Everyone likes to win. Be it business or sports. Winning is a unique and exhilarating feeling. It gives us an exciting sense of accomplishment, knowing that we performed excellently based on our expectations.
However, victories are scarce in organizations these days. Achieving excellence is one of the basic instincts of adult humans. Still, at the workplaces, victories are seldom clearly and consistently articulated. We will explore the reasons behind this.
The Daily Chaos.
Workplaces these days are chaotic. Constant interruptions of phones, emails, texts, etc. Meetings are poorly managed and oft times end up going nowhere. We have more on our plates than anyone could attempt to handle. These factors are so embedded in our lives that we cannot see past them and we easily overlook the negative impact they have on our focus and productivity.
You’d probably think that multitasking could prove to be a remedy of this cluster that is our work life. But that would be wrong. Multitasking makes us lose focus. The key to successfully managing this chaos is to slow down, take a look around and see what winning looks like. Having a clearer picture about winning would provide us with important guidelines for measuring our time spent. And of course, spending the correct amount of time is the precise way to bring order amidst this chaos.
Same old, Same old.
Our brain is hardwired to take shortcuts for mundane tasks so it can allot more brain-power to demanding tasks and challenges. Our brain goes on autopilot for activities like getting ready and driving to work. This somehow makes its way to the workplace. Consequently, even at work, we start doing things like the same old way we have been doing them, regardless of the reasons behind doing those activities that way which are now invalid.
These auto pilot activities are what we call habits. Habits could be beneficial if we focus on building the right ones. For example, if we start our day by taking a few minutes to plan our activities and then identify the places we need to focus on in order to win, we could increase our performance at work significantly. New ideas should be actively thought of and good ones should be pursued. Regular feedback should be provided to all employees to keep them oriented with the company goal. All this will take a bit of practice, but it is possible to implement such habits.
Too many thoughts
We spent quite some time thinking about and planning on how to win. So much so, that we forget to catchup the rest of the organization on our thinking. We assume that everyone thinks alike.
We assume that winning exists. We do not communicate how or where we want to go. Instead, we assume that everyone on board knows it. These assumptions are what make winning difficult.
To avoid all this unproductive thinking, a formal system has to be established. There should at least one day in a month where you communicate your vision of winning to your employees and ask them for their feedback to make sure they have understood exactly what you want. There should be a system that reminds managers to discuss the goals and planning involved on a regular basis. Always keep talking about the target and never stop communicating what winning looks like.
The Secret to communicate winning
Firstly, describe your finish line. Everyone involved should have the clear picture of the place you want the organization to reach. For example, instead of saying, “I’d like to go to Europe” say, “I’d like to go to France.” Then describe what the destination will look like and what will you do when you reach. The key is in vivid detail. The more, the better.
Secondly, everyone has their own definitions of abstract terms. For example, if you ask 10 random people to define happiness, you will get at least 8 different answers. It is all about how a certain individual thinks. So, to effectively communicate what exactly you want, use very specific words. Describe precisely what you want so that there is little room of misinterpretation.
Thirdly, share your thinking process. Let the team know what prompted you to decide that particular target. The data you have should be shared and described. Then ask the team to draw their own conclusions from the data and then ask them for the best course of action. This will ensure equal participation from all members.
And finally, get feedback. Ask the team what they understood. Then, ask them what winning means to them and how your picture will impact their jobs. Set aside some time for questions and encourage them to clear all doubts. Your vision should be clear. Everyone in the organization should be able to understand and specify your vision as perfectly as you.
The secret to winning is to not have any secrets. Constantly bring your vision of winning to everyone in the organization. Be honest and open about everything and your chances of winning would greatly increase.