadership coach and CareerJunction's resident Career Coach. Through one-to-one coaching and projects like the Bottom-line Bookclub, Cath helps people learn the Agile Living Strategies for thriving at work in this high-change era.